The Bim Afolami Interview: Harpenden MP pledges to protect financial services, farming, and Rothamsted Research

PUBLISHED: 14:00 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:13 22 September 2017

Bim Afolami being interviewed for The Herts Advertiser.

Bim Afolami being interviewed for The Herts Advertiser.

Archant

Harpenden’s MP has pledged to fight for farming, financial services, and Rothamsted Research as parliament begins debating Brexit.

Hitchin MP Bim Afolami inside the Houses of Parliament. Picture: Danny LooHitchin MP Bim Afolami inside the Houses of Parliament. Picture: Danny Loo

In the latest instalment from his exclusive interview with The Herts Advertiser, Mr Afolami outlined what he’s doing during the Brexit back-and-forth.

“I recognise we need to implement the result of the referendum, and we have to have a program for doing that.

“The EU Withdrawal Bill is a way of starting the process of leaving the EU, by putting its laws into British laws, as in the future there could be instances where we want to change some of them.”

The bill passed its second reading on Monday, September 11, and will now be scrutinised by a committee of MPs.

“There are around 40,000 of these regulations which need to be incorporated into UK law, but it’s worth mentioning they have always been part of UK law.

“I recognise this is a particularly complex piece of legislation, and we have to really take some time to consider it.

“There are certain amendments being proposed for the bill, such as Dominic Grieve’s [MP for Beaconsfield, former Attorney General], and I am not averse to voting for certain amendments, but at the stage we are at now, I will not vote for any amendments.”

Mr Afolami voted remain in the referendum as did the majority of his Hitchin and Harpenden constituents.

The former banker states financial services, farming, and scientific research are his three priorities in the negotiations.

“I have a large number of constituents working in financial services so we need a good deal for financial services to keep the City prominent in the world.

“I have spoken a lot with Harpenden farmers about what they need, and we really need to focus on that.

“The third big issue is science and technology. Rothamsted Research is a world leader in research and it’s very important to the county.

“Rothamsted also has EU citizens working there, so that’s another thing that needs to be done right.

“When we leave the EU we need to ensure Rothamsted gets appropriate funding, so I will fight very hard for it to get funding after Brexit, and the government is already committed to maintaining the funding.”

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