Strong feelings about our membership of the European Union have split our country down the middle.
I have always made it clear that I think leaving the EU is a bad idea and have voted in the House of Commons in accordance with that belief.
We had a referendum in 2016 and the result of that was a majority voted to leave nationally.
In our democracy we think that the will of the majority should prevail. That is straightforward and usually the minority who lose accept that.
But what happens when the issue is so important to the minority that they don’t accept the result? That is the situation we are facing now with years of division and recrimination whatever the outcome of the Prime Minister’s decisions.
If we are to keep our once much envied democracy then we have to find a better way of resolving divisive issues rather than a harsh ‘winner-takes-all’ system.
It was a privilege and an honour to have been elected as your MP in 1992. Over the years I have met many of you first as children on visits to schools and then as parents yourselves.
Thank you so much for your letters of support following my announcement that after 41 years I was resigning from the Labour Party. I am sorry for the distress I have caused colleagues in the local party. This was not a decision I took lightly.
My values have not changed and I and the excellent and committed people who work for me will continue to help and support you with your problems.
And I will continue to represent you in the same way I have done for the last 27 years as an MP and before that as a local councillor.
You voted to remain in Europe in the referendum recognising the value of us being part of a single market. I have voted in parliament for those options that could deliver the best possible economic deal for us. I will continue to do so. Remaining in the EU would have given us the best deal. We rely on a sound economy to fund our public services. We need jobs, housing, first class health provision and investment in our children’s education.
From a recent survey of constituents it was clear that young people see their future in Europe and are upset that what was on offer to older generations is no longer there for them. Their view of the world is unlimited by national boundaries. This is the impact of the world wide web.
Brexit will change Britain in a way we cannot imagine for future generations. When I have visited schools I have been very impressed by the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm of our children. They are a credit to their teachers and parents. They will be our asset in the Britain to come .
Children at St Paul’s Primary School in Brinnington recently got the chance to meet with Stockport MP Ann Coffey.
The school council talked to Ann about their role as school councillors and about the suggestions they had made for the redesign of Brinnington Park. They also had ideas for new laws parliament could pass to improve their environment.
Ann Coffey said:
“It was always a pleasure to listen to children. They are always full of good ideas and so enthusiastic .We do need to spend more on schools so that every child has the opportunity to achieve. They are our future. We should be supporting our children and this great school
Joanna Harrington, Headteacher at St Paul’s added:
“Our School Council loved meeting Ann and having the chance to share their ideas with her. We want to continue providing similar opportunities for our children , but this is becoming more difficult because of funding pressures and we’ve had to make difficult choices to best resource our school.”
To find out more about St Paul’s or to contact them, please visit www.st-pauls.stockport.sch.uk.
Ann Coffey MP pictured with members of the School Council at St Paul’s