Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.

23 NOV 2018

EDM 1744

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the related EDM, number 1744.

I realise you would like me to sign EDM 1744, however like many MPs I do not sign any EDMs no matter how worthy the cause. This is because EDMs now cost a huge amount per year to administer and have no chance of changing the Law. They are in effect petitions which only MPs can sign. They have also been superseded by online petitions which can be on any issue for which the Government or Parliament is responsible and any which receive 10,000 signatures will receive a response from the Government. Those petitions which reach 100,000 signatures will almost always be debated in Parliament – unless it is an issue which has recently been debated. There are also concerns that EDMs may give a false impression that action is being taken.

Nonetheless, I hope the following information on this topic from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is reassuring:

It is important to note that, for the time being, the INF Treaty remains in force. While that remains the case, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will continue in their efforts to bring back Russia into full and verified compliance.
There is no question that the INF Treaty has played a valuable role in supporting Euro-Atlantic security. The Government is clear that it wishes the Treaty to remain in place. Despite this, the UK shares the concerns of the US at certain new Russian missiles. Russia must respect the obligations of the Treaty in order to safeguard global security.
The UK has a close dialogue with the US at all levels on foreign and security policy questions and will continue to work alongside the US and other Allies on next steps.

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