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.


21 MAY 2018

Iran Nuclear Deal and EDM 1251

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about the Iran Nuclear deal and EDM 1251.

I understand you would like me to sign EDM 1251, 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 They have also been superseded by online petitions which can be on any issue for which the Government or Parliament is responsible and any which receive 10,000 signatures will receive a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 of interest:

The Iran Nuclear deal is the product of 13 years of tireless diplomacy, and it is working, with Iran having reduced its stock of enriched uranium by 95 per cent. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed nine times that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal, most recently in February.
The IAEA inspection regime agreed as part of the deal is one of the most extensive and robust in the history of international nuclear accords. It remains a vitally important way of independently verifying that the deal is working and that Iran's nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful.
The Foreign Secretary has been clear that the UK Government did its utmost to prevent this course of action by the US. From the moment that President Trump's Administration took office, the UK made the case for keeping the Iran deal at every level.
The UK Government is working hard to maintain the deal following the 8 May announcement of US withdrawal.

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