Opinion- Craig Mackinlay MP: Boris, Brexit and issues in Thanet

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay with PM Boris Johnson (pre-covid)

I’m delighted that we have elected Boris Johnson as our new leader. Boris brings flair, a clear Brexit message, new ideas and appeal across the electorate that no other candidate, however competent and decent, could reach.

His primary task over the next few months is to give a positive and resolute lead on Brexit and keep his promise to leave the EU on 31st October, no ifs, no buts, no equivocation – with or without signing an acceptable Withdrawal Agreement.

Already, fresh leadership is bringing with it a renewed sense of purpose and belief, hope and optimism, for both MPs and the country.The future is bright.

Those opposed to Brexit continue to do their best to attach baubles to the Christmas tree of any legislation that comes along. The Labour Party has come out clearly as a party of ‘Remain’. The usually innocuous, but now annual Northern Ireland Bill, needed to maintain the normal functioning of government in Ulster whilst the arguing factions find it impossible to re-assemble the devolved assembly at Stormont, has been hijacked as a vehicle to try to derail Brexit.

Additionally, with no debate, other clauses added to the Bill were abortion on demand (with seemingly no upper time limit), same sex marriage for Ulster, and the potential for pension payouts for terrorists. The proceedings were too odd for words and I did not support these amendments as they were bizarrely grouped together as one vote. Not because I don’t agree with the sentiments, it is obviously ridiculous that choice and equality is not the same throughout the UK, but adding these matters of conscience, without debate, and with no consultation of the Ulster electorate who should be at the heart of this, when these are clearly devolved matters, was just wrong.

Health matters have occupied me greatly over the past weeks. I was pleased to contribute to the Thanet Mental Health forum, held in Ramsgate last Friday. We have a growing demand for mental health support across East Kent. Difficult to summarise easily what is wrong with the system, but clearly communication within the various NHS bodies responsible is a major issue as patients move from one service to another. Local staff shortages through recruitment problems, not money, another issue.

The individual harrowing stories of personal experiences, family suicides and of the system simply failing were poignant and saddening. We need to help those with problems today, but what we need to do longer term is get underneath the societal issues that are driving many into mental health difficulties. I would advance social media as a negative influence on the young with bullying and isolation at its core. I continue my fight against the normalisation of cannabis: legalisation by the back-door. The permanent psychotic effects of skunk use across all ages but particularly on developing brains is now clearly made through scientific research. Have we created a world of bureaucracy that gets people down, whether it is the struggle to access the benefits that we are entitled to, or dealing with government agencies and local authorities that are remote and unresponsive?

Lots there to think about, and I haven’t even started on my campaign to see the BCG – TB vaccination rolled out universally once more, or of the various sites across the area that I’ve visited that need business plans and vision to get them back into community use. Lots to do over the recess period so looking forward to a chat and a cool drink with many of you over the rest of the summer.


        • NOTA
          one referendum which has destroyed the UK’s cohesion
          Vs every election for the last 30 years
          Remember politicians have hijacked the referendum because in chaos there will be winners and losers.

          And you trust politicians more fool you

  1. A small majority voted for something they were very badly informed about. The status quo should be upheld, and the MEPs should work together to try to alleviate (if necessary) what that small majority thinks of as drawbacks to membership of the EU. Currently the future for Britain seems far from bright.

    Cameron and his government should have made it clear that the referendum was an advisory one, and that a majority vote – of, say, 2/3 of those who voted- would be necessary before leaving the EU was considered as a real possibility.

    • Marva, you are incorrect like everything you post. It wasn’t a small majority. It was over 17 million people that voted to leave the EU.

        • Marva you make me laugh. You don’t believe in democracy. Leave the country if you want to stay in the EU. Bye ????

          • I certainly do believe in democracy, and I believe the people should be properly informed about decisions which will have a major impact on their lives. So don’t tell me to leave the country and say “Bye” and add a little picture (which means nothing to me) the way teenagers do. Tell me instead why I should approve of leaving the EU., why I should want us to go begging to America and Saudi Arabia etc instead of staying with our fellow-Europeans.

      • I don’t think 4% of 30-something % of the electorate is a big enough percentage to justify making such an important change.

        • 4% of 34,000,000 is 1,360,000. I find 1.36 million to be a substantial number of voters extra in favour of an option.

          The reality has always been that remain was going to win if it won and winning it lost with all the bitching and whining that they were (and have) done.

          There is a simple solution. If you don’t like brexit and love the EU, move to an EU country that has to guarantee your rights as an EU citizen at this time.

          • In the same way that people who don’t want to live near an airport should move out of Ramsgate?

          • Another one who has a limited grasp of statistics.
            It’s still only a 4% margin in favour of going out of Europe. That’s hardly within the bounds of statistical significance.

  2. At the Referendum 37% of the eligible population voted “Leave”(no definition of the way it was to be done), 35% voted to Remain, and 28% did not vote at all. Hardly a clear mandate for anything. Not surprisingly, without a really clear public vote, the MPs are thrashing around trying to find something that might satisfy everybody. The current attempt involves Boris Johnson using rhetoric and bluster to try to stir up a bit of enthusiasm for …. whatever he proposes.(No quite sure what version of Brexit he represents but he will be relentlessly optimistic about it!)

    As for the residents of the north of Ireland having to accept a Westminster decision on same-sex marriage, if they want to remain in the UK, perhaps they have to accept UK decisions. They can always leave! In fact, as Mr Mackinlay knows, a recent poll of Tory Party members indicated that a clear majority of them would be happy to lose control over the north of Ireland altogether if they could have their precious Brexit instead. In fact, they would happily lose Scotland, and face severe economic consequences in England in order to get Brexit. Bang goes the UK and the Union Jack!

  3. “Health matters have occupied me greatly over the past weeks.”
    Are you the Craig Mackinlay that voted against keeping open the Stroke Unit at QEQM?
    And now you’re trying to tell us that a “No deal” Brexit is somehow a Golden Dawn, a New Jerusalem, the answer to all our problems?
    Has it escaped your notice that the CBI and the TUC say that a no deal Brexit would be catastrophic- so concerned are they they they penned a joint statement?
    Didn’t you note the opinion of the Treasury and the Bank of England?
    Surely, from your conversations in the HoC tea room, you must have realised that almost all MPs are against a hard Brexit?
    Are you not aware that, without an agreement, exports of Welsh lamb to the EU will attract a 40% tariff- effectively bankrupting the whole business?
    You must, surely, have noticed that car manufacturing is closing down in the UK and heading for Europe?
    The future is bright?
    Well it might be for the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg, with or without his questionable grammar. He’s estimated to have made £7M from Brexit related dealing.
    For the rest of us, it’s a racing certainty that food and commodities will go up. Holidays abroad will go up, as the £ weakens. Jobs will be lost. Medicines will be in short supply.
    But Boris (The bloke who lied about the £350M for the NHS, and lost his job at the Times for lying) says it’ll be ok – and you *believe* him??
    The sooner we get shot of Boris and the rest of you, the better.

      • He may reply but that is all doesn’t do anything for the people who voted him in only if you have money or status kipper mackinlay 2 faced and gutless

  4. Staggeringly insensitive and stupid of our MP! We now have a privileged bunch of heartless thieves and liars running the country. Any ordinary person will be bearing the divisive damage from the decision, that stupid, cowardly Cameron made calling for a ridiculous plebiscite throwing our whole democracy and economy into crisis. It’s already taken 3 years and will take another 10 at least to get sorted and stabilised. Meanwhile, many who voted Leave will be dead and many dead or dying through lack of an NHS and all other necessary public services and welfare. The populist movement in this country now does resemble the Nazi Party in 1930’s Germany.

  5. The photo of Craig and Boris is hilarious – joined at the hip!Craig, I hope your sychophancy pays off with a new job close to government….. and maybe far from us.

    • I don’t think your comment is becoming of someone in your position. I wonder about trusting someone who pledges their support by signing a document supporting a leader who is in complete denial about the problems in their party.

      • Yes. Labour did do a brilliant job.

        That’s why politics was so boring for such a long time.

  6. The warmest of welcomes to Boris, and thank you to Craig too for all the great support in the campaign. What a brilliant few days we have just witnessed.

    • With respect, you must be off your rocker.
      Boris is a serial liar. A womanizing cheater. What qualities does he have other than to beat his chest and bellow “Brexit Brexit” at the top of his voice.
      As for Mackinlay: he’s a complete worm.
      He voted against saving our stroke unit. He “forgot” to tell the HoC that he owned an airline business when engaging in a debate about Manston.
      His Aide during the election was given a 2 year sentence for fiddling expenses.

      • I couldn’t have put it better there like a pair of bookends I reckon Craig is so disappointed at not getting on board with Boris in his cabinet after fencing of all those emails sent to him. Must hurt Craig being snubbed again by another leader this must hurt more especially as Boris is a habitual liar to another. one

  7. Andrew (the other one): your inability to grasp simple arithmetic is showing.
    If 52% vote one way, and 48% vote the other way, then the majority is 4%.
    17,000,000 voted in favour of Brexit, 16,000,000 voted to stay.
    That’s a very small majority.
    And I still don’t know why people voted to leave. Surely there must be something more than blue passports?

    • Andrew, that’s not a small majority. That’s over a million people. Stop crying and accept democracy. If you don’t like it, leave the country.

      • No, Andrew (The other one) it’s still a very small majority. And what, exactly, did those in favour of Brexit actually vote for?
        £350M for the NHS?
        Blue passports?
        Perhaps you’d tell us, because I don’t have any idea.
        And if this is democracy, then it leaves a lot to be desired. Talk about turkeys …

  8. Well, it certainly isn’t car manufacturing. I see that Vaxhall is planning to relocate from Ellesmere to Europe if we leave without some sort of frictionless trade agreement in place.

    • “All this Europe stuff” is about a global economy which the rich and powerful organise across national boundaries to suit themselves. Getting different countries to outbid each other with lower wages or longer hours or fewer protections for the workforce or lower taxes for Corporations.Those people HATE different countries getting together to adopt the same rules so that they can’t be played off against each other. Which is why such a large part of the British Establishment is keen on leaving the EU. So they can get the British workforce to accept lower wages , shorter holidays, later retirement ages etc so as to “compete” with the rest of Europe. A race to the bottom with Brexit Britain in the lead, cheered on by ex-Etonian Boris Johnson.

  9. Keefogs is right. And as we now see, the Tories have been playing the old “Divide and Conquer” strategy, setting the poorest people against each other, telling them half-truths if not downright lies, encouraging the scape-goating of the most vulnerable members of society, the homeless and the mentally ill.


  11. Irrespective of people’s beliefs, or lack of them, you can consider actual facts.
    Such as the pound dropping like a stone (£=$!).
    Such as Vauxhall planning to move from Ellesmere to Europe.
    Such as Barclays moving £Billions of business to Eire.

  12. Why wasnt Mackinlay made to stand down after his campaign manageress was found guilty of over spending to get him elected ? Surely that must make it null n void ??

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