Chloe Smith, Conservative MP for Norwich North, will interrupt her maternity leave to support the Government in passing a Bill to invoke Article 50 and leave the EU.
While she has been on leave, Chloe has ensured that her constituents are served by her Norwich office with the help of neighbouring MP Keith Simpson, but has not normally been attending debates in Parliament. She has closely followed Brexit and welcomed constituents’ correspondence on the topic. She spoke in Parliament on post-Brexit priorities in Norwich, before beginning leave.
She and her husband Sandy are using Shared Parental Leave, introduced by the Conservative-led government in 2014, to care equally for their son who was born in September. Chloe will return to work fully in Norwich and Parliament at the start of April.
For this exceptional Bill, Chloe says that she and Sandy will juggle their jobs with childcare like many working parents. They expect to bring their baby into Parliament next week behind the scenes to allow Chloe to go through the voting lobbies. She says: “Brexit is now the central issue of our times. So, I’ll be there voting for this crucial Bill to uphold the democratic result of the referendum. I’m grateful to everyone in north Norwich who’s let me know their views.”
Chloe adds: “Being a new parent is great! I’m grateful to everyone who is supporting me while I take leave to begin to raise our son. I know it’ll be hard to juggle everything as a working parent but it’s important for that support to be there in my workplace as in any other, so we can have all walks of life represented in Parliament. I’m looking forward to returning fully to serve my constituents after my parental leave.”
The Conservative Government’s decision to call a referendum on the simple question of EU membership has divided the country and nobody seems to have a clear idea of what the impact on Britain will be of the narrow vote to leave. Chloe Smith will also have to face her constituents who may not be pleased with Brexit as in Norwich there was a clear majority (56%) in favour of staying in the European Union.
The Article 50 debate which enables Parliament to discuss the referendum advice to leave the EU has divided both major parties with both Labour and Tory MPs vowing to vote against the legislation.
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