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Mike's Ilford Recorder Column (07.09.2017)

This week thousands of local children started primary school for the first time. Others made the transition to their secondary education.

This is a time of excitement and also some anxiety.

We have excellent and outstanding Redbridge schools which are amongst the best in the country.

Once again our schools have done very well in the GCSE and A-level results. Credit must go to all who made this possible, particularly the hard working and dedicated teachers.

I would like to wish all the teachers, support staff and our young people well for the coming year.

This week is also an important week for me personally.

I celebrated my 65th birthday on holiday with friends in France on Monday before the return of Parliament.

This week the House of Commons begins the debate on the European Union Repeal (withdrawal) Bill.

The vote on the Second Reading is on Monday. I will be voting against the Bill but I expect it to be passed by the Conservative minority government with the support of their Northern Irish Democratic Unionist party allies.

This will set the scene for up to a year of complex Parliamentary tactics in the committee stage when I will be supporting amendments to keep our country in the Single Market and Customs Union, and to ensure we can mitigate the economic and political damage to our country caused by the advisory referendum vote.

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