Easter Newsletter
Dear colleagues,
This newsletter comes to you from the French city of Strasbourg and a plenary session I had never expected to attend. Many British MEPs had already packed up their offices as the March 29th deadline to leave the EU came and wen t.
The UK has just secured another extension to the Article 50 process and it is impossible to predict what might come next. It looks likely that we will be fighting another European election campaign, unless the House of Commons has a sudden change of stance towards the Prime Minister's Withdrawal Agreement.
This is not ideal, given that we are nearly three years after the British people voted to leave the EU. Many of you will be angry that the decision taken in the referendum has not yet been delivered. I agree and have always argued that we must respect its result and leave the EU. 
If we end up staying until October, I will continue to fight for the interests of the UK and the West Midlands for as long as I remain an MEP - something which I have tried to do since I first took up the job 4 years ago (see below).
EU laws passed before Brexit will apply directly in the UK if the Withdrawal Agreement is eventually approved. I will therefore use any influence I can to shape these pieces of legislation.
In the past few months, I have been steering a draft bill through the European Parliament that will force internet companies to do more to take down terrorist content. Online radicalisation is a real issue and the sickening propaganda from the likes of Islamic State and Al-Qaeda has no place on the web.
I will, of course, continue to update you about through my weekly Brexit Briefings on the ongoing Brexit process, which I hope will reach a satisfactory conclusion soon. Anyone can sign up for these newsletters on my website.
I also regularly speak to groups and associations from across the West Midlands. If you would like me to speak at one of your events, do not hesitate to contact my office. 
Wishing you and your families a very happy Easter

Improving road safety
I led for Conservative MEPs on a package of measures aimed at improving road safety. I secured cross-party support to do more to tackle 'blind spots' in truck cabs. My proposal will mean that glass doors, bigger windows and a lower driving position will be obligatory for certain lorry sizes, reducing the risk to cyclists and pedestrians. You can read more here.
Standing up for Gibraltar
Earlier in April, we saw perhaps one of the most shocking events I have seen in my four years in the European Parliament. The Civil Liberties committee that I sit on passed a law on visa-free travel in the event of a no-deal Brexit. However, the text referred to Gibraltar as a 'colony'. This was an unacceptable assault on British sovereignty and ignorant of the wishes of the Gibraltarian people. I voted against the legislation and gave several interviews to the media about why this move was so short-sighted .
Slamming the brakes on EU motor insurance rules
In January, I met with key players from the UK motorsport industry, who were worried that changes to the EU's motor insurance rules could have put their livelihoods' risk. An EU proposal said all vehicles competing in motorsport events must have mandatory third-party insurance, but many insurers said they would simply refuse to underwrite such risk. I demanded that the European Parliament carve out an exception for motorsport and thankfully my call was heeded .
Getting tough on cross-border criminals
A draft law to make it harder for criminals with more than one nationality to conceal previous criminal convictions was finally approved by MEPs in January. I was responsible for getting the legislation over the line. In the past, criminals could get away with only disclosing one of their passports. A new database will keep this kind of information on file and closing this loophole will make us safer. Read more here.
Protecting consumers
I am passionate about championing consumer rights and this has been one of my main areas of focus during my time as an MEP. At the end of March, I was proud to seal a deal on a new package of consumer protection legislation. The new law will make it harder for touts to resell tickets bought with 'bot' software, make online reviews more transparent, and make it easier for online customers to get a refund when things go wrong.
Media appearances on Brexit
As the Brexit deadline approached, the international media interest in the story gathered pace once more. Over the past few months, I have appeared on CNN, BBC World, France 24 and Euronews to make the case for an orderly Brexit. One of my key messages has been about the dogmatic inflexibility of the EU side to refuse to discuss the future relationship, whilst demanding key concessions on the Irish border. We cannot solve the border issue until we know the terms of UK-EU trade. (Photo: talking with CNN's Richard Quest outside the EU summit in March).
Cracking down on cheating carmakers
The news that Volkswagen had been cheating on diesel emissions made global headlines when the story broke in 2016. I was proud to play a lead role in the European Parliament's response to protect consumer and stop such a scandal ever happening again. It was also deeply unfair on West Midlands manufacturers, who had played by the rules fair and square. Read more here .
Saving UK Gin: just the tonic to defeated EU law
In 2017, the EU tried to change the rules governing the production of gin. IF they had been successful, it would have allowed waste products from beer to be used in the distilling process. West Midlands brands, such as Chase Distillery, were worried this could dent their reputation for quality products. I called for a vote on this proposal and MEPs agreed with me that it should be thrown out.
Curry night at Warwick University
A decent curry is one of the things I miss when I am away from the UK with work. So it was great to catch up with students from the Warwick Tories group at Warwick University. There were plenty of tough questions on Brexit, but also about the government's policy on the NHS and crime. I am passionate about young people getting involved in politics. If you would like me to come and speak at one of your events, do not hesitate to get in touch.
Engaging with Conservatives across the West Midlands
I have enjoyed speaking at a number of events in the West Midlands over the past four years. Back in February, I hosted another Brexit and Beyond conference in Birmingham with Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson. Of course, there was a lot of focus on our departure from the EU, but also important discussions about what the Conservatives are doing to help businesses across the UK.