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As Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, I will reach across the House and scrutinise Brexit objectively

3 min read

Writing for PoliticsHome, Mel Stride MP says he has the experience, insight and determination to lead the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) in scrutinising the Government, with an urgent focus on minimising the risks of Brexit.

I will reach out across the House in leading the Treasury Select Committee.

I took 3 finance bills and the customs bill through the House. I understand the Treasury – how it consults, reaches decisions and translates them into legislation and action. That knowledge will be invaluable in leading the TSC to hold the department and Government fully to account and without fear or favour.

I would also reach out across the House in the open spirit with which I worked when I served as Leader of the House. I am proud to have received nominations for my candidacy from both Jonathan Reynolds of Labour’s shadow treasury team and Kirsty Blackman the SNP’s economic spokesperson.

They know that I work in a fair and open-minded manner including with opposition parties.

The new Chair must hit the ground running. As well as scrutinising the recent spending round and coming budget the committee’s urgent focus must be Brexit. The committee must play a high profile role in further scrutinising both the likely results of a no deal and the recently negotiated agreement, along with the Government’s proposals for capitalising on the opportunities and minimising the risks.

I supported remain, accept the referendum result and am realistic about the challenging consequences of a no deal.

Select Committees have a powerful role in ensuring that conclusions are reached on the basis of a thorough examination of the evidence and I will ensure that when it comes to Brexit these issues are approached objectively.

I have a particular insight into no-deal preparations around tariffs, customs and excise, having exercised strategic oversight of HMRC for 2 years and having served on cabinet committees tasked with preparedness.

My keen interest in Northern Ireland, having served on the Northern Ireland Select Committee is known across the House.

I would also wish to continue to look at some of the vital issues that the committee has already considered so well such as regional imbalances in the UK economy, business rates (as someone who spent 20 years as an entrepreneur in the UK and the US I fully appreciate the importance of fair business taxation), fair banking and women in finance.

My determination to address the high effective marginal tax rates still faced by those on Universal Credit (especially lower income families with children) is rooted in my commitment to social justice. The taxation of internet platform-based businesses where much more remains to be done also requires further prompt consideration.

Another area to consider is the effectiveness of the £20 billion a year allocated to business tax reliefs which has been under scrutinised and is money that could work harder for businesses right across the UK.

I would of course also be guided by the priorities of the other committee members and colleagues more generally.


Mel Stride is Conservative MP for Central Devon. 

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