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“I will not vote to trigger Article 50 without a real plan for the future”

Next week Parliament will be asked to vote on triggering Article 50, beginning the formal process of withdrawal from the European Union.

While I did not support leaving the EU, the referendum was a democratic exercise and I believe the results should be respected. I do not believe we should ignore the voices of those people that did vote to leave the EU, but my constituency overwhelmingly voted to remain.

Our economy is fragile, especially our international exchange rates, since the decision to leave the EU. I am concerned by the lack of planning by the Government for what has happened in the previous sixth months and worry that we face threats the Government is ill prepared to face.

Membership of European Union includes affiliation with a number of important coordinating bodies that increase British influence, streamline administration and make doing business easier across the continent.

Virendra Sharma, MP, Ealing, Southall:

I will not vote for a Brexit blank cheque. I consider continued cooperation with the ‘European Medicines Agency’, the ‘European Aviation Safety Agency’ and the ‘European Police Office’ (Europol) essential to British prosperity and security.

I cannot in good conscience vote to trigger Article 50 while it will threaten people’s jobs, wages and pensions. Access to the Single Market and a legal commitment to ensure the labour rights, health and safety protections, consumer rights, and environmental standards we currently enjoy are all key to my political beliefs.

If we cannot get clarity on our relationship with crucial international institutions then I will not vote to trigger Article 50 without a real plan for the future"

I will not vote to trigger Article 50 without a real plan for the future

“I will not vote to trigger Article 50 without a real plan for the future” Next week Parliament will be asked to vote on triggering Article 50, beginning the formal...

Republic Day 2017

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I would like to firstly wish each and every one of you a Happy Republic Day.

Each year we celebrate the country that India is, and reflect on where we have come from and where we are going. A nation founded on the Nehruvian principles of equality, secularity and freedom, today we are given an opportunity to celebrate what makes India great.

70 years ago India’s founders dreamt that a better nation was possible and they created one. When we see challenges ahead of us now we must not think they are unassailable, but instead we should emulate India’s founders and create a better country than we found.

I hope that all of us can learn from the lessons of India and be the change we want to see in all spheres, personal, social and political. No challenge is too great when the power of the largest democracy or one person driven with a real desire to change things is behind you.

Happy Republic Day.

Happy Republic Day 2017

Republic Day 2017   I would like to firstly wish each and every one of you a Happy Republic Day. Each year we celebrate the country that India is, and...

Safe use of drones would protect Heathrow

In the first six months of 2016, there were more reported near misses between drones and aircraft over the UK than in the whole of 2015. More recently, a drone the size of a football flew within 20m of a passenger jet as it approached Heathrow Airport. With drone use becoming increasingly popular, I am raising awareness of how to use drones safely to ensure such incidents are avoided.

Public use of UAVs and drones has been growing for some time now, with drones becoming cheaper and more toy-like. However, the effect of their presence near aircraft in the sky is very real. When using drones, please ensure that they are visible at all times, flown below 400ft and not flown over congested areas. The safer drones are flown, the more they can be used and the safer Heathrow Airport and its passengers will be. I am calling on the Home Secretary to do more to protect the residents of Ealing, if actions aren’t taken soon then it is only a matter of time until a horrible accident.

Because of this threat I have asked the Home Secretary to take action to improve safety for those of us living near Heathrow. I have also asked her to support a new information awareness campaign to ensure that UAV and drone flyers know the danger they may pose if they ignore the regulations.”

Virendra Sharma MP

An investigation into the near miss around Heathrow Airport has concluded that the drone had endangered the lives of those on the plane as a collision had only narrowly been avoided. In response, Sion Roberts, head of drone training academy RUSTA, said, “It is vital that distributors and sellers make their customers aware of the rules.”

The Civil Aviation Authority have stated that it is “totally unacceptable to fly drones close to aircraft and airports” and that “anyone flouting the rules can face severe penalties including time in prison.” 

Drone Awareness Campaign

Safe use of drones would protect Heathrow In the first six months of 2016, there were more reported near misses between drones and aircraft over the UK than in the...

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I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a wonderful New Year.

Scan0002-2.jpgWith the birth of the New Year we reflect on the past year. The joy we have derived from the birth of loved ones and sadness from those who have passed. We have spent another year with our families and friends and hopefully become better people in the process.

As a Member of Parliament I always enjoy the New Year. Everyone returns to Parliament after Christmas and New Year with a renewed sense of purpose and more energy. I hope that after the holiday we can all return to whatever we do with a newly found energy and commitment to do better than we did last year.

I hope you all enjoy your New Year and I wish you the best for 2017.

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Merry Christmas 2016

I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a wonderful New Year. With the birth of the New Year we reflect on the past year. The...

We must end the continued uncertainty surrounding 500 and 1000 Indian Rupee notes
Still a month after the announcement of the demonetisation of 500 and 1000 Indian Rupee notes millions of NRIs are living with uncertainty. The stress and strain of not knowing whether families will lose money they can not afford to is causing too much suffering after weeks of delay.
 
Thousands of families have a small amount of currency at home, to save exchanging money at the airport. These are the people that are accidentally being punished. Having a few thousands rupees does not make you a money launderer, and still they are suffering.
 
The Indian Government should authorise large Indian Banks with operations in the UK to open accounts for deposits of Indian Rupees. This money should then be held and made available for withdrawal only in India. This would protect the economy, but still offer freedom to many thousands of Indian Citizens and NRIs not based in India."
 
Virendra Sharma MP

End the continued uncertainty surrounding 500 and 1000 Indian Rupee notes

We must end the continued uncertainty surrounding 500 and 1000 Indian Rupee notes Still a month after the announcement of the demonetisation of 500 and 1000 Indian Rupee notes millions of NRIs...

I have written to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and the Transport for London Commissioner, Mike Brown, to request reassurances that there will not be a repeat of last weekend’s disastrous Piccadilly Line meltdown.

In the letter I said:

Over last weekend and the beginning of this week services have significantly decreased in number until residents could expect only one train every 20 minutes. This is not a sustainable situation, and while I understand that there are issues around the age of the rolling stock and environmental problems which require innovative solutions, public transport in London is a critical infrastructure and cannot be avoided.

I hope that you will as Chair of TfL put together a team to look at the smooth running of the Piccadilly Line, serving millions across the capital, so that I can reassure my constituents that their concerns are being taken seriously.”

 

Further to the letter:

Rolling stock on the Piccadilly Line is outdated and the service disruptions all too regular. Millions across London rely on the Piccadilly Line to get them to work and home again, along with thousands in my constituency of Ealing, Southall. They are currently being let down by a programme of maintenance which has failed to keep up with winter pressures.”

Ealing, Southall and West London deserve better from the Piccadilly Line

I have written to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and the Transport for London Commissioner, Mike Brown, to request reassurances that there will not be a repeat of last...

Research by leading safety charity, Electrical Safety First, found that 1 in 6 consumers in the UK have bought a fake electrical item as a Christmas gift – and most of us are unable to identify a genuine electrical product from a fake.

Electrical_Safety_First_.jpgNow Virendra Sharma MP, Ealing, Southall,  is helping the charity raise awareness of the dangers of counterfeits in the run up to the Christmas shopping period when high street and digital retailers offer a range of special offers and discounts. 

“Christmas is always expensive and we are all keen to get a bargain but Electrical Safety First’s research makes it clear that shoppers must beware of fakes – particularly via the web”, explains Virendra Sharma MP. “The Charity found that 3 out of 5 fake electricals are purchased online, with a third of buyers experiencing major problems with the item. And with almost half of all domestic fires in UK homes caused by electricity, this is a risk you don’t want to take.”

Electrical Safety First also found that it’s not always easy for people to spot a counterfeit product. Three quarters of UK consumers were unable to identify Genuine GHD hair straighteners and 3 in 5 could not spot a fake Apple charger - and with the rise of online shopping, it can be even more difficult.  One in 5 online shoppers admitted they didn’t consider the authenticity of the product, with over half simply presuming that the electrical items for sale online were genuine.

And, of course, some people are deliberately buying fake products. One in 6 of those surveyed said they would consider buying a product – even if they suspected it was fake – if it was cheaper than the original.

Virendra Sharma MP added “Fake goods are often cheaper because they omit key components which can affect both the safety and functionality of the product. To make sure you buy ‘the genuine article’, Electrical Safety First has developed advice to help people spot a fake electrical product. Visit: www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/electrical-items/safe-shopping/ to find out more. I’m urging all my constituents to check this before they do their Christmas shopping.”

ELECTRICAL BARGAINS NOT ALL THEY SEEM

Research by leading safety charity, Electrical Safety First, found that 1 in 6 consumers in the UK have bought a fake electrical item as a Christmas gift – and most of...

I recently attended an event in parliament to learn more about initiatives that offer help to those struggling with their energy bills.

ESG_Launch.jpgI was surprised to hear that 92% of households in Ealing Southall have not taken advantage of the significant savings available by switching energy supplier.

With many people struggling to pay their bills this winter I encourage everyone to shop around and see if there is a better deal for them. I know that switching can seem like a daunting task but the Energy Switch Guarantee promises to make it simple, quick and safe.

If you struggle to pay your bills get in touch with your supplier. There are many initiatives and schemes that can help you.

I'm backing the Energy Switch Guarantee

I recently attended an event in parliament to learn more about initiatives that offer help to those struggling with their energy bills. I was surprised to hear that 92% of...

Virendra Sharma MP visited a Guide Dogs event in Parliament on 16th November to show his support for taxi and minicab drivers receiving disability equality training when getting their licence. A Private Member’s Bill that sought to introduce such training was debated on 18th November but was not voted on due to a lack of time.

Guide_Dogs_.JPGAt the event, guide dog owners told the MP for Ealing, Southall how taxi and minicab drivers refused to carry them because they had their guide dog with them. They explained that they had missed important appointments due to the refusals and how it had left them anxious and reluctant to use taxis and minicabs again. 

Although the Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal for a taxi or minicab driver to refuse to carry an assistance dog, Guide Dogs research found that 42% of people living with sight loss were turned away by a taxi or minicab in the last year because of their guide dog. The research also uncovered that 38% of assistance dog owners have illegally been asked to pay an extra fare for carrying their dog.

Guide Dogs is calling for disability equality training to be made a requirement for all taxi and minicab drivers to help them understand the rights and needs of disabled people and how to welcome assistance dog owners. 

Virendra Sharma MP commented:

It is shameful to hear from so many people who are illegally turned away from taxis and minicabs because they travel with an assistance dog. I’m asking the Government to act to ensure all taxi and minicab drivers receive disability equality training so they are aware of the law and how to assist their disabled customers in the right way.”

 

James White, Senior Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, commented:

Imagine you were turned away by a taxi driver or asked to pay an extra fare, for no good reason. Despite legal protection, this regularly happens to people living with sight loss because they are travelling with a guide dog. 

This discrimination is not only illegal, it knocks people’s confidence and can stop them doing everyday things that most people take for granted.

We are very disappointed that we didn’t see a vote on the Disability Equality Training Bill. We were encouraged by the Government’s supportive comments and hope they will take action to introduce training for all taxi and minicab drivers.”

“Stop discrimination against disabled people” says Virendra Sharma MP

Virendra Sharma MP visited a Guide Dogs event in Parliament on 16th November to show his support for taxi and minicab drivers receiving disability equality training when getting their licence. A Private...

WhatsApp_Image_2016-11-18_at_07.36.25.jpegHis Holiness Sri  Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar swamy Ji presenting the book on Sri Ramanuja Sahasrabdhi, Statue of Equality(http://statueofequality.org/), to Virendra Sharma, Member of Parliament for Ealing, Southall.

The Statue of Equality is a project dedicated to the great icon of Equality, Sri Ramanujacharya Swamy who created a case for equality bringing the down-trodden into temples In India 1000 years ago. Virendra Sharma MP and Sri  Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar swamy Ji discussed the importance of equality in society and their shared view that for too long inequality has been too great.
Virendra Sharma MP said:
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It is an absolute pleasure to be here with you today, I am grateful for your hospitality and to see your humility.There is much that many people could learn from you, and I am proud to have spent my life campaigning for and working towards more equality for the worst off in society.Your message is an inspiration for me to keep striving and to thousands more that believe in your teachings. I hope one day to visit the Statue of Equality which is a truly important project and concept."
Statue of Equality will be constructed in Shamshabad, Telangana, India. His holiness also presented Virendra Sharma MP with a signed copy of   Sri Ramanujacharya Swamy's  biography, a divine ornament and a sacred cloth. His holiness kindly explained the details of the Statue of Equality project.
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Virendra Sharma MP honoured by His Holiness Sri Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar swamy Ji

His Holiness Sri  Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar swamy Ji presenting the book on Sri Ramanuja Sahasrabdhi, Statue of Equality(http://statueofequality.org/), to Virendra Sharma, Member of Parliament for Ealing, Southall. The Statue of...

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