John Lamont is Conservative MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

Economic Figures

Some good news amongst all the drama surrounding Brexit is that the UK’s economy remains really strong. The number of people in work is at a record high and our employment rate of 76.1 per cent is considerably better than the USA’s and well above France’s and Italy’s. Unemployment has fallen by 35,000 putting the unemployment rate below four per cent for the first time since 1975. Wages are rising faster than inflation and borrowing is at its lowest level for 17 years.

With more than two-thirds of these new jobs full-time and wages now growing faster than inflation, this is a sign that people are moving from benefits to good, secure jobs.

And here in the Borders, unemployment is falling when you adjust figures for the roll out of Universal Credit (which requires more people to look for work) and there are signs that our high streets are turning a corner.

This is all reassuring news in the face of all the uncertainty going on at the moment. Despite everything that is said about the damage Brexit is doing, the UK and Scottish economies remain strong.

Not everything is rosy, there is clearly more work to be done to bring better paid jobs to the Borders. I am hoping that the £320m Borderlands Growth Deal will boost the chances of this happening. However, it is clear that our local and national economies remain strong, despite Brexit.

Earth Hour

I hope you will consider taking part in Earth Hour this month (on Saturday, March, 30 at 8.30pm).

In the UK, every year millions of people take part in Earth Hour, joining hundreds of millions more around the globe. The world’s biggest landmarks – such as the Sydney Opera House, Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower and in Scotland Edinburgh Castle and the Kelpies – switch off lights as a visual display of their commitment to our planet. And closer to home, people in the Borders, schools and council buildings will turn off their lights to raise awareness of some of the biggest environmental challenges we are facing.

I was pleased to attend a WWF Parliamentary reception in Westminster to make a pledge for the environment and to help promote Earth Hour.


Thank you to the hundreds, perhaps thousands of constituents who have got in touch over the past few weeks about Brexit. I understand there are strong feelings about this issue and with sincerely held views from let’s leave immediately right through to let’s abandon Brexit entirely. Whatever happens in the coming days and weeks, there is clearly a lot of work to be done to bring the country together and to move on.

I will continue to respect the result of the referendum and deliver the certainty that businesses in the Borders and across the UK want.

Please feel free to get in touch or check my website for further information about my approach and my priorities.

Advice Surgeries

My next round of advice surgeries will be taking place on Monday, April 8. I’ll be holding them in Newcastleton at 9am, Hawick at 10.30am, Galashiels at noon, Lauder at 2pm, Jedburgh at 3.30pm and Coldstream at 4.45pm. As always, no appointment is necessary, so if there is an issue I can help with or which you’d like to speak to me about, do come along.