As I write, we still have no idea whether the UK will secure a trading deal with the EU after the 31 December or if we are crashing out with no deal. This past year was supposed to be the transition period in the Brexit process - the period of time in which businesses, consumers, and regulatory agencies had to adapt to the new UK-EU trading relationship. Instead there will be, at best, a few days’ notice. This is completely unacceptable and will mean disruption as businesses adapt to new arrangements.
In July a number of constituents wrote to me to raise their concerns about keeping our high food standards in any trade deal with the US.
I recently received this response from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Victoria Prentis MP.
I’ve been clear that I oppose this Government’s decision to cut the UK aid budget from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent of GDP. This only saves approximately £4 billion but will have a significant impact in supporting people in need across the world, especially during a global pandemic.
I wrote to the Chancellor and urged him to reconsider this decision.
I met with Royal Mail to raise concerns about local postal delays and press for a better service.
Staff and agency shortages as a result of COVID and the additional volume of post are contributing to the delays and missed post. Please let me know of your own experience. A number of households are receiving post on alternate days when there are staff shortages.
Please open the pdf attachment below to read the response in full.
This week I've heard from public health officials who are very concerned about rising COVID levels.
Please think carefully about household mixing during Christmas. Just because we can mix with other households, doesn't mean we should. We all need to work together to protect the NHS and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.
I challenged the top civil servant at the Department for Education over the plans for schools returning in January.
I was astounded that the day before schools broke up for the holiday, the most senior education civil servant could not reveal any details whatsoever as no decision had yet been taken.
The Government’s now rushed out further details, but schools have had no time to prepare. This is not good enough. I’ll continuing making the point to ministers and pressing the Government to involve school representatives in these decisions.
On 2 December the Home Office scheduled a departure flight to Jamaica.
Before the flight’s departure, I wrote to the Home Secretary on this issue and have now received the below response. Please open the pdf attachment at the bottom of this post to see the response in full.
This time last year the Prime Minister promised us an "oven-ready" Brexit deal. Instead, we're now looking at the failure of a No Deal Brexit.
This is wholly irresponsible.
Failure to secure a good trade deal with the European Union will mean higher tariffs on foods and exports, and so higher prices for businesses and consumers. I'll keep pressing against this and keep you updated.