Reflecting on what has been the most challenging year for our country since the war, I wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone for the heroic efforts that have been made over the past ten months.
From those working in our NHS, to teachers, postal workers, refuse collectors and shop staff - you have all played a vital role in serving and protecting our community, and I thank you.
I have also been touched by the many stories of kindness from volunteers and the immense personal sacrifices that people have made throughout the course of the pandemic.
I am acutely aware that this Christmas has been extremely difficult for many, who have sadly been unable to see their loved ones as they would have hoped.
The mutation of the Coronavirus, which appears to increase the rate of transmission, has forced the Government to take further action, including, regrettably, moving Derbyshire into Tier 4, in order to drive the ‘R’ rate down, save lives and protect our precious NHS over the winter months ahead.
Whilst the Tiers remain under constant review, the only way to guarantee that we can begin to move down the levels is to follow the rules, something which I trust you will all continue to do.
The shining light through these most uncertain times is that, with the approval of the second Coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and the further rollout of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, we enter 2021 with a renewed confidence that we can beat this virus and reclaim our lives in the New Year.
With best wishes for 2021,
Maggie Throup MP
Member of Parliament for Erewash
P.S. - Brexit Done, Deal Done!
At the General Election in December 2019, the Prime Minister promised to ‘Get Brexit Done’ and to negotiate a new trade deal with the European Union by the end of the transition period on 31st December 2020.
Whilst we may have left the EU last January, many doubted that a deal would be possible within the specified timeframe, especially given the immense challenges faced by governments, both at home and abroad, in respect of the Coronavirus pandemic.
However, with the passage of the European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020, and after an interval of 48 years, today Britain proudly steps forward once again as an independent sovereign nation, ready to begin our new relationship with the EU.
The deal that the UK has negotiated and approved is the first Free Trade Agreement the EU has ever reached based on zero tariffs and zero quotas, and returns full control over our money, borders, laws, trade and waters.
From 1st January 2021, we are no longer bound by EU law; there is no role for the European Court of Justice; all of our key red lines about returning sovereignty have been achieved; we have regained full political and economic independence, and our laws will once again be solely determined by our own elected representatives here in the UK.
Whatever your preference at the 2016 Referendum, whether it was to leave or remain, we must all acknowledge that this deal is an immense achievement for our country and delivers on the commitment made to the British people at the General Election last December.