It is hard to believe that this time last year, Parliament was in deadlock, unable to pass the Meaningful Vote, lurching from crisis to crisis- the Conservative Party at war with itself and the opposition able to inflict damage on the Government at a stroke. What a difference a few months make. The General Election result, although difficult for us here in Scotland, gave the Conservative Party a huge majority and a mandate to deliver on the 2016 referendum and, in the words of the Prime Minister, “Get Brexit Done.” And we have.
On the 31st January this year, the UK officially left the European Union. There is still much work to do- we remain in the Transition Period and negotiations on our future relationship, with the EU and with other partners around the world, have begun in earnest. And these will be difficult at times. But the Government is determined to get a great deal for Britain- establishing ourselves once more as an independent sovereign country, striking trade deals and developing relationships with friends, old and new, across the globe. It is an extremely exciting time for our country. Just this week we announced our plans for an American trade deal – something I wrote about in the Times (INSERT LINK HERE)
The majority has also done something else – allowed the Government to govern. No more lurching from day to day, but instead getting on and implementing our manifesto commitments – making this the greatest country in which to be a veteran, levelling up and investing in all our nations and regions, building the physical and digital infrastructure necessary to make the UK ready for the challenges of the mid-21st century, investing in our armed forces, delivering an oil and gas sector deal and delivering on our commitment, enshrined in law, to be the first net zero country in the world by 20505- a huge and ambitious commitment and one which we will not shirk from. We already have a great story to tell on reducing our carbon emissions- leading the way in comparison to any other advanced economy in the world, and we will continue- proving that the solutions to climate change will be found by supporting an innovative and thriving market economy.
Obviously there are clouds on the horizon. Coronavirus is a serious threat to people’s health and will have a knock on effect in terms on world economic growth. But we have a plan- developed with the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish administrations, to contain, delay, research and mitigate the effects of the disease on our country and I have full confidence in our authorities and our NHS to do just that.
*Andrews E-Newsletter article, March 2020