THE LAST couple of weeks have been crucial in beginning to re-start our economy. I recently participated in the debate on new laws that will allow cafes, pubs and restaurants to offer additional seating outside. I welcome this legislation – with some minor reservations – and wish all local businesses reopening every success. We must however ensure these laws do not make our high streets inaccessible for people with sight loss and other disabilities.
There is a duty on us all to prevent the spread of the disease, demonstrated by the uptick in cases in Leicester. I recently visited Warwick town centre and was impressed by the way that shops have responded with safety measures. Many businesses had concerns about the road changes in the town centre reducing footfall and I made representations to Warwickshire County Council on their behalf: I am pleased that the council listened and that alterations have now been made.
The chancellor is expected to provide a major economic statement next week. My party has been clear that this must be laser-focused on protecting and creating jobs, given that unemployment is likely to rocket. I’ve written to the chancellor and business secretary asking to meet with me to discuss urgent economic measures for our automotive industry, which is already suffering significant job losses.
Elsewhere, the government’s negotiations with the USA to strike a trade deal are well underway. As I sit on two committees which scrutinise the Trade Bill, I have seen first-hand the plans this government has for this deal. Unfortunately, the government has refused to put into law important safeguards to protect our NHS from increased medicine costs and further privatisation, and similarly refused to put into law protections on Britain’s high food standards. I am also particularly concerned for the future of the UK automotive industry.
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