2020 is certain to be an historic year for our sceptered isles. We will leave the European Union and chart a new relationship with our closest geographical neighbours, based on free trade and security co-operation. The coming 12 months will also empower us as an outward looking economy seeking beneficial new trade agreements all around the world. Our businesses will be unfettered in approaching new markets and opportunities large and small; including many here in Maidstone and The Weald.
Staying with the international agenda, the environment must also sit at the forefront of our activities as the bush fires in Australia continue to rage on an unprecedented scale. Climate change may not be the prime culprit there but it is considered a significant factor by leading authorities, and in November this year we have a fantastic opportunity to inspire global action as we host the COP26 conference in Glasgow. Rising tensions in the Middle East will continue to feature heavily, with US foreign policy there surely being influenced by the presidential election. The UK must play its part by encouraging de-escalation and diplomacy in the region.
Closer to home, the year ahead will see renewed investment in our public services. Here in Maidstone and The Weald I will be working to ensure we secure our fair share so that: our hospital services are protected, all our schools receive an increase in real terms funding, there are more uniformed police officers on our streets and tangible improvements are made to our transport infrastructure; including our City train service.
In sport we have another Olympics to savour in the land of the rising sun and the Euro 2020 final on Wembley’s hallowed soil. On a personal front my eldest son is to be wed in July and I look forward to my family gathering together in celebration. I wish you all well in 2020.