We are aware that there have been problems with Coronavirus testing as a result of delays due to capacity issues at the labs, which have been triggered by a sudden uptake of people needing tests. The Government’s number one priority is to fix these issues, including increasing the number of test centres, increasing lab capacity & opening new labs and creating a testing priority list (including some key workers and the vulnerable).

Thank you to all of the Swindon residents who have raised their concerns and experiences with me. I know it’s frustrating but I will continue to work with local and national leaders to deliver improvements.

This week in Parliament has been dominated by debate over the Internal Markets Bill. Whilst there are lots of things said on social media, I wanted to clarify a few facts about the Bill and its intentions.

The European Union has made it clear that unless we agree to their terms, the EU will use an extreme interpretation of the Northern Ireland protocol to impose a full-scale trade border down the Irish sea. We are being told that the EU will not only impose tariffs on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, but that they might actually stop the transport of food products from GB to NI. For centuries we have benefited from seamless and unhindered trade across all four parts of the United Kingdom – it is disgraceful that the EU would threaten to stop this as a way to exert leverage against the UK in our ongoing negotiations.

This Bill therefore guarantees that the UK stays connected and united whatever the outcome of the current negotiations with the EU. This should rightly be a priority of any UK Government.

Over the weekend, the UK’s Chief Brexit Negotiator, Lord David Frost, clarified why the UK Internal Market Bill will protect the unity of the UK and our internal market. He also set out why the Bill will preserve peace and the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

Ensuring the unrestricted movement of goods across all four nations is absolutely crucial, with a common framework which will include the highest possible standards in food and other goods. No one can dispute the importance of this.

Many who are opposed to Brexit have made a lot of noise about International Law Breaking – despite the EU and many other EU countries having routinely violated obligations under international law. Under David Cameron, the UK Parliament refused to back votes for prisoners – a direct violation of the judgement from the European Court of Human Rights. And as anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller confirmed in law through the Supreme Court – on these issues, Parliament is sovereign.

However, the Prime Minister has made it clear that this is ONLY an insurance policy, should the European Union continue to disregard the unity of the UK and threaten to stop food imports to Northern Ireland. It appears those MPs who had issues are now satisfied this is an insurance policy and would be subject to full Parliamentary scrutiny.

As the Prime Minister said on Monday, ‘let’s say together to our European friends that we want a great future relationship and a fantastic free trade deal, but we will not get there if they seek to divide us.’ We remain committed to positive and constructive negotiations to reach a free trade agreement with the EU, talks (which are ongoing as we speak) remain positive.