Westminster Diary - Re-opening the economy

The impact of COVID-19 has been felt by every one of us, and has impacted our lives in immeasurable ways.

This pandemic is the biggest challenge we have faced as a country in decades and it remains of vital importance that we do all we can to continue to supress the spread of the virus. I know that the lockdown has caused pain and suffering for families right across Rugby and Bulkington and that incredible sacrifices have been made, but in the fight against this deadly disease we are making progress.

Whilst ensuring we all remain safe, stay alert, save lives and continue to protect our NHS, it is essential that we maintain our journey towards re-opening our country.

Over recent weeks many businesses, retailers and High Street shops have begun to re-open, and more will do so in the weeks ahead. Similarly, our schools are beginning to take in more and more pupils. Ensuring all of our children return to school safely is of paramount importance, and I want to see every child back in the classroom as quickly as possible. A good education is the bedrock of creating equality of opportunity, which is something we all want to achieve.

As with most other organisations, the way in which our democratic institutions operate has changed since our country began the fight against the virus. By using new technology, the essential functions of Parliament have been able to continue. The ‘Hybrid Parliament’ system enabled MPs to work remotely and debates and the questioning of Government Ministers has continued; as has the passage of crucial Government legislation.

Similarly, the essential work of Select Committees in Parliament has been able to continue thanks to the use of technology. As a member of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, since the lockdown began, I have been able to take evidence from numerous experts on how best to re-open and reinvigorate our economy and get our country back to work.

The Government has rightly been focussed on saving lives, but we also need to ensure we save livelihoods here in Rugby and Bulkington, and throughout our country. Over the coming weeks I will continue to do all I can to ensure this happens; and that our country safely navigates its exit from lockdown to recovery.