Political column: Lockdown is a tough but necessary measure

Last week, parliament voted for the prime minister’s proposal for a second lockdown.

This wasn’t an easy decision, neither for the prime minister nor MPs who, including me, voted overwhelmingly in favour of this decision, writes Andrea Jenkyns MP.

We are aware that a lockdown is a drastic measure, with a severe impact on the economy, individual livelihoods and the physical and mental health of many people.

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It is, though, a measure necessary to break the chain of transmission of this terrible virus, as advised by the leading scientists in our country, and a limited one.

We are also better prepared than the first wave, with fewer restrictions on trade and circulation than we saw in March.

I hope we can show the same community spirit as we did earlier this year, supporting our neighbours and our local businesses.

Help is out there for those who need it, and we should all make an effort to check more regularly on our friends and families.

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In a crisis, emergency services have a fundamental role in keeping people safe.

I was proud to speak out for emergency services’ workers during a debate in Westminster, calling for harsher punishment to those who attack our police forces, our NHS staff and our firefighters.

We have a duty to protect those who protect us.

In these days, we remember all those who gave their lives for our great country.

It has been a different Remembrance Day from what we are used to in Morley and Outwood, where we are used to a great celebration involving the schools and all the population.

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I laid wreaths to remember the fallen at the memorials around my constituency.

Although there are many obvious differences, it is easy to make a parallel with our current situation and the fight with this invisible and deadly virus.

I hope we can keep the community spirit that our ancestors showed in a time of crisis and get out of this situation together.

With December approaching, the transition period will end and we will leave the European Union in full.

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I have fought consistently for Brexit even before I was elected in 2015, and I know that most of our area voted overwhelmingly to take back control.

While negotiations are ongoing, and I hope will end with a beneficial arrangement for both sides, businesses need to prepare.

This can be done using the guidance available on Gov.uk.

Brexit will give us a unique opportunity to shape the future of our country as an independent and sovereign nation.

I have written to the chancellor and proposed to the business secretary a two-tier VAT, with lower rates for the shops on our high street.

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As a former retailer, I know that November and December are cardinal moments for the industry, and with lockdown and the rise of internet shopping, we have to support our independent businesses and keep our high streets thriving, shopping local wherever possible.

My team and I are at hand to offer support during this difficult time.

Please contact me as usual at [email protected].

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