The 2019-21 parliamentary session, which commenced following the last General Election, has now closed. In spite of the pandemic both Government and Parliament have been busy, passing 44 new bills on issues which are often raised with me including the UK’s future outside of the EU, guaranteed record NHS funding, and tougher sentences for the most serious crimes.
Shortly after the 2019 General Election the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act completed its passage through Parliament, allowing the UK to Get Brexit Done and leave the EU as instructed by the British people.
As a result, the Immigration & Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Act was able to end free movement and introduce the new points-based immigration system. Now, for the first time in a generation, this country is able to decide who comes to the UK based on the skills they have to offer, rather than where they are from.
To date, 67 trade deals worth almost £900 billion have been signed into law, securing Britain’s place as a free trading nation. For the first time in almost half a century, the interests of the British people and businesses can be put first in our trade agreements.
In January 2020 I spoke in the Commons in support of the Government’s NHS Funding Bill. This legislation, which became law two months later, delivers the biggest cash boost for the NHS in its history.
The NHS Funding Act enshrined in law an extra £33.9 billion every year by 2024 for the NHS, representing the commitment of all to support our NHS and everyone who works there.
Our NHS hospitals have also been given the power to use innovative and personalised medicines for unique cancers and disease. The Medicines & Medical Devices Act empowers those in the NHS who know what is best for patients, and gives our health service the ability to innovate further to improve people’s lives and protect patient safety.
Other legislation passed includes the Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Act, ending automatic early release of terrorists and giving the public the protection they deserve.
Murderers and paedophiles who withhold information on their victims will also spend longer in prison, with the Government’s Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Act for the first time placing a legal duty on the Parole Board to consider the further hurt caused by such offenders if they refuse to provide information about their victims.
This is all in addition to Covid-19 support which continues to be a source of assistance for many in Crawley. In the next parliamentary session, which starts this week, I will continue to stand up for local families, workers and businesses as we build back better from the pandemic.
Henry Smith MP