As we emerge out of lockdown and rediscover our confidence, both personally and economically, I want to thank all those who have gone above and beyond in this crisis in supporting people in their community.

My post bag, and indeed the role of MP, has been the busiest many of my longer serving colleagues have ever known. Whilst it is difficult to reflect this adequately in my column, I want to address two of the most pressing issues coming in.

First is regarding the recent protests which have taken place across the UK, and growing campaign to remove statues and ignore some of our history - both good and bad. Racism in all of its forms must be challenged head on and education lies at the heart of combatting it, not the removal of statues. I would strongly associate myself with the comments of Sir Geoff Palmer, the first black professor in Scotland, that destroying monuments means atrocities of the past are forgotten. A full and frank discussion about the people these statues are of, and what they did and represent, will go much further than their outright removal and eventual forgetting of who they are.

Secondly, the ongoing discussions around trade. As we leave the EU and start a new relationship with the world, we need to form trade agreements quickly. Rightly, British consumers want food they consume to have been treated with the same high welfare standards we have always maintained within this country, and if our trading partners want to break into the UK market, they should expect to meet those standards. The manifesto I stood on was clear that in all trade negotiations, our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards will not be compromised. The Government will stand firm in trade negotiations to ensure any deals live up to the values of our farming community and consumers.

I know all too well that our agricultural community in Montgomeryshire are rightly proud of the food they produce, and many are looking forward to exporting their high-quality produce to new markets across the world. They also expect the domestic market to continue to uphold these standards, which they will.

As well as these standards, I want a far more transparent supply network and in this vein, I’m working to strengthen our labelling regulations to ensure that consumers know exactly what they are buying, and from where.

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