2020 has been a year many of us would rather forget, and I am acutely aware of the traumatic impact the coronavirus has had on our community.
But, despite the tragedies we have experienced, I think we can also reflect on the positive aspects of these last several months. First, the tremendous volunteering effort we have seen across Rushmoor and Hart - supporting the most vulnerable in society. Also, the magnificent work of staff in our NHS and care sector who have done such an incredible job keeping us and our loved ones safe. And the tireless efforts of all other essential workers, including local teachers and teaching staff, and members of our Armed Forces.
In the first week, over 137,000 people have received their first dose of the vaccine and we can be incredibly proud of the amazing rollout and development of our vaccination programme. I very much hope, as we move forwards towards the Spring, we will continue to make great strides in beating this terrible disease.
Against that background, we have also been negotiating our free trade deal with the European Union, and I know that the Prime Minister - whatever the outcome - will be looking to protect our country's national interest and sovereignty. I am hopeful, and quite optimistic, that we will do a deal in the coming days. I expect Parliament to be recalled to ratify that deal before 31st December, and look forward to playing my part in passing that through the House of Commons.
I hope 2021 will be a year of progress and prosperity. I wish you and your family a very happy Christmas, and a safe and healthy New Year.
With very best wishes,
Leo Docherty MP
Member of Parliament for Aldershot