THIS week, Buckingham MP Greg Smith writes:

With the local elections, it has been some weeks since I have been able to write for this paper. In that time the first Parliamentary session since my election in 2019 came to an end. As we start a bold new session, as outlined in last week’s Queens Speech, it is worth reflecting on what has been achieved so far.

Whilst most of the first session was dominated by Covid-19, the Government has made significant progress in passing new laws, delivering on our manifesto promises. Laws to protect our NHS, drive jobs and regain control over our trade and borders.

This includes putting the record £33.9 billion funding commitment for NHS frontline services into law through the NHS Funding Act, guaranteeing the biggest cash boost in history for the years ahead – while the Medicines and Medical Devices Act has secured faster and safer access to innovative medicines for patients.

Following the UK’s departure from the EU and the end of the transition period, the Government has also delivered a number of laws so that the UK can take advantage of the opportunities ahead as an independent sovereign nation.

The Trade Act passed in this session has established the legal framework to help the UK strike new trade deals around the world, the Agriculture Act has freed British farmers from the unfair and bureaucratic Common Agricultural Policy, the historic Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Act has allowed the UK to take back control of its borders, and the Fisheries Act allows the UK to decide who fishes in our waters and under what terms.

Tougher sentences for terrorists were introduced through the Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Act, and the landmark Domestic Abuse Act will help tackle the devastating impact of domestic abuse – helping to protect the public, cut crime and make sure that the UK builds back safer from the pandemic.

A total 44 Government Bills were passed during the session, and over 1,400 pieces of secondary legislation were also approved by Parliament, as well as a number of Private Members’ Bills. Of course, there remains much, much more to do. But the laws passed since 2019 show a determination to deliver on the priorities people set us at the last General Election.