Dominic Raab MP's January 2020 e-bulletin View this email in your browser ([link removed])
Dom Raab MP's January 2020 E-Bulletin
Locally this month I visited the Barclays Esher branch to officially launch the 'Your Bank' initiative and attended meetings with Surrey County Council Leader Tim Oliver, Cobham Free School and Heathside Walton.
Up at Westminster, in my role as Foreign Secretary, I hosted the first UK-Africa Investment Summit, updated the House of Commons on the security situation in Iran and opened a day of debate on the Queen's Speech, setting out the government's foreign policy priorities.
This month, the International Monetary Fund's latest forecasts show the UK economy growing faster than Germany, France and the eurozone as a whole in 2020 and 2021. Finally, with the Brexit deal becoming law on 23 January, I hope we can all put the divisions of the last three years behind us, moving forwards as we - as a government - focus on delivering on the people's priorities.
Dom with Cobham Free School Sixth Formers, at the new permanent site at Munro House.
This month, I met with Surrey County Council Leader Tim Oliver and Michaela Khatib and Howard Morris, of Cobham Free School, to discuss the opening of the permanent site at Munro House. I was delighted to meet some of the Sixth Form pupils that have already moved in to the new site and hear about the progress that is being made towards the rest of the school's pupils moving in, in September. You can read more on my blog here ([link removed]) . ([link removed])
I also met with Anne Cullum, Executive Head of the ElmWey Learning Trust, Francis Nicholas, Chair of the Trust, the Department for Education and Surrey County Council to discuss their plans for Heathside Walton school and the progress being made ahead of the forthcoming planning decision. The opening of Heathside Walton and Cobham Free School will be a huge boost for children and parents in Molesey and Walton - and ease the pressure on school places across the wider borough.
I also dropped by the Barclays Esher branch and officially launched the 'Your Bank' initiative, which aims to work in direct partnership with local communities to ensure the sustainability of local branch-based banking over the long term. Esher was selected as one of 12 Barclays branches for the initial trial project, which involves re-introducing branch managers, increasing the levels of specialist staff, undertaking marketing activities to raise awareness and installing a video banking facility at the branch to provide customers with greater access to specialists for more complex enquiries. It was a pleasure to meet Danny Reardon, Jon Clowes and branch manager, Kam Randhawa, to discuss this project further and I very much welcome their commitment to keeping the Esher branch open until at least October 2021. You can read more about the initiative, and my visit to the branch, here ([link removed]) .
Up in Westminster, the situation in Iran has been a significant focus of my work as Foreign Secretary. The UK has been active in urging de-escalation from all sides, following the US strike on Qasem Soleimani. After a round of energetic diplomacy, we also took the decision, together with our French and German allies, to trigger the Dispute Resolution Mechanism in the Iran nuclear deal, in order to try to preserve the deal and ensure Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon. The government is clear that Iran has a choice. It can continue its march towards pariah status with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to de-escalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forwards.
It was also a great pleasure to join the PM in hosting the first UK-Africa Investment Summit, where over £6.5bn of deals were announced and I had productive meetings with many of the African ministers attending. The UK has a positive offer to Africa in terms of taking a liberal approach to free trade, and doing business with integrity so that local workers and communities benefit. We also want to work with African countries to give every girl the opportunity to have a state education up to at least the age of 12 years old, and collaborate to tackle climate change which is hitting Africa particularly hard.
Finally, I opened a day of debate on the Queen’s Speech, setting out our vision of the UK as a country that is ambitious, self-confident and global in its international outlook.
The Prime Minister’s Brexit deal became law on 23 January, marking a significant moment in this country’s history and allowing us to put the division of the last three years behind us.
While we’re getting on with Brexit, the economy has remained strong. The International Monetary Fund’s latest forecasts show our economy growing faster than Germany, France and the eurozone as a whole in 2020 and 2021.
This month, we’ve also seen evidence of the investment decisions which underpin this growth. Investment in UK-based tech start-ups exceeded £10bn for the first time in 2019, increasing 44% on 2018. This is a welcome vote of confidence in our economy at such an important cross-roads.
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Dominic Raab MP
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Dominic Raab MP . House of Commons . London, SW1A 0AA . United Kingdom
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