Dominic Raab MP's July 2020 e-bulletin View this email in your browser ([link removed])
Dom Raab MP's July 2020 E-Bulletin
Locally this month, I volunteered with Meals on Wheels – delivering hot lunches to elderly and vulnerable residents across Elmbridge – and visited Painshill Park Trust, East Elmbridge Foodbank and the Princess Alice Hospice in Esher. I also went out on Molesey High Street to meet with businesses and traders and hear how they are responding to the challenges presented by Coronavirus.
In my role as Foreign Secretary, I set out the UK’s response to China’s imposition of new National Security Legislation on Hong Kong, introduced a new sanctions regime for those who commit the most serious violations of human rights, and met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
This month we’ve seen further easing of restrictions. By following the roadmap we set out on 11 May, we have re-opened shops, restaurants, bars and pubs, accommodation, visitor attractions, hairdressers, beauticians and other close contact services, and leisure businesses and facilities.
Finally, the government also outlined a £30bn Plan for Jobs. In Elmbridge alone, this plan will help up to 935 businesses, save local homebuyers £15,000, and give businesses £1,000 for every one of the 16,600 people furloughed who are kept on.
Dom volunteering with Meals on Wheels, delivering hot lunches to elderly and vulnerable residents across Elmbridge.
First up, I met with Professor Fiona Ross, Nicki Shaw and Professor Sean Hilton of the Princess Alice Hospice in Esher to discuss their experiences during the Coronavirus pandemic, including the challenges the hospice has faced and the lessons that have been learned. This is a truly inspirational local charity and the team at the hospice have done a fantastic job over the past few months, in particularly difficult circumstances. You can read more about my visit here ([link removed]) .
I also joined up with Melanie Bussicott and the terrific team at Elmbridge Borough Council to help out with their Meals on Wheels service. This is a valuable local operation, delivering hot lunches to elderly and vulnerable residents across Elmbridge who are unable to prepare meals themselves. I helped to pack the meals at the Molesey Centre for the Community and delivered them to residents in the area – following all the COVID guidelines. You can read more about this here ([link removed]) .
Next, it was great to visit Painshill Park to meet with the park’s amazing volunteers, including the new Volunteer Manager whose recruitment was funded by a grant from Elmbridge Philanthropy and the Community Foundation for Surrey. Having helped to set up Elmbridge Philanthropy, it’s fantastic to see it funding such important local initiatives like this. Coronavirus caused real difficulties for Painshill, and I was encouraged to see how well it has bounced back from the disruption. I blogged about my visit here ([link removed]) .
I also visited East Elmbridge Foodbank’s new site at Molesey Youth Centre, along with Surrey County Council Leader Tim Oliver. The foodbank moved their whole operation to Molesey Youth Centre, in June, and are now operating a full packing and despatch service at the site. Jenny French and her team have done a fantastic job at responding to local demand during the pandemic, and adapting to the challenging circumstances of the last few months. You can read more on my blog here ([link removed]) .
Finally, I visited Molesey High Street to meet with businesses and traders and discuss the ways in which they are responding to the challenges presented by Coronavirus. I was impressed by the effort that businesses have made to ensure that customers can return safely since their re-opening last month – including clear signage, PPE for shop staff and providing hand sanitiser for customers. The past few months have been challenging for high streets across Elmbridge, so I would encourage residents, where they can, to get out and support those which have now re-opened (wearing a mask, of course).
This month, I have continued to focus on the UK’s response to the concerning situation in Hong Kong. On 30 June, China imposed new National Security Legislation on Hong Kong. This is a clear and serious violation of the UK-China Joint Declaration, and with it a violation of China’s freely assumed international obligations. In response, at the beginning of July I announced that the UK will offer a pathway to citizenship for British Nationals (Overseas) in Hong Kong, which is the status given to Hong Kong residents at the time of the handover in 1997.
Later, on 20 July, I set out two further measures that the UK is taking in response – extending the UK arms embargo that applies to China to Hong Kong, and suspending our extradition treaty with Hong Kong indefinitely.
Also this month, I introduced a new sanctions regime for those who commit serious violations of human rights – an issue I first raised in Parliament in 2012. It will stop the perpetrators coming to the UK, or laundering their dirty money through UK businesses or banks. The first designations cover the torture and murder of Sergei Magnitsky (a Russian whistle-blower), the persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar, the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and two organisations running prison camps in North Korea.
Finally, it was a pleasure to welcome US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and my German opposite number Heiko Maas to the UK. From Hong Kong to Iran, we’re working closely with our key international partners.
We continue to make steady progress in our collective effort to beat Coronavirus
On 17 July, the government published an additional chapter to its roadmap out of lockdown, setting out the next stages of our plan. You can read both the roadmap and the additional chapter here ([link removed]) . The latest information on what you can and cannot do under the current rules is also available here ([link removed]) .
On the economic front, the government outlined a £30bn Plan for Jobs – to help secure our economic recovery. Locally, this plan will help up to 935 Elmbridge businesses through a temporary VAT cut on hospitality, save local home buyers £15,000 through a temporary stamp duty cut, and give businesses £1,000 for every one of the 16,600 people furloughed in Elmbridge who are kept on.
Finally, there has been some good news for local schools. Next year – 2021/22 – state schools in England will receive a £2.2bn funding increase, as part of our £14bn settlement for schools. Each secondary school will attract a minimum of £5,150 per pupil, and each primary a minimum of £4,000 per pupil. This is an increase from the current levels of £5,000 and £3,750 respectively.
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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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