The Prime Minister’s self-imposed deadline to secure a trade deal with Europe has come and gone.

As the second wave of Covid begins, it’s never been more crucial to reach a recovery-boosting deal with Europe.

Polling by Best for Britain shows over four-fifths (81%) of people in the West Midlands have already noticed job losses and business closures in their community – something I’ve seen as well.

To leave the transition period with no plan and no deal would be disastrous in this climate. A report by the same organisation shows our region would disproportionately experience a ‘double whammy’ effect of Covid and a no-deal Brexit, with our key industries like car manufacturers being most impacted.

We have also seen the passing of the Agricultural Bill, without the amendments intended to protect our food standards and our farmers.

It was a stark reminder that the best guarantee of our high standards is to trade with an ally, like Europe, who shares them.

Abandoning trade with our closest neighbour without a plan in place would compound our already vulnerable position.

This is not an abstract matter of diplomacy and trade – our lives and our livelihoods are on the line.

Let’s pursue a recovery-boosting deal, which lets us work with Europe to recover from Covid and keep standards high.

David Davies