LEDBURY'S MP, Bill Wiggin, says there is much to be optimisitic about in 2021, including the Brexit trade deal.

Mr Wiggin said he had been reading through the 1246 pages of the UK-EU Trade Deal, and he added: "I believe this deal makes good on the promises that were made, by the Prime Minister, myself and many others, during the 2016 EU Referendum campaign, by consolidating security, cooperation and trade, yet also making this country a truly independent nation.

"The relationship we will have with the EU will resemble what a majority of British people voted for when we joined the European Economic Area."

Mr Wiggin, who represents the North Herefordshire constituency, added: "We will have thriving economic and commercial ties with our European neighbours, without comprising our independence, or submitting to foreign laws.

"Businesses who rely on trade with the EU will be able to continue their operations without tariffs and quotas. Britain’s fisherman will see in the coming years a 25% increase in the amount they can legally catch, as they are released from the Common Fisheries Policy."

He said: "The greatest positive endorsement is that the EU itself agree that this is a fair deal. It is not about ruling over one another or complaining about each other anymore.

"We have acquired a status-quo that is beneficial to the peoples of the UK and the EU. There will inevitably be issues and challenges as we begin to implement this deal, and there may be those who feel their needs have been overlooked by it. However, there is a structure in place within the agreement so that these can be ironed out.

"It is good for us to know that we remain a global power, with global potential.

We should grasp all future opportunities and raise our sights to a world of possibility in 2021."

Mr Wiggin also welcomed the roll out of the Oxford University/ AstraZeneca vaccine, in the fight against Covid.

He said: "Amidst all this excitement, however, we should all remember the sombre work required by us all to defeat coronavirus.

"I, along with everyone else, have a duty to protect our community from this terrible illness, and to try to reduce its spread.

"For this reason, I was unable to visit Colwall surgery as they administered some of the first doses of Covid-19 vaccines to our most vulnerable citizens.

"As I was unable to thank them in person, I would like to take this opportunity to express my enormous gratitude to all the teams such as the one at Colwall surgery, and all others across my constituency who have been administering the vaccine and helping us fight this disease."

Mr Wiggin added: "As I write this, the AstraZeneca vaccine has been officially approved, which makes another 100 million doses available to the UK without the need for deep freeze storage.

"This is a great step forward for the whole world, as well as the UK.

"Although 2020 has been a difficult year, I hope everyone managed to have an enjoyable Christmas, and it is with optimism, enthusiasm and tremendous excitement for 2021 that I wish you all a better, brighter and healthier happy New Year."