Dominic Raab MP's February 2021 newsletter View this email in your browser ([link removed])
Dom Raab MP's February 2021 Newsletter
Elmbridge residents and businesses have been doing a great job in keeping to the tough Coronavirus restrictions. This effort, and the progress on vaccinations, means that we can now see the route out of lockdown. The Prime Minister announced our roadmap for easing restrictions earlier this week, which you can read about below and here ([link removed]) .
Locally this month, I’ve visited both of our local vaccination centres, joined an assembly at Rowan Prep School, and celebrated National Apprenticeship Week. I’ve also supported government proposals for reinforced restrictions on night flights at Heathrow, which will be particularly welcome to residents in Molesey and Walton.
At the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, it’s been a busy month where the UK has continued to champion human rights across the world. I’ve set out some of the ways we’ve been doing this below, including through our Presidency of the UN Security Council.
Dom visiting the local vaccination centre at The Heart Centre in Walton.
First up, I want to thank everyone who got involved in my last live Q&A session ([link removed]) , which took place just after you received this newsletter last month. These sessions are an invaluable way to keep in touch – please do keep an eye on my Facebook page ([link removed]) for future dates.
Many local residents will have received their Coronavirus vaccinations this month, as the rollout continues apace in Surrey. Over 290,000 vaccinations have been given so far. It was great to visit ([link removed]) The Heart Centre in Walton, where the local NHS has done a brilliant job converting the old H&M store into a vaccination centre. Earlier today, I also visited ([link removed]) the East Elmbridge vaccination centre in Thames Ditton.
Away from Coronavirus, it's been a busy month supporting local groups and businesses. It was good to meet ([link removed]) Lorin LaFave, founder of The Breck Foundation, which raises awareness of how young people can stay safe online, and celebrate National Apprenticeship Week ([link removed]) with three local apprentices. I also spoke to pupils ([link removed]) at Rowan Prep School, supported ([link removed]) a great local refugee charity, and became a Vice Patron ([link removed]) of Surrey Drug and Alcohol Care.
This month also provided an opportunity to reduce the disruption and inconvenience caused by night flights at Heathrow. I responded ([link removed]) to a Department for Transport consultation, supporting proposals to strengthen restrictions on night flights at the airport.
February has been an exciting time at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, with the UK holding the Presidency of the UN Security Council. This coincides with our Presidency of the G7 this year, and the UK hosting the UN Climate Change Conference later this year.
At the beginning of the month, we used our Security Council Presidency to bring forward an emergency meeting on Myanmar ([link removed]) , and I led ([link removed]) G7 foreign ministers in condemning the military coup. As the situation in Myanmar has deteriorated, I announced new ([link removed]) sanctions ([link removed]) against six members of the Myanmar military for serious human rights violations. I also called on ([link removed]) the UN Human Rights Council to address the violations in Myanmar, and other human rights
violations in China, Belarus and Russia.
Next, this month, I travelled to Paris ([link removed]) to meet my French, German and US counterparts, where we discussed Iran and Myanmar. I also chaired a meeting of the UN Security Council, calling for local ceasefires ([link removed]) across the globe to allow vulnerable people living in conflict zones to be vaccinated against Coronavirus.
Finally, it was a pleasure to mark Chinese New Year ([link removed]) with Conservative Friends of the Chinese. British Chinese people make an invaluable contribution to this country, and it was a good opportunity to recognise and celebrate their achievements. We also had a good discussion about foreign policy, and particularly the UK’s relationship with China.
The Coronavirus vaccination programme has made significant progress over the past month, with over 19 million people now vaccinated across the UK. The milestone of 15 million vaccinations was met early, on 14 February, and we have now offered a vaccination to everyone in the top four most vulnerable groups.
This success means that our other targets have moved forwards. The target date for offering a vaccine to everyone in all nine vulnerable groups is now 15 April, and the government’s ambition is to offer one to every adult by the end of July. Good progress so far, and we've just got to keep it up.
This progress, and the great work of local residents in keeping to the tough restrictions, allowed the Prime Minister to announce a roadmap out of lockdown earlier this week. The roadmap outlines four steps for easing restrictions. As we deliver this plan, we will be guided by data, not dates – so all the dates are indicative and may be subject to change, based on the evidence being gathered in real time.
You can read about the four steps to easing restrictions here ([link removed]) .
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