Last week saw the Prime Minister’s self-imposed deadline to secure a trade deal with Europe come and go.

We were all promised a comprehensive deal with Europe – I believe there is still time to deliver that promise.

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 four fifths of people in the South East of England have already noticed job losses and business closures in their community - we have all seen businesses which have closed in Southampton.

A recent report by Best for Britain shows that countless professions, products and industries will be severely impacted from day one of a no deal exit.

To leave the transition period with no plan and no deal would be disastrous in this climate for Southampton.

Last week also saw 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 who shares them.

Abandoning trade with our closest neighbour without a plan in place would compound our already vulnerable position - does anyone really want chlorinated chicken.

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

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

Catherine Brown

Through website