AS THE summer holidays and parliamentary recess draw to a close, it has been a pleasure to spend much of the last few weeks at home in Wiltshire.

In my new role as President of COP26, I have been busy with the UK’s bid to host the UN Climate Change conference in 2020. Earlier this month I announced that if the UK’s bid is successful, we have chosen Glasgow to be the venue. The city will then host 30,000 delegates and hundreds of world leaders next November for this global event.

Many have heard of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement which brought all nations into a common cause to combat climate change. Since then, annual COPs have refined the Treaty but the 26th COP in November 2020, will be the most important meeting since 2015 as the promises made in Paris are up for scrutiny and review.

Of course, I am not the only politician who has been busy over the last few weeks and as you will have seen the Prime Minister is turbocharging the negotiations and preparations so that the UK leaves the EU on October 31 and I share his determination that we do not prolong the uncertainty and instability that the Brexit impasse has created.

Without a deal the government's own analysis shows that GDP could be lower compared to current trading arrangements over the next 15 years and I have always maintained that no deal would be damaging to our national and local economy. That said, I have also been clear that I will not engage in any Parliamentary manoeuvres to try and block no deal, as I think this dilutes our negotiating efforts and also risks not being able to deliver Brexit at all. I will of course continue to support the PM to deliver the best possible Brexit so that we can refocus efforts on the things that really matter, such as investing in the NHS, cutting crime, tackling Climate Change, and levelling up growth and opportunity across the country