There’s been so much positivity coming in from across Britain this week (26th April – 2nd May 2021). Brexit finally got done as MEPs signed Boris’s zero tariff and zero quota trade deal, Britain has taken back control of its own financial services regulation, banks are predicting the UK is set for its strongest economic expansion in decades and consumer confidence is booming.

And it doesn’t stop there…. more police officers are back on the beat and money is pouring into schools. Also a special mention to Conservative MP for West Dorset Chris Loder whose animal welfare act is now law. Those who are cruel to animals can now go to prison for five years!

Here are our best read news stories from the last seven days. Enjoy the positive news and best of luck to all the candidates up for election on Thursday. #TheGoodNewsThisWeek

10. Recruitment drive delivers almost 9,000 additional police officers across the UK

Latest statistics show government is 44% of the way towards meeting its ambition of hiring 20,000 additional police officers by 2023. An extra 8,771 police officers have been recruited to cut crime and keep communities across the country safer as part of the government’s campaign to bring in 20,000 additional officers, new Home Office figures published this week show. As of 31 March 2021, every one of the 43 police forces in England and Wales has hit or surpassed its first-year recruitment target since the launch of the Police Uplift Programme in September 2019. The new figures show that the government is already 44% of the way towards meeting its ambition of hiring 20,000 additional officers by 2023, with many of these new recruits already on the streets and doing their bit to protect neighbourhoods… Click here for full story

9. UK and Indonesia announce new Joint Economic and Trade Committee

The UK and Indonesia have this week concluded the first round of exploratory trade talks and committed to further strengthening our £3 billion trade and investment links through a new joint trade dialogue. The new Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) will help promote and develop trade, investment and economic cooperation ties and address market access barriers affecting UK businesses trading with Indonesia. This week’s announcement follows a Joint Trade Review (JTR) which was carried out by the UK and Indonesian governments over the last 18 months to explore opportunities to increase trade and investment in each other’s countries and identify priority sectors to deepen our trading relationship… Click here for full story

8. £1.8 billion to keep schools in top condition

Funding rises by over 20% to £1.8 billion this year, so that schools can keep on top of their maintenance and repair. Every school in England will be able to access a share of almost £1.8 billion this year to help keep their buildings in the best possible condition. The annual allocations provided to maintain school buildings will increase by over 20% to £1.8 billion this financial year, helping to build back better from the pandemic. This comes on top of the one-off funding injection of £560 million announced by the Prime Minister last year, making sure the condition of school buildings doesn’t hold any child back from achieving their potential… Click here for full story

7. UK secures extra 60 million COVID-19 vaccines for Autumn booster programme

An extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been secured by the UK government to help support the booster COVID-19 vaccination programme beginning from the Autumn. To protect the most vulnerable ahead of the winter, the government is preparing for a booster programme based on clinical need to ensure people have the strongest possible protection against COVID-19. The additional Pfizer/BioNTech jabs will be used alongside other approved COVID-19 vaccines for the booster programme. This comes as new data from Public Health England shows that one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine reduces household transmission of the virus by up to half… Click here for full story

6. UK roadmap out of lockdown fuels record jump in consumer confidence

The first three months of 2021 saw a record quarterly rise in consumer confidence, rising six percentage points in the first quarter, to -11%, according to the latest Deloitte Consumer Tracker. Every measure of confidence saw both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter growth, as consumers journey out of lockdown with a spring in their step. Deloitte’s analysis is based on responses from more than 3,000 UK consumers between 19th and 22nd March 2021, as the UK’s phased lockdown easing remained on track. After entering the year under the tightest of lockdown restrictions, the reopening of schools helped boost sentiment around children’s education and welfare to -11%, up six percentage points on the previous quarter. Coupled with the continued speed of the UK’s vaccination programme, sentiment around health and wellbeing improved eight percentage points, to -26%, the highest level since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic… Click here for full story

5. Britain takes back control of its own financial services regulation

The UK has taken an important first step in shaping its own financial services regulation outside the EU as the Financial Services Bill received Royal Assent today (29 April 2021). The Bill, which is now an Act, will ensure the UK remains an open and dynamic financial centre, with the highest regulatory standards, and protect people across the UK as they use financial services. The Government say it represents a further step in delivering their vision for a “more open, technologically advanced and greener industry that serves the communities and people of this country.” Click here for full story

4. Britain set for the strongest economic expansion since the 1940s says Barclays

Barclays Plc expects the strongest UK economic growth in over seven decades this year, according to Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley. The Barclays CEO said in an interview on Bloomberg Television: “We’re projecting now economic growth in the UK north of 6%. It should be the strongest year of economic growth in the UK since 1948. The wave we are riding, which other banks are riding as well, is real.” According to Staley the 6.5% expansion will be fuelled by a “tremendous” pent-up demand from consumers and small businesses as vaccinations boost confidence following the pandemic. Spending data in the first two weeks of April were “very encouraging” and he anticipates Britain’s recovery will continue through 2022… Click here for full story

3. The British are coming: Largest UK concentration of maritime and air power in a generation to set sail across the globe

The largest concentration of maritime and air power to the UK in a generation will set sail later this month, visiting more than 40 countries. The UK Carrier Strike Group’s globe-spanning maiden deployment will feature visits to India, Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace will announce. Mr Wallace will set out to Parliament the formidable size of the UK Carrier Strike Group, which will be led by new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. On a 28-week deployment spanning 26,000 nautical miles, the Carrier Strike Group will conduct engagements with Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Japan and India as part of the UK’s tilt towards the Indo-Pacific region. Units from the Carrier Strike Group are expected to visit more than 40 countries and undertake over 70 engagements… Click here for full story

2. Prison sentence for animal cruelty raised to five years

Tougher prison sentences for animal cruelty will come into force this summer after the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill received Royal Assent this week. This means that the maximum prison sentence for animal cruelty will be raised from six months to five years from 29 June 2021. The new maximum penalty will enable courts to take a firmer approach to cases such as dog fighting, abuse of puppies and kittens, illegally cropping a dog’s ears and gross neglect of farm animals. As well as a prison sentence, offenders can also receive an unlimited fine. The more stringent sentences will be some of the toughest in Europe. The Act will help ensure courts are able to enforce extended penalties for those who cruelly mistreat any animal, sending a clear message that animal cruelty will not be tolerated… Click here for full story

1. Boris got Brexit done as MEPs finally ratify zero tariff and zero quota trade deal

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly ratified the EU’s post-Brexit trade deal with Britain in a vote this week. In the final tally, 660 MEPs voted in favour of the trade deal and quota-free deal on goods with Britain, with just five, including members of the Greek Communist Party and a former Czech general voting against it. There were 32 abstentions. The agreement provides the framework for Britain’s new relationship with the 27-member union, five years after Britons voted to end its 47-year membership. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“Great news that the European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of our zero tariffs, zero quotas Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

“Now is the time to look forward to a new relationship with the EU and a more Global Britain.”

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