IT'S been nearly seven years since the Brexit referendum, and three years since the UK left the European Union, but in many ways Northern Ireland is still subject to EU control despite having no say over those European laws.

The impact is felt here in Dudley South, with Black Country businesses who sell to customers in Northern Ireland facing the paperwork and customs checks that you might expect if you were exporting abroad rather than sending their goods to another part of our country that happens to be across the Irish Sea.

This has led to the collapse of devolution in Northern Ireland, and it is vital for peace and stability – as well as economically – that these problems are resolved.

I was delighted that the Prime Minister, who like me campaigned for Brexit, has secured a deal that does that.

The Windsor Framework puts responsibility for approving or rejecting new regulations back in the hands of Northern Ireland’s elected representatives, not unelected EU institutions, and allows trade to flow freely between the British mainland and Northern Ireland.

There will be no onerous customs or old Protocol checks, there will be no border in the Irish Sea and the democratic deficit which risked Northern Ireland being subjected to new EU regulations is now gone.

Importantly this is all done while safeguarding the Good Friday Agreement and avoiding the need for a return to the hard border checks of the past.

This means that a wide range of goods and services across Great Britain – some of which come from Dudley South – will now be able to easily reach Northern Ireland. This, in turn, will bolster the UK economy and create a level of unity and economic cooperation doubted by the Labour Party.

Seventy per cent of people in Dudley South voted for Brexit to take back control of our borders, but for many it doesn’t feel like we have control when thousands of people a year are arriving uninvited in small boats.

As a result, the Government also announced a new Illegal Migration Bill ensuring that anybody who comes here illegally will no longer have the right to stay or to claim asylum but will instead be removed – either back to their home country or to a safe country like Rwanda where their claims can be processed and they can be protected from harm.

This bill embodies the compassion and humanity of the British people, as we fulfil a duty to help a realistic proportion of those who are genuinely in need. Parliament will set an annual cap to control the numbers of people being settled via safe and legal routes – taking into account local authority capacity for housing, public services, and the support communities rightly expect.

Stopping these illegal small boats is the biggest political issue that people contact me about.

The new Illegal Migration Bill will make a real difference in stopping the crossings, breaking the business models of evil people smuggling gangs, and making sure that we really have control of our borders.