AS I’ve said before, I am astonished how easily we have meekly accepted being locked in our homes.

The heavy hand of the State has not only affected the population, but parliament, too – all in the name of vanquishing the virus.

As politicians, our primary role is to make law.

Normally, Bills are examined, amended and voted on several times by both Houses, before gaining Royal Assent.

However, this last year has been anything but normal and the Commons is, in effect, moribund.

And, while parliamentary scrutiny sleeps, our precious freedoms have been severely curtailed by laws called ‘statutory instruments’, or ‘SIs’.

These are smalls committees of MPs, now dominated by serving members of the Government, who have enacted a series of stringent measures under the umbrella of either the Coronavirus Act or the Public Health Act.

These SIs cannot be amended, or properly scrutinised, with MPs having to approve them retrospectively within 28 days.

This is not how parliament should work, nor does it serve our country well.

I’m glad to report that there is increasing pressure to remove the limit on numbers in the Chamber.

With a successful vaccination programme going so well, and all the data pointing in the right direction, I see no reason why this cannot happen sooner than later.

Virtual debates are both frustrating and fail to hold the Government to account.

Both ministers and Members are heavily influenced by the mood in the Chamber.

And I cannot see that being anything but irascible if another lock-down is threatened.

The Prime Minister has stated that his cautious lifting of restrictions is irreversible, and so it must be.

As I’ve said, repeatedly, we must learn to live with this virus, which, with the help of these vaccines, we can.