I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and, with 2018 beginning, it seems apt to reflect on an extraordinary year in politics.

In April, the Prime Minister called a snap General Election which came by complete surprise to everybody – including her own MPs!

I was delighted to be re-elected as MP for Wantage in June with an increased vote share and a record number of votes. Representing the constituency over the past 12 years has been a fantastic honour and I welcome the chance to continue doing so.

Clearly Brexit was the dominant topic in British politics this past year – and will remain so in 2018 and beyond. I am pleased that the negotiations are now moving on to our trade deal.

Last month, I, along with four other MPs, decided to abstain from voting on amendment 7 to the EU Withdrawal Bill – a topic on which I have received a considerable amount of correspondence, and a vote which got a lot of press coverage.

The Withdrawal Bill gives the Government sweeping powers to implement any measures resulting from the Brexit agreement, without a parliamentary vote. Dominic Grieve put down amendment 7 to force the Government to put any agreement to a vote before bringing in any regulations. I had told the whips throughout that I would back Dominic’s amendment unless they made a concession, which they did at the last minute. Once they made this concession, I decided not to support the amendment. But I also decided I could not support the government in voting it down, so I abstained. Dominic decided to press ahead with the amendment and won the vote.

I am pleased that my own amendment to the EU withdrawal Bill, on Euratom, secured the largest number of signatories of any amendment on the Bill. Many constituents work at Culham’s nuclear facility and therefore depend on our membership to this organisation. As a result of that amendment - which I did not in the end bring forward - the Government has promised to publish a strategy on next steps on Euratom, and give updates every three months. I will carry on working closely with ministers to get the best possible outcome following our exit from Euratom.

This year I have continued to campaign on specific issues that are affecting my constituents. I have held regular meetings with the health officials in the county and raised the issues surrounding the White Horse Health Centre in Faringdon, the expansion of the Health Centre in Wantage and the future of Wantage Community hospital. I am also pursuing Swindon CCG about the problems facing the Elm Tree Health Centre in Shrivenham.

I have welcomed the Highways England safety review for the A34, which I secured. Whilst this road only runs through a small part of the Wantage and Didcot constituency, any collisions and closures heavily impact the surrounding area and the lives of many of you.

I have also joined with other MPs along the route to push for the re-opening of Grove Station as part of a new train line from Bristol. This project has been talked about for many years but now has real momentum.

Housing is an issue that I get a huge amount of correspondence about and I am extremely pleased that the Vale of White Horse now has a Local Plan in place. This should help prevent the influx of speculative development we have had over the past few years. South Oxfordshire District Council are also in the process of delivering their Local Plan which will give them the same protection.

With these projects beginning to take shape I look forward to another fascinating year ahead.

* Read Ed's full column online at heraldseries.co.uk