Frequent readers of my column will know I am an optimist when it comes to speaking about Britain. 

I am proud of our country and what it stands for and, as I have said here before, it is why I went into politics. 

However, it does occasionally feel like there are not enough voices like mine, so I thought I would take this opportunity to outline what has been going on in the past two weeks which I think does back up my point of view.

Firstly, I recently returned from the G7 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Hiroshima, and it is clear the UK remains a global leader. 

Writing with my Chancellor hat on, it was obviously excellent news that Japanese businesses have committed to investing £18 billion into the United Kingdom and that the International Monetary Fund announced this week a major upgrade to our forecasted economic growth.

At the start of this week, the prime minister also highlighted to the House of Commons how we have been leaders in supporting Ukraine – we were the first country in the world to train Ukrainian troops and now we are at the forefront of efforts to train their airforce too. 

The UK was second only to the United States in military aid last year which I am proud to say we will match this year. 

Domestically, too, we have had lots to be positive about this month. 

The Office for National Statistics showed that GDP has grown– picking up much faster than anyone predicted– and the Bank of England made one of its biggest upward revisions to its growth forecasts. 

A strong economy relies on education and it was great to hear that England rose to fourth place in a major international literacy study, overtaking every European country. 

Finally, we are laying in place plans for future economic growth. 

I have spent much of the past few weeks meeting business leaders who have quizzed me on that exact topic, whether by hosting round tables in Downing Street or speaking at the British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference last week. 

Doing this means I can make sure we have the right plans in place to support our fastest-growing sectors. 

While it is good news that the Bank of England are no longer predicting a recession, I am very aware their recent decision to increase interest rates is challenging for families with mortgages. 

I also know inflation is currently pressuring family finances. 

But that is why I know it is more important than ever to stick to our plan to halve inflation and get the economy growing, which is exactly what the Budget was designed to do. 

There is work to be done but I am confident we are on the right track – which is good news for businesses in South West Surrey as well as the rest of the country.