Glamorgan Gem Column - May 2018
I hope all Gem readers had a pleasant Easter break and got to spend some time with friends and family. I’ve been very busy during the Parliamentary recess meeting with community groups, businesses, and working hard for constituents who have raised issues or campaigns with me.
I particularly enjoyed attending the Mothers’ Union Tea Party in Pencoed, opening the extension to Anwen Care Home in Pantyrawel, meeting with local organisations at Bridgend’s Veterans’ Awareness Day and cheering on the participants of the Lynfi BMX competition day.
As we have now headed back to Westminster, my Welsh Labour colleagues and I will be continuing to hold this increasingly fragile Tory Government to account on a variety of issues. Of course, the all-encompassing issue of Brexit will be our priority to ensure that we don’t allow the Tories to run rag shot over our economy, workers’ rights and citizenship rights.
I’ve been keeping the pressure on the UK Government on this issue because I feel that the Tories’ current mismanagement of the Brexit negotiations is causing a wave of uncertainty to emanate across the UK. We’ve recently seen Ford (which is, of course, a key local employer) and Airbus calling for clarity from the government to help with future investment decisions. When big companies like these begin calling the government out so publically on this issues, it is clear that ministers are leaving businesses in a very difficult situation.
Likewise, when considering new international trade deals, which is a key cornerstone of the Tories’ post-Brexit policy, I’ve been very clear that any new agreements must not damage the interests of Welsh businesses. For example, recently I tackled the government on the issue of the Welsh Lamb industry: Welsh farmers must not be sold out simply to make a deal with New Zealand. Nobody voted leave to be worse off and it’s high time the government got it’s act together and gave Welsh businesses the clarity and the certainty they so desperately need. This isn’t scaremongering: it is the reality of the government’s mishandling of Brexit to date.
I very much enjoy discussing people’s views on Brexit and I directly feed these conversations into my campaigning on this issue in Parliament. I will continue to work hard for a Brexit that works for the people of Wales and the Welsh economy.