I had an engaging question and answer session about Brexit with pupils at St Joseph's. The session was arranged with Our Future, Our Choice. I spoke about how it is important for the voices of young people to be heard in the Brexit discussions as they will be living with the consequences of these decisions much longer than the politicians who are making them. There were lots of interesting and searching questions, and it was great to hear the views of young people.
I visited St Joseph's Comprehensive and Sixth Form to hear about the pupils progress as part of The Scholars Programme, a prestigious national scheme which gives school pupils an opportunity to experience university-style learning. It was great to visit and meet pupils taking part in The Scholars Programme. I was very impressed at how they engaged with such a complex and challenging academic topic. It just goes to show what young people from Aberavon can achieve if we give them the opportunity. I wish the pupils the very best for the future, and I encourage more schools to give their pupils the chance to benefit from this programme. Continue reading
The Minister of State for Immigration, Caroline Noakes MP, appeared before the Committee for Exiting the EU. I was able to ask her about immigration post Brexit and the Independent Monitoring Authority. The Government is obliged to create an Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA) to resolve post-Brexit disputes about status of EU citizens in UK. But an IMA is nowhere to be seen and the clock is ticking. The Minister promised me she'll write to Brexit committee so that we can update the 3 million EU citizens living in the UK. Continue reading
The Committee for Exiting the EU heard evidence from Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy, Institute of Directors; Henry Newman, Director, Open Europe; and Michael Dougan, Professor of European Law and Jean Monnet Chair in EU Law, University of Liverpool. I asked about the withdrawal agreement and being ready for Brexit. Doing a deal is not just about words on a piece of paper. It's about having the institutions in place. It's a pipe dream to think we can create and build new institutions by December 2020. An EEA based Brexit is the only viable option. Continue reading
The British steel industry is hobbled by punitive energy costs (far higher than in Germany, France & Netherlands). In January 2017 the all party group on Steel produced 'Steel 2020', with recommendations on how to reduce costs. Claire Perry promised she'll read it. Looking forward to her feedback! Continue reading
During a Westminster Hall debate, secured by my colleague Anna Turley, I called the closure of the blast and coke ovens in Redcar an action of industrial vandalism which led to the loss of a strategic asset for our country. Continue reading
The Chequers proposal is a bureaucratic nightmare that’s riddled with complexity and ambiguity. Surely the Prime Minister must now stop trying to re-invent the wheel, and commit instead to an EEA-based Brexit? My question to her in the House: Continue reading
Image credit: Photographsof.com I was a guest speaker at the Swansea Bay Business Club Lunch in Margam Orangery. I spoke about the effect Brexit is having on local businesses and the need for a good deal with the EU. I also talked about the need for investment in South Wales with electrification of the mainline railway and the Tidal Lagoon having been cancelled. Continue reading