A Whole New World Programme

I was delighted to attend the graduation ceremony of participants of the Whole New World programme and present them with their certificates of achievement. The programme supports the long term unemployed, helping them gain confidence and skills. Many of the participants have already gained employment. It was fantastic to meet them, to learn of their experience of the programme and to hear of their success. Continue reading

Wernick Buildings

It was great to visit Wernick Buildings on the Kenfig Industrial Estate and meet the truly impressive team creating high-skilled jobs and showcasing the very best of Welsh manufacturing. They design and manufacturer steel-framed modular buildings in house and later construct them on the building site. The buildings have been used for hospitals, schools, universities, offices and homes. Continue reading

Norway Is The Only Way To Avoid The Cliff

New European Let’s be clear: Theresa May’s Brexit deal is a thumping victory for the EU, whichever way you slice it. On March 29, 2019 our country will effectively become a vassal state for the 21 months of the transition period – complying with all EU rules but without any seat at the table. The EU will have us over a barrel as we scramble to turn the vague, open-ended Political Declaration into a legally-binding, long-term future relationship, while the cliff edge of December 2020 looms ever-larger. Continue reading

Ukrainian Economy Is Being Strangled By The Economic Blockade

During Foreign and Commonwealth Office questions I asked about the situation in Crimea, the Ukrainian economy and the Magnitsky amendment.  Continue reading

We Need A Chief Government Linguist To Promote Modern Languages

House Magazine Languages are a vital part of our society and economy and yet their importance is neglected and overlooked. Being able to speak directly to those we deal with is an essential part of being a global citizen. But in the United Kingdom, the number studying a language is declining year after year. The highly developed intercultural skills that come with learning another language are absolutely vital for successful trade and diplomacy, peace-making and peacekeeping. But the subject has no dedicated advocate in government. Continue reading

Face To Face Exhibition

It was great to visit the ‘Face to Face’ exhibition in our Civic Centre. Local artist Bert Evans has produced some truly outstanding portraits. Very disconcerting to see my mug shot hanging on the wall, though!! Bert started painting the portraits after some disparaging remarks about Port Talbot, he wanted to see whether the portraits would capture the positive feelings he and others have towards the town. With over 100 portraits in the exhibition they capture Bert's love of Taibach and Port Talbot. 

Reaching Out To Reunite

I gave the opening keynote speech at the Common Futures Forum, at Plexal City in the Olympic Park, to 500 young people from across Europe. You can read my speech below: Continue reading

Prime Minister Is Flogging A Dead Horse

In the Commons I told the PM that she is flogging a dead horse and I urged her to join forces with senior members of her own Cabinet to back Norway Plus. It protects jobs, gives immigration safeguards, solves NI, means we leave ECJ and helps reunite our deeply divided country Continue reading

Steelworkers Meeting In Parliament

A group of steelworkers visited Parliament to campaign for pension justice and compensation. Nick Smith, Tonia Antoniazzi and I brought them face to face with regulators: the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and Financial Conduct Authority. Continue reading

Committee For Exiting The EU Examines The Political Declaration

When the Committee examined the political declaration I asked about the transition period and negotiating a future relationship with the European Union, as well as the UK changing direction and going for an EEA-based Brexit. Continue reading