Following the Queen’s Speech earlier this week, I am supporting the call for the UK to remain a member of the customs union. I have signed a parliamentary motion (Early Day Motion) to that effect. There will be a huge number of issues arising out of the decision to leave the EU, but the issues of the single market and the customs union, along with the rights of EU citizens currently living in the UK to remain here, are in my view the most critical.
Almost two-thirds of Welsh goods are exported to the European Union free of any tariffs. So if tariffs (charges) are applied to those goods we export when we leave the EU, the impact on Welsh business will be devastating. This problem is even more acute in Cardiff. Of all the cities in the United Kingdom, Cardiff is the fifth most reliant on EU exports, with 61% of everything we sell going to the European Union.
For all the hot air and reassuring noises we hear from the Tory Government on life post Brexit, those statistics clearly demonstrate that any disruption to our trading links with the EU could put jobs in Cardiff Central at risk.
Being outside the Customs Union would mean that there would have to customs checks for all freight of a certain size entering Welsh ports, and that Welsh goods going to Europe would be subject to significantly greater checks and documentation requirements to be allowed through to Europe. All this makes our businesses and the goods we sell less competitive and less attractive to buyers.
Early Day Motions represent a chance for backbench MPs from any party to support statements that might not make it to the floor of the House of Commons to be formally debated. Whilst the Government does not have to formally respond to them, they can put pressure on the Government. For instance, over 200 MPs signed the Early Day Motion in the last Parliament condemning the proposed state visit to the UK by Donald Trump. There was no mention of the visit in this week’s Queen’s Speech.
You can read the full Motion below;
This House notes the benefits of UK membership of the European Union (EU) Customs Union which removes costly and time-consuming customs processes and red tape for trade with other EU member states, allows the operation of a soft Northern Ireland-Republic of Ireland border that would be in jeopardy were the UK to leave, and allows the UK to fully benefit from 56 existing trade agreements signed with external countries which by leaving could result in less preferential terms under any other bilateral trade re-negotiations; and further notes that the terms of UK membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are currently governed by its membership of the EU Customs Union, and that by leaving in order to become an independent member of the WTO the UK’s existing WTO commitments would need to be renegotiated; and calls on the Government to negotiate for the UK to remain a member of the EU Customs Union following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Following the Queen’s Speech earlier this week, I am supporting the call for the UK to remain a member of the customs union. I have signed a parliamentary motion (Early...
If we needed anything to confirm that Theresa May is in Government but not in power, this Queen’s Speech was it.
A thin, measly script that wouldn’t be fit for one year of parliamentary business never mind the two it will cover. Labour voters can be proud that through their votes they have stripped the Tory manifesto to its bare bones eliminating the majority of its flagship pledges; the possible repeal of the fox hunting ban; scrapping the triple lock and winter fuel allowance for pensioners; the dementia tax; grammar schools in England; scrapping school meals and a possible change of emphasis on the approach to Brexit negotiations. We’ll no longer be having the “Great Repeal Bill” instead, the “Repeal Bill.” Maybe Theresa May has finally realised leaving the EU isn't such a "great" idea after all?
So what are we left with? Having already failed to secure the deal they want with the DUP this zombie Government looks anything but strong and stable. Is legislating against allegedly bogus whiplash claims to boost insurance company profits above the already eye watering £8 billion a year really the government's priority?
Public sector pay will remain frozen whilst our public services and the loyal workforce that keeps them going will be asked to do even more for less. UK growth is at the bottom of the G7 tables, our productivity levels remain stubbornly low and the Government is still refusing to tell us where it wants to go as we lurch towards exit from the European Union.
In complete contrast, the Labour Party's manifesto would move quickly to address the deep seated problems in our economy; investing to boost jobs and infrastructure; introducing a national education service and ending tuition fees; bringing in 10,000 extra police officers and working to end the long squeeze on wages and people’s pockets.
It was the top rate tax cuts and the endless slashing of public service budgets that so angered people, and took away May’s majority, but they remain in place. Students will remain burdened with astronomical debt, the cost of using our railways will continue to increase on the back of public subsidy that ends up in the hands of the German, French and Dutch governments because Tories legislated to prevent public owenship of our railways. Far too many of the very real problems that we have will not be addressed by any of the measures brought forward in this Queen’s Speech. The people have spoken, but once again it seems that the Prime Minister has not listened.
If we needed anything to confirm that Theresa May is in Government but not in power, this Queen’s Speech was it. A thin, measly script that wouldn’t...
Are you interested in film making or script writing?
Enter your film or script into the Film the House competition and you could win prizes including work experience at Sky, mentoring and advice from leading industry figures, a day on a film set or your film being screened.
Are you interested in film making or script writing? Enter your film or script into the Film the House competition and you could win prizes including work experience at Sky,... Read more
Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on the 20 June. In the UK, Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities.
Refugee Week started in 1998 as a direct reaction to hostility in the media and society in general towards refugees and asylum seekers. An established part of the UK’s cultural calendar, Refugee Week is now one of the leading national initiatives working to counter this negative climate, defending the importance of sanctuary and the benefits it can bring to both refugees and host communities.
The aims of Refugee Week are:
- To encourage a diverse range of events to be held throughout the UK, which facilitate positive encounters between refugees and the general public in order to encourage greater understanding and overcome hostility
- To showcase the talent and expertise that refugees bring with them to the UK
- To explore new and creative ways of addressing the relevant issues and reach beyond the refugee sector
- To provide information which educates and raises awareness of the reality of refugee experiences
Our ultimate aim is to create better understanding between different communities and to encourage successful integration, enabling refugees to live in safety and continue making a valuable contribution.
Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on the 20 June. In the UK, Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts,... Read more
I have recently been in contact with National Rail regarding some changes in access to Splott Road Bridge and Adamsdown Foot Bridge whilst electrification work is on going.
Splott Road Bridge
The road will be closed to all vehicles from 13 August. Network Rail are aiming to reopen the bridge on 4 September.
There will be no pedestrian access over the bridge between:
20:00hrs on 19 August – 11:00hrs on 20 August
07:00hrs on 22 August – 19:00hrs on 22 August
07:00hrs on 23 August – 00:01hrs on 25 August
23:00hrs on 25 August – 13:00hrs on 28 August
During these times, a minibus service, with wheelchair access, will be available to transport members of the public from one side to the other.
The second reconstruction phase will commence in early 2018.
I have recently been in contact with National Rail regarding some changes in access to Splott Road Bridge and Adamsdown Foot Bridge whilst electrification work is on going. Splott Road... Read more
Cathays Labour Councillor Ali Ahmed and members of the Muslim community have invited everyone in Cardiff to join them at two special events to celebrate Ramadan Iftar, breaking fast.
Supported by Cardiff Council, the community events are set to take place outside City Hall on Friday, June 16 and Friday June 23, between 9pm and 10pm.
As part of the Holy Month of Ramadan, Muslims fast during the day, breaking their fast with Ramadan Iftar each night at sundown, and it is customary to invite neighbours to share in the celebrations.
Along with extending an invitation to everyone in the city, the organisers are particularly keen for the community events to benefit some of Cardiff's most vulnerable, and the celebrations have been co-ordinated with the Salvation Army so that homeless people in the city can enjoy a meal and be a part of Ramadan Iftar. A special invitation is also being offered to the refugees resettled in Cardiff.
Cathays Labour Councillor Ali Ahmed and members of the Muslim community have invited everyone in Cardiff to join them at two special events to celebrate Ramadan Iftar, breaking fast. Supported... Read more
I have been so pleased to see that a number of Great Get Together events have been planned across Cardiff Central over this coming weekend.
I have been so pleased to see that a number of Great Get Together events have been planned across Cardiff Central over this coming weekend. ... Read more
On Sunday 18th June, Brewery Park in Adamsdown will be hosting a picnic for walkers taking part in the Great Big Walk.
What is The Great Big Walk?
The Great Big Walk is an idea from the Eden Project funded by the National Lottery and other supporters. On 29 May, 5 teams of walkers will make their way from Batley to Cornwall, London, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to arrive home in time for their Big Lunch on 18 June.
Along the way they’ll visit community groups and projects, shining a light on ordinary people going the extra mile to bring people together.
The picnic begins in Adamsdown at 12 noon on Sunday - and on the day there will be a range of activities including yoga, hula hooping, information on community growing and we will also be joined by the fantastic samba band, Barracwda.
Organisers are encouraging local residents to come along and share their picnics with their neighbours in the park.
For more information, and to follow the walker's progress, you can search #GreatBigWalk on Twitter.
On Sunday 18th June, Brewery Park in Adamsdown will be hosting a picnic for walkers taking part in the Great Big Walk. What is The Great Big Walk? The Great...
I will be holding my first advice surgery on Friday 16th June from 11am-6pm at my constituency office (116 Albany Road, Roath, CF24 3RU).
This is an opportunity for any constituents to pop in and raise an issue directly with me. No appointment is necessary, just drop in.
My staff team will also be holding an immigration clinic on Wednesday 14th June from 11am at my constituency office. This is a dedicated session for any constituents with any Home Office queries they need to raise to be able to do so.
In addition to the dates above, I and my team can always be contacted by phone using 02921 329736 or via email using email@example.com.
I will be holding my first advice surgery on Friday 16th June from 11am-6pm at my constituency office (116 Albany Road, Roath, CF24 3RU). This is an opportunity for any...
Lots of people have written to me about animal welfare. The Tory government's record on animal welfare issues is very poor, and I will stand up against cruelty and hunting in Parliament.
Lots of people have written to me about animal welfare. The Tory government's record on animal welfare issues is very poor, and I will stand up against cruelty and hunting... Read more