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Westminster Matters

An Industrial Strategy – ‘Pushing for Wales’

By Albert Owen MP/AS

December 2017

The UK Government announced its long awaited Industrial Strategy document which it claims will ‘Build a Britain fit for the future’. It is also seen as the vehicle to deliver the Prime Minister’s mantra to make ‘the United Kingdom a country that works for all’.

To me that means spreading wealth across our nations and regions, and I will work with Welsh colleagues to ensure that Wales gets its fair share.

The Industrial Strategy comes at a challenging time with Brexit and the fact that UK growth is the slowest in the developed economies and our productivity is at the bottom of the pile.

As a member of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee I got the opportunity to ask questions to senior government ministers. I did so by pushing the Welsh case, particularly on energy, tidal, renewables and new nuclear as well as energy efficiencies.

I was very disappointed that the Swansea Tidal Lagoon was neither in the strategy document or the budget. This first-of-a-kind is just the pioneering project needed for us to be world leaders. It seems the UK Government does not match its own rhetoric.

In debate I pushed the Welsh Minister on the North Wales Growth bid. I am glad he met local authorities, however he must listen to both Welsh Government and Welsh MPs who have both a strong mandate and strategic ideas to boost the region’s economy. A meeting has been arranged to discuss this next week.

I also attended a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours. I met with Mr Nigel Beesley, a constituent whose daughter Lucy sadly died earlier this year. I pledged to her I would campaign for better research into treatment and I met medical specialists to discuss ways to improve research and treatment and mitigate the impact of Brexit on EU co-operation. We are a major beneficiary of science grants within the EU framework and we must not let politics halt this.

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