By Albert Owen MP/AS
Deal or No Deal on borders!
I start by offering Season’s Greetings to all residents. In Parliament the debacle on the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has ramifications for Welsh, Scottish and English ports. Holyhead is the major port for the Republic of Ireland, it is the gateway to Wales and the UK. Any ‘alignment’ between South and North Ireland means hard borders at UK ports – including Welsh ports – and that means extra delays and costs.
The Prime Minister was prepared to sacrifice this to move from stage one to stage two of EU negotiations. In doing so the PM managed to upset just about everyone. The Welsh and Scottish First Ministers, her own backbenchers and even her ‘partners’ the DUP, who in affect scuppered the ‘deal’.
We simply can’t have a special arrangement for just Northern Ireland but we must have a special arrangement between Ireland and the whole of the UK. That is my view and the view of the Welsh Government. This matter needs resolving and I raised this with the Brexit Minister directly this week.
We need to bring our country together. Holyhead needs a level playing field going forward and I will continue to fight for this as I said in the June General Election.
In Parliament I supported a Parkinson’s UK event where I met Welsh delegates and I will work with constituents to help Parkinson’s sufferers locally and nationally.
I also sponsored an energy efficiency and smart metering event and help set up the All Party Parliamentary Group on Charity Retail. These outlets are good for business, good for volunteers and good for the environment in addition to benefitting local and national causes such as cancer charities.
As Vice Chair of both the APPGs on Cancer and Charity Retail I will champion these causes.
I also had the opportunity to raise issues in Committee on pharmaceuticals and Brexit, and I was astonished how this will impact on the research and movement of life saving drugs.
As we learn more and more about the impact of Brexit on everyday life, the more the Prime Minster looks out of touch. In June 2017 she lost her mandate for a Hard Brexit and the Tory Parliamentary majority. She needs to listen to the facts and not carry on as normal!