Guardian Article - A second EU referendum could pull us out of the fire. Let’s make it happen

Here is my article in the Guardian on holding a 2nd EU referendum - https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/30/second-eu-referendum-pull-us-out-of-fire-make-happen

 

I am also asking MPs to sign my EDM here -  http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2016-17/243


Smog Off! Campaign

Children are particularly at risk of lung disease caused by pollution so I was pleased to join 30 primary school children who were singing their anti-pollution song at Westminster, supporting the British Lung Foundation’s demand for monitoring of air quality around schools.

The young singers who attend Gayhurst Community Primary School in Hackney, are members of the ‘I Like Clean Air’ campaign. It was formed by parents in September 2014, concerned about the impact of poor air quality on their children's growing lungs. 

The BLF is working in partnership with the choir, highlighting to politicians that harmful pollution exists across many parts of the UK. 

3,000 schools across the UK are located in areas with illegally high levels of air pollution, according to a report by DEFRA, published last year. Very few schools have air pollution monitors around them.

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Brexit Tariffs Mean Swansea Job Losses

This week i warned MPs in Parliament that leaving the EU would result in tariffs from the EU on British exports as most EU countries have a trade deficit with Britain.

In a question to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, I asked: “Only two countries, Germany and the Netherlands, run a surplus with Britain, the rest have a deficit. So does he agree that if we did have Brexit, the other countries would vote for tariffs, and indeed so would Germany to stop Japanese car imports?”

“Has the Government modelled what would be the impact of those tariffs on employment levels in the short and medium terms, and on inward investment? Disastrous, I suggest.”

The vast majority of EU countries sell less to Britain than we buy from them, with only Germany and Holland selling more to us than we do to them. Therefore if we leave the EU the others will vote to introduce tariffs on UK exports. This would be a disaster for exporters to the EU, and to the 25,000 jobs in Swansea Bay that rely on these exports, to what is the world’s largest market.

The tariffs would also have a drastic effect on inward investment. Foreign manufacturers like Ford, Toyota and Airbus invest in the UK as a tariff-free platform into the EU. Voting to leave would put thousands of jobs and millions in investment at risk across West Wales.

I also said to Boris Johnson that as the vast majority of EU countries had a trade deficit with the UK we would face tariffs, he had no answer.


Steel March Outside Parliament

I was pleased to stand shoulder to shoulder with steelworkers from Swansea Bay on their march outside Parliament. The Government must underwrite the Tata Steel pension scheme and take an equity share of British Steel under new ownership so that investors know we're in it together for the long run and we will do what it takes to keep steel production in the UK.

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Crohn's and Colitis Event Opening

It was great to open Wales' first Crohn's and Colitis Swansea Walk from Blackpill through Mumbles with Rebecca Evans AM. There were 250 walkers compared to just 1200 in the whole of London so Swansea is punching above its weight.

It was a lovely day to stroll along Swansea's breathtaking water-front to support this little-understood condition which affects more people than Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis combined.  One in 200 people has inflammatory bowel disease IBD which is a third of a million people - more than the entire city and county of Swansea.

The life-long condition which causes ulceration and inflammation of the colon has a debilitating effect that can cause diarrhoea, severe pain and extreme fatigue. It effects people's work and education and makes them suffer physically and emotionally.

We need to raise awareness, provide more IBD nurses and get faster diagnosis across the UK. Meanwhile we need to work for a cure as at the moment we just have drugs that help manage  the symptoms.

I will be setting up an all party parliamentary group in Parliament and Rebecca Evans will be championing Crohn's and Colitus In the Assembly in particular in her Public Health Bill including the need for more public toilets.

We need to establish a public access right to toilets in bars, restaurants and large stores to ensure none of us are caught short, in particular those with IBD.

After talking the talk and walking the walk myself and Rebecca got our Crohn's and Colitis medals. I then sang "Ain't Misbehaving" with the Dixielanders Trad Jazz Band!

 

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