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.
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.
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!
Geraint Davies, MP for Swansea West, challenged David Cameron during Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament today.
Geraint Davies said, “The air in our cities including London is toxic and illegal, with diesel fumes contributing to 800 deaths every week – that’s killing 40,000 a year. So why is the Prime Minister, with the Mayor of London, instead of removing the worst polluting vehicles from our streets, lobbying the EU in Brussels to weaken plans to clean up our air, and save lives?”
The Prime Minister answered, “I want a strong car industry in Britain… we are a major investor and builder of diesel engines.”
Speaking after the debate, Geraint Davies said, “Cameron’s answer was to put diesel car manufacturers before people’s lives. His response to this public health disaster is unacceptable. Instead of taking action to remove the worst polluting vehicles, he has instead lobbied Brussels to weaken our plans to clean up the UK’s air.
“In his answer to my question, Cameron made it clear that his priority is to protect big businesses like Volkswagen, who last year were found guilty of installing defeat devices, which means that more toxic pollutants were on our streets. His Government’s failure is costing 800 lives a week and 40,000 every year.”
Earlier this year, Geraint Davies published his Air Quality Bill, which was unopposed in the Commons and included provisions to properly test vehicles, ban the most polluting vehicles from city centres, and give local authorities greater powers to create pedestrian areas and low emissions zones, and promotes a fiscal strategy, such as old diesel scrappage and LPG taxi conversion schemes.
Geraint Davies said, “My Bill puts forward a range of provisions which would help to mediate this crisis. The Government’s failure to implement these suggestions have led to a legal challenge in the Supreme Court from climate charity Client Earth. The Government’s failure to act is illegal and allowing thousands to die every year. The Government must now act.”