Com­mu­nity, trains and the Ir­ish ques­tion - again

Bangor Mail - - LONDON BEAT -

IT was a real plea­sure to join a cross-sec­tion of churches and chapels across the Is­land and be­yond to wel­come the new Archdea­con of Anglesey, Andy Her­rick, to his role.

The ser­vice was led by the Bishop of Ban­gor and fo­cussed its at­ten­tion on the ser­vice of oth­ers and the com­mu­nity as the main tenets of his duty.

It is vi­tal we all work to­gether for the ben­e­fit of the en­tire com­mu­nity.

I look for­ward to work­ing with Rev Andy in the fu­ture as I do with com­mu­nity groups and other civic and reli­gious lead­ers across our proud Is­land com­mu­nity.

In Par­lia­ment, I put the case to the Chan­cel­lor of the Ex­che­quer that the money saved from the UK Govern­ment’s de­ci­sion to cancel the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of the rail line from Cardiff to Swansea be spent in Wales.

This is in step with the views of the Welsh Af­fairs Com­mit­tee and I will keep on the pres­sure to get a more level play­ing field for our rail net­work. The new Wales and Borders fran­chise holder was an­nounced this week, with fur­ther de­tails to fol­low. Fair fund­ing from the UK can im­prove Welsh rail­ways fur­ther.

I also met with en­ergy de­vel­op­ers, with lob­by­ists on the EU and Brexit, and at­tended a meet­ing of the All Party Group on Ja­pan. It is im­por­tant in my role to bal­ance lo­cal, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional mat­ters.

The Ir­ish ques­tion con­tin­ues to be a main is­sue of con­cern in the Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions, a mat­ter I have raised con­sis­tently. A cus­toms union agree­ment is es­sen­tial to break this dead­lock. The Prime Min­is­ter knows this, but is be­ing bounced by Brexit hard­lin­ers, de­spite all in­di­ca­tors and busi­nesses say­ing that, with­out these ar­range­ments, the eco­nomic con­se­quences are dire for all na­tions and re­gions of the UK.

I do not be­lieve that those who voted to leave the EU want their com­mu­ni­ties to be poorer.

That is why a cus­toms union ar­range­ment is vi­tal and why I have been meet­ing Welsh Govern­ment lead­ers, in­clud­ing the First Min­is­ter, and Labour’s front­bench spokesman Keir Starmer on the is­sue. They get it. Sadly, af­ter rais­ing it with the UK Govern­ment on many oc­ca­sions, they do not, in pub­lic at least.

Over the Whit­sun minire­cess I in­tend to get out and about and will put some time aside for a fam­ily break and en­joy the great out­doors.

MP Al­bert Owen is look­ing for­ward to en­joy­ing a mini-re­cess break on Anglesey

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.