Last week a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling opened the door on the United States of America imposing tariffs on Airbus and other goods coming from the UK. These tariffs are expected to hit us to the tune of $7.5 billion.
Airbus directly employs around 13,500 jobs and an additional 110,000 jobs are linked via supply chains. The United States use of the WTO to restrict free trade is deeply concerning.
Free trade makes us all better off and these new tariffs will also harm the US. Indeed, Airbus employs (directly and indirectly) 275,000 in the United States. Yet again President Donald Trump has decided to pursue a trade war instead of pursuing wealth for all countries.
I asked the new trade minister what action he has taken. He said he has spoken with the other industries hit by these new tariffs and will be talking with the US Ambassador to the UK. We can’t afford to waste any time if we are to end this trade war. The UK Government need to act quickly and decisively if we are to reinstate free trade for one of the biggest employers in Flintshire.
The Prime Minister came to the Commons at the end of the week to present his new negotiating position with the EU to MPs.
I wanted to delve into the detail of his proposals because they deeply concern me over the impact on businesses and stability on the island of Ireland. Within paragraph nine of his proposals, the UK Government say that traders moving goods between Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain would need to implement a new system of checks. Not only would this place new costs on businesses moving goods and services between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland, but it would also introduce infrastructure on the island of Ireland.
We have gone from a situation where there would be one border on the island of Ireland under the former Prime Minister, Theresa May MP’s, deal to two in this.
Additional borders cost money, and in the case of Northern Ireland erect barriers between communities. This is dangerous.
The Prime Minister offered a meeting and I will happily take him up on that offer.
Today marked the first time the new Prime Minister was tested in the Commons. Boris Johnson MP has now completed the creation of his cabinet and it is the most right wing government I have seen in over 30 years. He has appointed a Home Secretary who supports the death penalty, a Foreign Secretary who has called feminists obnoxious bigots and a Housing Minister who doesn’t believe that children should learn about LGBT+ relationships. But the one thing that unites this grisly cabinet is that they all want a no deal Brexit.
That is why I asked the new Prime Minister if, instead of bluff and bluster, he could tell the Commons what the tariffs would be on sheep meat, planes and cars in the event of no deal. I was hoping that the Prime Minister would live up to the seriousness of his new job and provide detailed answers so we could have an informed debate. Instead, the bluff and bluster returned. We were told we just needed to trust in him and believe that it will all turn out alright in the end.
This is a worrying example of a man who is more persuaded by his own ego than everyone else. When we look back at all the Prime Ministers of the past they took decisions because they thought them to be in the national interest. I fear that the only interest our new Prime Minister cares about is his own.
Labour secured an emergency debate today noting our anger that the UK Government unilaterally pulled the vote that should have taken place tonight on their UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement.
I was able to intervene in the Deputy Prime Minister to put to him we could have moved a step closer to sorting Brexit if we were allowed the vote today, and noted how I have been inundated with correspondence from constituents putting forward their concerns on the UK Government’s handling of this.
It is an utter shambles which is harming our businesses – like the important agriculture sector – in Delyn. The UK Government may have saved themselves from tonight’s vote, but they are prolonging the pain for everyone else.