Jonathan Edwards: The day before a recess, I am reliably informed, is known as “take the trash out day” in Government circles. Before this year’s Easter recess, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport published its long-awaited review of the future of S4C. I am sure that the British Government would want to avoid the impression that they would refer to my country’s primary asset in...
Jonathan Edwards: What discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on the cancellation of the electrification of the Great Western main line between Cardiff and Swansea.
Jonathan Edwards: We know from press reports issued during the Easter break that the Prime Minister personally made the decision to renege on an election promise to electrify the main line to Swansea on the basis of cost. Is not the reality that the British Government do not consider the west of my country worthy of investment?
Jonathan Edwards: Will the Minister briefly comment on what the British Government are doing to work with European partners on disease surveillance post Brexit? At the moment, data can be shared across the EU. How will that function after Brexit, to ensure that our livestock are protected?
Jonathan Edwards: I should declare an interest: my wife works for Carmarthen Veterinary Centre and Hospital back home in the motherland. I was recently at a leaving do for Mr Phillip Williams, who founded the practice 40 years ago. One of the farmers—Mr John James of Tŷ Llwyd, Felingwm, who is a very famous farmer in Carmarthenshire —made a tribute speech and said there are only two people he...
Jonathan Edwards: I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on securing the debate, but it seems to me that we are entering a global trade war, largely driven by the protectionist policies of the United States. Is it his view that domestic industries are better protected within the EU customs union or outside it?
Jonathan Edwards: It seems to me that over recent months the UK has changed its position from negotiating the final deal before the transition period to negotiating the final deal during the transition period. Is not the reality that the British Government’s negotiating position will be considerably weakened once we have left the EU?
Jonathan Edwards: Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman give way?
Jonathan Edwards: Pasg hapus iawn i chi—a very happy Easter to you, Mr Deputy Speaker.
Jonathan Edwards: Thank you. After turning a blind eye to Turkey’s disgraceful offensive against the Kurds in Afrin province, will the British Government now unreservedly condemn the Turkish army’s intention to extend the offensive into Idlib, Manbij and Kobane, and all the way to the Iraq border? As Turkey is now directly undermining a counter-Daesh operation, should not the British Government at...
Jonathan Edwards: Is it not the case that, under current plans, the British Government will be able to sign off UK-wide trade deals without the consent of the devolved Parliaments, meaning that the Belgian region of Wallonia will have more power over EU trade deals than Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will have over UK trade deals?
Jonathan Edwards: The right hon. Gentleman has mentioned a number of investigations involving the Electoral Commission that are currently under way. Does he believe that the commission should undertake the task, or should there be a public inquiry, as suggested by the journalist who broke the story?
Jonathan Edwards: I join colleagues who have paid tribute to the work of Lord Crickhowell and Lord Richard. Lord Richard was from Ammanford, my home town, and although I am not that familiar with the work of Lord Crickhowell, I certainly pay tribute to the work of Ivor Richard and his incredible contribution to developing the devolution settlement in our country of Wales. The Secretary of State’s remarks...
Jonathan Edwards: I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman can get away with trying to portray the Swansea Bay city deal as some sort of UK Government giveaway to the Welsh economy, because 90% of the money comes from the Welsh public and private sectors.
Jonathan Edwards: Will the hon. Lady give way on that point, because this is a very interesting debate?
Jonathan Edwards: The hon. Lady is being very kind. As I understand it, the Labour party’s policy is that it supports being in a customs union, not the customs union. She will know that as a member of the customs union we benefit from trade deals with over 60 countries across the world, accounting for £150 billion-worth of trade at UK level—there are no figures for Wales, of course. If we are...
Jonathan Edwards: Will the hon. Lady give way again?
Jonathan Edwards: But that’s just spin, isn’t it?
Jonathan Edwards: I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his work on this Bill, but I would not want him to leave Carmarthenshire out of his list. Will he join me in congratulating the Plaid Cymru-run Carmarthenshire County Council—the council in Wales that has rehoused the largest number of refugees by a country mile in our country?
Jonathan Edwards: In the time available, I would like to touch on a number of points that are relevant to the debate, starting with what has been its main crux this afternoon: the future trading relationship between the EU and the UK. Yesterday, the European Parliament passed a resolution on the framework of the future trade relationship, which will feed into next week’s EU summit and the EU negotiating...