Category Archives: Uncategorized

Event: Swansea CF Question Time

Swansea Conservative Future are hosting a question time event this evening. With the panel made up of Simon Richards of the Freedom Association, Cllr Linda Lloyd, Suzy Davies AM and Byron Davies AM.

If your interested in attending please contact me.


a reminder that last year was particularly difficult, that we face problems at home with the debts built up over many years, and problems abroad with the eurozone, where we export many of our products, deep in recession
George Osborne, 2013

In reaction to the latest GDP figures

Cameron Europe Speech

Today David Cameron, promised that if the Conservative Party were to win the next general election, to allow the British public to have their say about Britain’s membership of Europe.

So If a Referendum was held, how would you vote?

Marina Yannakoudakis – Being An MEP

My work as a Member of the European Parliament covers a wide range of issues from violence against women to EU rules on harmful chemicals, but above all I am mindful of ensuring that my constituents get a good deal out of the EU and that European rules work to the advantage, not the detriment, of local businesses.

I suppose that some of this rationale comes from my background as a small businesswoman. What always astounds me at the European level – and it may well be the case at the national level too – is that both mandarins and legislators alike do not have sufficient experience of the business world. Some eurocrats have very little experience outside the Brussels bubble and that is as far away from real world experience as you can get!

One of the issues which I am concentrating on at the moment is trying to ensure that sugar cane refiners, including London’s Tate & Lyle factory which is the largest refinery in the EU, are not unfairly disadvantaged by complicated EU agriculture rules governing the sugar market. I have been disappointed at the European Commission’s rigid adherence to the rules it has set down rather than the flexibility to adjust them to current circumstances. In business this is something that companies need to do all the time. And worst of all the Commission’s inflexibility is costing jobs: over 4,000 across Europe with many highly-skilled manufacturing posts threatened in London.

A number of other battles which I have fought for my constituents have proved that the EU is not business-minded when it comes to rule setting and SMEs in particular suffer from over-zealous interference by Brussels. I think the EU interferes too much in UK employment legislation and I welcome efforts to reform our relationship with the EU in this area. One of my major achievements in my 3 years as an MEP was when I blocked the proposed EU Maternity Leave Directive. The legislation would have granted women twenty weeks of maternity leave on compulsory full pay. The costs of the plans to UK economy would have been £2.5 billion a year and they would have made young women less employable.

One of the committee’s on which I sit is the women’s rights committee and, while motivated by best intentions, its measures to improve the lives of women often end up doing exactly the opposite. Members of the committee have moved proposals for full employment for women, ignoring the fact that many women make the choice to stay at home to be with their families. When I was running a small business I was also raising three children, but being a small business owner gave me the flexibility I needed to care for my family. In the UK we see how government measures such as the single-tier pension help stay-at-home mums while extending childcare to three and four year-olds support those women who want to – or increasingly have to – go out to work.

I was pleased to author the European Parliament equivalent of a private members’ bill on Women and SMEs. 150,000 start-ups would be created each year in Britain if women started businesses at the same rate as men. My bill included proposals for the mentoring of women as well as better access to finance.

But if women do set up small businesses these companies need to be protected from overly-intrusive EU legislation. One area that I am working on at the moment is the EU’s chemicals directive, which has a one-size fits all policy which is placing undue burden on SMEs. I have met with the EU Chemicals Agency, but as with most encounters with the EU bureaucracy, I am engaged for the long-haul!

If the Single Market is to work, we need those who make the regulations to be more mindful of how rules affect real people, real companies. I and my fellow Conservative MEPs are working to engage Europe, to change it from within. Our hard work often pays off and it certainly makes more of a difference than carping from the side-lines.

Find out more about Marina at or on Twitter: @MarinaMEP

Katie Redmond – The Power of Wales

“It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom” – Albert Einstein

Since the dawn of time, the Welsh economy was built on mining. The Romans mined for Welsh gold, the Industrial Revolution was galvanised by welsh iron and steel production and Cardiff was on the map as the top coal exporter in the world. By the 1990s only 2 steel works were left in South Wales, the coal and iron deposits have been depleted and the mines closed down; slashing open a swathe of unemployment and pushing up power bills.

So we have 3 gaps here, we need new industry, we need new jobs and we need cheap electricity. And you know what, we can kill all three birds with one stone. We need to go nuclear.

Prime Minister David Cameron has been converting his political power into domestic power by clamping down on complicated energy tariffs. More significantly, though, he has announced a £700m investment in UK nuclear power from Japanese technology giant, Hitachi for 8 new reactors. This includes an expansion of the Wylfa nuclear plant on Anglesey, North Wales, a proposal rightly supported by the Welsh Assembly. It’s as good for jobs, engineering and cheap electricity as it is for Welsh pride – reinstating the power house of the West.

John Griffiths, the Welsh Labour environment minister, is sceptical. He echoes Alex Salmond’s ambitions in driving nuclear out of Scotland in favour of renewables. This is the wrong approach, as Germany is learning the hard way.

We need to recognise the opportunity here, Wales has all the ingredients for a long term nuclear economy. An abundance of coastline, an industrial workforce and a powerful national identity founded on powering our industrial roots. This is a win-win: we need nuclear, and we need it now.

Katie Redmond

Britain’s nascent Eurofan fightback against the Europhobes is tussling with how to utilise Denis MacShane, a former MP who many on both sides of the Commons feel was treated roughly when forced to quit Rotherham. It was MacEurope, a walking encyclopaedia on all things EU, who spotted instantly that Cameron’s double-Dutch big speech on 22 January would upset Monsieur Hollande and Frau Merkel by clashing with the 50th-anniversary celebrations in Berlin of a Franco- German Élysée treaty.
Kevin Maguire, 22 January 2013, The New statesman

You can hardly call resigning after admitting you committed fraud rough treatment…