Global Britain is an attractive slogan, evoking thoughts of our great trading heritage and also some of our cutting edge technologies leading the world. We can enter new and expanding markets as well as enriching our cultural connections and exploring interesting import options. This week I was happy to vote in support of the trade deal between the EU and Japan, which can be a springboard to us developing a deeper relationship with them including in services later on. It’s a good example of how increasingly trade across the globe shares a regulatory environment that reduces friction. I spoke in the debate to raise the potential for future collaborations between Leonardo and Kawasaki.
As part of this drive to explore worldwide ideas and experiences I co-hosted an event in Parliament last week with the Institute of Economic Affairs. During a discussion on an independent trade policy, we welcomed guests including Sir Lockwood Smith, former New Zealand Commissioner to the UK as well as World Trade Organisation ambassadors from Mexico and Canada. It was a refreshing change from what has been a rather introspective time in Westminster, well attended by other MPs and representatives of policy units and think tanks, and I hope that it was a useful contribution to the process of developing our relationships.
I also attended a good meeting at the Singapore High Commission with business and Government spokespeople which again was friendly, practical and encouraging. Countries like these have growing economies and are disadvantaged by EU tariffs – there are great opportunities ahead.
It was a pleasure to attend the Yeovil College Shining Stars award ceremony. One of the biggest privileges of being an MP is talking to young people about their hopes and ambitions. On behalf of the College I asked about T-levels in Education Questions in the House of Commons on Monday. I think the technical qualifications will be a really important addition to our educational offering and will support local institutions looking to grow that side of the curriculum as well as talking to businesses and employers about useful collaborations and partnerships in the area.
Skills development continues to be a big focus and I had good meeting with Sam Gyimah this week too – he is the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation which is a role split between the Departments of Business and Education, a forward-looking arrangement.
Finally thanks to everyone who joined me on my latest drop-in advice surgery day. As always it was brilliant to meet some new people, hear their thoughts and take on a few issues too.
If there is an issue I can help you with or if you would like to make an appointment at one of my surgeries please do call my office on 01935314321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . I hope everyone is enjoying the weather but do take care and look after each other too.