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Darren asks government about UK company participation in EU projects after Brexit

Currently, after Brexit the UK will for a time continue to contribute financially to EU Security and Defence projects. However, non-EU country companies are prohibited from bidding for EU security and defence projects. Mindful of the effect this could have on companies, Darren asked the Government Minister for Defence Procurement about this potential situation and whether it could be prevented.

 

Darren also asked how concern around funding for the Galileo project tied into concerns around defence funding in general.

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Darren speaks to BBC News about Brexit risk to Airbus UK

Airbus have today stated that they ‘require immediate details’ on what they will need to do as a consequence of Brexit, as ‘without these, Airbus believes that the impacts on our UK operations could be significant’. They’ve also specifically stated that a No Deal Brexit or an overly short transition period could impact their business in Britain.

Darren spoke to BBC about what this could mean for Bristol, and what the government needed to do to fix the situation.

 

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Watch Darren ask business and third sector representatives about post-Brexit visas

The Science and Technology committee, which Darren is a member of, held a one off evidence session on post-Brexit immigration arrangements. The session was set up to help the committee develop proposals for an immigration system which works for science and innovation.

The witnesses were from a range of bodies, including techUK (the main trade body for technology companies in the UK), the Wellcome Trust (a health research charity) and the Campaign for Science and Engineering.

Darren asked them about which non-EEA countries we should focus on getting visa arrangements in place with.

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Darren speaks about Obesity and Brexit on ITV

Darren appeared on this topical debate show with Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative MP for Totnes and Lib Dem Peer Baroness Judith Jolly, who’s from North Cornwall.

The topics of debate were obesity and Brexit. This was because Dr Sarah Wollaston and Darren both sit on committees which had recently done work on addressing obesity, and moreover nearly 20,000 year six pupils in the West Country are obese – illustrating a growing epidemic. Brexit is always in the news, but this week it was particularly important as it was time to consider the Lords’ amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Darren discussed his work on the Science and Technology Committee, and what the government could do to tackle obesity. He then discussed his own position on Brexit, and what he would like to see in a Brexit deal if Brexit does happen.

You can watch the full episode here.

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Darren votes on EU withdrawal bill amendments

This week, the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which decides how we will leave the EU – if we do – came back to the House of Commons. The House of Lords had added amendments including for EEA membership and a meaningful vote in Parliament on the final deal. The Commons was asked to vote on these. Darren wrote a letter to constituents, published on Facebook, explaining how he would vote. You can read the letter here.

 

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Watch Darren on BBC Sunday Politics West

Today, Darren was on BBC Sunday Politics West, appearing as a studio guest alongside Conservative MP for Wells James Heappy. He was asked about Brexit, energy and transport.

Firstly, Darren was asked about his views on Brexit. He took the opportunity to restate his commitment to mitigating the effects of Brexit as far as possible.

In relation to energy, the government’s recent decision to fund a new nuclear power station with public money was discussed. Darren said that  more money needed to go into renewable energy sources, like wind and tidal energy.

Darren then spoke about the need for better transport in North Bristol. He highlighted, in particular, the need for better road networks owing to new developments in the area – which could come from a £50m fund which North Bristol will need if the Bristol Arena is situated there.

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Darren asks government about Brexit

In European Scrutiny Committee today, Darren asked the Northern Ireland secretary – Karen Bradley MP – about Brexit, particularly in relation to Northern Ireland.

He first asked about the single market, customs arrangements (including the possibility of EU customs at Avonmouth port) and the Good Friday agreement after Brexit, and if she knew of any global examples of arrangements which might work here.

He then asked whether she had had meetings with the DUP on this issue, and on the content of these meetings.

He finally asked about whether or not we were running out of time to get customs and trade arrangements in place before Brexit.

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Darren supports the UK staying in the Customs Union

Darren was in Parliament today to support the UK staying in the Customs Union. He supported the following motion:

That this House notes that the EU is the UK’s largest export market for goods, accounting
for a total of £145bn of exports and £241bn of imports in 2016; further notes the
Thursday 26 April 2018 OP No.125: Part 1 Business Today: Chamber 7
Government’s expressed aim to secure the freest and most frictionless possible trade
in goods between the UK and the EU after 29 March 2019; notes the importance of
frictionless trade without tariffs, customs or border checks for manufacturers and
businesses across the country who trade with the EU; further notes that the free
circulation of goods on the island of Ireland is a consequence of the UK’s and Republic
of Ireland’s membership of the EU Customs Union; in addition notes the Government’s
commitment to (i), in the UK-EU joint report on progress during phase 1 of the Article 50
negotiations, the maintenance of North-South cooperation and the all-island economy
on the island of Ireland, (ii) the Belfast Agreement implemented in the Northern Ireland
Act 1998 remaining a fundamental principle of public policy and (iii) the continuation
of unfettered access for Northern Ireland’s businesses to the whole of the UK internal
market; and therefore calls on the Government to include as an objective in negotiations
on the future relationship between the UK and the EU the establishment of an effective
customs union between the two territories.

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Watch Darren on Sunday Politics West

Darren appeared on Sunday Politics West today. He was asked about the Customs Union, amongst other things:

To find out what else Darren was asked about, watch his full appearance at 38 minutes in here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09vjp76/sunday-politics-west-18032018.