My Diary Week Ending 28th January 2018.
International trade is a 2 way street. That was very clear this week when British Steel showed that when there's a level playing field they can win contracts, not only in the UK and Europe, but across the world as they announced a contract to supply steel to a massive Chinese port development. But, as I took part in the deliberations of the excitingly titled Taxation (Cross-Border) Bill, it is equally clear that as we leave the EU we ...must ensure that the protections from unfair trade remain in place - particularly to prevent the dumping of Chinese steel.
Steel is a commodity traded in a free market so when countries - like China - are trying to sell it for less than it costs to produce proper trade defence instruments need to be in place. I will continue to strongly argue that the UK Government shouldn't weaken these protections as we leave the EU - which appears to be what they want to do.
It was good to catch up with NFU Sugar who produce, amongst other things, the popular silver brand with sugar beet grown in our area.
Concern about ensuring better access for students from disadvantaged backgrounds in to our universities was explored at a meeting with universities and with the outgoing Director of Fair Access to Higher Education.
Better research in to diseases like dementia and cancer is driven by our universities, often in alliance with key charities. So it was good to meet with the Alzeimers Society and learn about the work they are doing locally to support better understanding and treatment of dementia.
I also enjoyed visiting the brilliant Cancer Research UK shop on Scunthorpe High Street to meet the staff and volunteers whose work brings in the money to pay for the research. It was also good to learn about the work that CRUK are doing with local GPs, community pharmacies and others.
I visited Fibrecycle Uk Limited who are fast becoming a market leader for cat litter product which they produce from 100% recycled material. Another local success story!!!! It was good to meet up with the local WASPI - Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign group (picture above with Rosie Jordan) to be updated on how their campaign is going and what more I can do to support them in getting pension justice for 1950s born women. And it was good to touch base with local police chiefs to hear how the force is tackling the spate of burglaries, anti-social behaviour and more serious crimes.