What are my views on Brexit?
I voted to leave and support a deal or no deal exit.
If the referendum had given a pro-remain stance then I would champion that standpoint. No one politician is bigger or more important than the consensus of the people they represent.
What informed my decisions?
I am well-travelled and was one of the first Welsh ‘EVS Volunteers’ (European Voluntary Service) in 1997. I speak French. I have been involved with Town Twinning for years. I have very close links with friends and business colleagues in France, Czech and Poland. I have worked with the British Council on many European and International programs. In essence, I have a wide experience of European culture, business and government.
In 2017 I organised a public debate about the European Issue and the referendum. 300 tickets were snapped up and I arranged a panel that represented all factions with Roy Noble hosting. I even brought a European Minister from our Twin Town of Montelimar to be part of the debate. For those that could not attend, I organised a TV-style live stream. A few hours before the event was due to start the MP Jo Cox was murdered. In respect for Jo Cox and with the agreement of all participants we called the debate off.
I organised the event on for one main reason. I had a pro-leave stance and wanted a diverse, open discussion from all sides for local people to be involved in and help them sway or solidify opinion.
After decades of EU support the main arguments from the remain camp revolved around losing grants and money.
Early in my business life, I fell into the trap of chasing grants and looking for handouts. Spending days and weeks filling in forms and taking too much time searching for money for ‘free’. My business and mindset became stagnant. I witness this in government, charities and factions of our community. Many of the problems our area suffers from are as a result of reliance on hand-outs. It breeds a culture and mindset that lacks ambition, foresight, a desire to grow, a wish to get up and make something new, something better.
My small business fell victim to ‘charitable or social enterprises’ being set up because there was funding available. I had to lay-off employees because of this practice. The new charities, social enterprises, even colleges and universities would be paying high salaries but undercutting market rates. I have many examples of closed-minded approaches and the negative effects of reliance on funding and what it does for our communities.
The Cynon Valley has much to offer. The Cynon Valley gets overlooked by the central government. Because our area has a safe labour presence there is complacency in government.
When 57% of an electorate vote in a certain way and are not supported by their politicians then something is wrong.
I have a business-minded, entrepreneurial and possibly left-wing attitude. BUT I believe that the referendum result needs to be respected and we need to move on. Our Labour, Communist, Plaid or Lib Dem representatives will NOT do this. Our Brexit Party and Conservatives will put their party first before this valley when Brexit is completed.