Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, has attended a conference hosted by sister city Caen in Normandy this week.
The MP was the keynote speaker at a conference event on Brexit organised by ‘Jeunes Europeens’ held at Campus Caen, Sciences Po Rennes. Caen and Portsmouth are this year celebrating thirty years of twinning marking decades of exchanges and close collaboration across the English Channel for mutual benefit.
As well as the speech, Mr Morgan also took the opportunity to use the visit to meet with a number of businesses and authorities which rely on trade with Portsmouth and south-east of England.
Stephen received the tour of businesses today with local councillors representing the Mayor of Caen taking in a multi-lingual nursery for UK nationals and other nationalities, a port authority, freight and transit companies and a meeting at Caen regional airport which now offers flights to our nation’s capital.
Certainty over border controls, tariff concerns, immigration and visa arrangements were all hot topics in the discussions raised by businesses leaders and community representatives on the visits and at last night’s conference.
Speaking at the event Stephen said:
“Our geographical and cultural proximity results in shared interests and values, generating deep international bonds not easily unravelled, regardless of political climates.
We not only share a history, but the busiest seaway in the world, we cooperate intimately on defence to keep our citizens, and all of Europe, safe; we are leading trading partners; hugely significant foreign direct investment flows both ways across the channel; and the economic links between our nations is vital”.
The MP gave an update on Britain’s negotiations with the EU on Brexit so far, the progress of the EU Withdrawal Bill and answered a range of questions from a packed room of students and UK nationals.
“Britain needs a future with jobs and living standards secured, an economy upgraded and investment in every community and region. That’s why the Government must end the uncertainty over the Brexit negotiations effecting our businesses and communities both in the UK and abroad.
And to do this, we must have a close future relationship with Europe based on values I, and my country, hold dear – internationalism, solidarity and equality”.
I will be following up the helpful visit with discussions with port and customs authorities in the UK, as well as in the House of Commons”.