Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP
Kay’s latest visits in Wales
Cardiff University, December 2014

I was delighted to be invited to Cardiff University’s recent event - Vision 2020 Policy Hub meeting and EMC³. Vision2020 acts as a hub linking excellent Horizon 2020 participants from universities, research organisations and SMEs, and works to maximise the value and Horizon 2020 funding its members can obtain. It was a pleasure to see the wonderful work already done, to review Vision2020's activities in 2014, and to discuss further exciting developments for 2015.

North Wales Conservative Policy Forum, Llandudno, November 2014
Kay led a stimulating debate on the future direction of the European Union and was pleased to take questions from the audience.
British Ports Association, Swansea, October 2014
It is essential that Wales makes the most of its considerable tourism potential and I was very interested to meet with the British Ports Association in Swansea to discuss their future development and the options available to increase tourism in the area.
Cardiff Enterprise Zone, October 2014
I was delighted to be asked to speak on how we can attract financial services businesses to Cardiff. This would provide more well paid jobs to boost the Welsh economy.
Conservative Policy Forum, Llandaff, October 2014
It was a pleasure to address the audience at the Conservative policy forum and provide an update on the work of the European Parliament and take questions on the big issues of the day. 
Gwbert, Pembrokeshire, September 2014
I was delighted to address the Conservative Policy Forum and to take questions from the audience on the latest financial developments in the EU.
GE Aviation, Nantgarw, May 2014
It was a pleasure to visit GE Aviation in Natgarw to see the wonderful work in progress there. Firms such as GE are helping Wales to lead the way in research and development, sustaining thousands of highly skilled jobs and are making a huge contribution to the Welsh economy.
Monmouthshire Livestock Market, May 2014
Today I met with local farmers at the Monmouthshire Livestock Market. I have worked tirelessly with my Conservative colleagues in Europe to ensure that our farmers get a better deal from new reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy. Farming is an integral part of our local economy and it is vital that we ensure it is able to compete on a level playing field with the rest of Europe.

Skye Instruments Ltd, Llandrindod Wells, May 2014
Skye Instruments Ltd has been designing and manufacturing instrumentation for Environmental Monitoring, Plant Growth and Agricultural Research since 1983. Much of their work includes producing instruments that help companies comply with European environmental regulations. At Westminster and in Wales, Conservatives are taking steps to support businesses and help them grow through enterprise zones, lower taxes, and support for apprenticeships. As MEP for Wales, I will continue to work to secure the right conditions for our small and medium enterprises to thrive. As MEP for Wales, I will continue to work to secure the right conditions for our small and medium enterprises to thrive.
Olleco, Newport, May 2014

I visited Olleco's Wales depot in Newport. Olleco is one of the largest collectors of waste cooking oil in the country. They collect waste cooking oil from over 60,000 catering and retail establishments across the UK and convert this waste into sustainable biodiesel for transport. Olleco is a great example of the innovative spirit of a Wales based company. Using a problematic waste product, cooking oil, and converting this into fuel for our diesel cars and generators.

Restore our Beach, Llandudno, May 2014
I was happy to be able to support the 'Restore our Beach' campaign with local AM Janet Finch-Saunders in Llandudno. It is essential that the area receives all the financial support it possibly can to ensure that tourism continues to flourish and support the local economy.
Glanbia Cheese, Llangefni, May 2014

Glanbia Cheese is a great example of how a company based in Wales is taking full advantage of access to a European market of 500 million consumers. By sourcing local milk, by producing cheese locally, and by engaging with local businesses and services, the company is playing an important role in sustaining economic growth in Wales.

Avox, Wrexham, May 2014
It was wonderful to revist Avox in Wrexham who have joined forces with Glyndwr University to create a new internship and awards scheme, just weeks after the company announced plans to create 200 new jobs in North Wales.
Wagtail UK, Flintshire, May 2014
I was pleased to visit and see the excellent work done at Flintshire-based Wagtail UK, who are leading providers of specialist detection dogs. The dogs are trained to detect explosives and firearms, drugs, tobacco and illegal immigrants.
Cellpath, Newtown, April 2014
I was very impressed by my recent visit to Cellpath Ltd in Newtown. We discussed the company's growth plans and the progress they are making in a project funded by the EU's Research and Innovation fund, FP7.
Horizon 2020 Conference, Cardiff, April 2014
I was delighted to be asked to speak at Cardiff University's Horizon 2020 Conference on how Horizon 2020 can be used to support Welsh universities, create jobs and boost growth in Wales.
Avox, Wrexham, April 2014

It was a pleasure to be invited to speak at Avox in Wrexham and to take part in the announcement that this global company has the confidence in the UK economy to create 200 new jobs in the local area. I have worked tirelessly to ensure the economic reform in Europe that will enable businesses to grow and provide prosperity here in Wales and further afield.

Gower Brewery, March 2014
It was a pleasure to be invited to a Gower micro brewery to see the excellent contribution they are making to the economy of the local area. In two and a half years, this enterprise is now running at capacity!
Mumbles, March 2014
I spent a very interesting afternoon with local business owners discussing issues such as how red tape is affecting the operation of Welsh businesses through to reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. It was great to meet with so many people who contribute so much to their local communities.
Radyr and Pentyrch Conservatives, Cardiff, February 2014
It was a pleasure to return to Radyr to speak to the local Conservative branch and update them on the latest developments in the European Parliament. Thank you for the kind invite and for your engaging questions!
Dyfed Powys Police Headquarters, Carmarthen, February 2014
I spent an informative couple of hours with the local Police Commissioner and Chief Inspector of Dyfed Powys Police who updated me on neighbourhood policing in the area and their priorities for the future.
Welsh Cottage Cakes, Llandeilo, February 2014
I spent a very interesting morning with the proprietor and staff of Welsh Cottage Cakes in Llandeilo. It was great to see a local business contributing so much to the local economy.
Ty Hywel, Cardiff, February 2014

I met with European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, László Andor in Ty Hywel and had the opportunity to discuss with him how Wales can ensure it generates the absolute maximum benefit from its new allocation of European Union funding for 2014 – 2020. During his visit Commissioner Andor will also be visiting the sites of three European Social Fund projects in Wales, to see how our communities have already been aided by EU funding.

Knighton Fire Station, November 2013


On a visit to Knighton Fire Station, I was saddened to hear about the threat to its future. Such an amenity provides an essential service to local people and I fully support the staff in their campaign to keep it open.


Whitton Community Centre, Powys, November 2013
It was a pleasure to be invited to Whitton Community Centre to speak to local members about my work for Wales and the UK in the European Parliament. I enjoyed hearing your views on the UK's relationship with the EU.  

Knighton Town Council, November 2013
I was happy to be invited by the Knighton Town Council to speak with them regarding any EU funding opportunities that might be of help to the local area. For as long as we remain a part of the EU, it is important that communities in Wales are aware of any funding opportunities the EU can offer.
Protocol Control Systems, Knighton, November 2013
I was impressed by Protocol Control Systems in Knighton, who manufacture electrical control systems for the process industry. John Thomas was an excellent guide to the impressive work going on there.
Radnor Hills Spring Water, Knighton, November 2013
I was extremely pleased to visit Radnor Hills Spring Water in Knighton with Cllr Trevor Johnson and Chris Davies. In 2012, Radnor Hills was placed amongst the 50 fastest growing privately owned food and drink companies in the UK by The Grocer magazine, the voice of the British grocery industry. What an excellent contribution to the local economy!
Roundtable meeting with William Graham AM and Sue Coles of University of South Wales, November 2013

I found a roundtable business meeting with William Graham AM and Sue Coles, Senior Marketing Lecturer at University of South Wales, very illuminating. It is vital that we support education as a driver of economic strength in Wales.
Sea Defences, Nr Langstone, November 2013
I met Mr Neville Walters and visited the sea defences near Langstone, Monmouthshire, to discuss issues arising there with local farmers.
Welsh Conservative Party Policy Forum, Llandudno, November 2013
It was once again a pleasure to address the Welsh Conservative Party Policy Forum in Llandudno and to see so many friends and supporters there. Discussions were varied and the interactive session on the UK and the EU was particularly interesting.
Preseli Pembrokeshire, November 2013
I spent a great afternoon with Paul Davies AM and his very able team in Preseli Pembrokeshire, campaigning on issues in the local community. I look forward to joining you again in the future!
Milford Haven Port Authority, November 2013
I was very pleased to be able to take up Milford Haven Porth Authority's invite to visit the site and to be briefed on the plans for Milford Haven. Thank you for a very informative visit!
Cardigan Castle, November 2013
It was a pleasure to return to Cardigan Castle and to hear from Cadwgan about the £11m restoration that has taken place there - which was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Tourism is vitally important to the economy of Wales and so I was particularly pleased to hear of the developments there.
Aberystwyth Conservative Future, November 2013
I spent a very interesting evening answering a wide range of stimulating questions on the EU from Aberystwyth CF members at Aberystwyth Conservative Club. It is always a pleasure to return to Aberystwyth and see the academic talent being nurtured there. 
Conservative Policy Forum, Cardiff, October 2013
I was delighted to see so many Welsh Conservative Party members turn out to support our Policy Forum in Cardiff yet again this year. As always, it was a very fruitful day, and a great opportunity for us to discuss the UK's relationship with the EU.
RSPB Conwy, October 2013
I have always enjoyed supporting the RSPB and was therefore keen to take them up on a visit of the Conwy reserve. It provided an excellent opportunity for the Head of European Policy Campaigns and the Projects Manager, to discuss their hopes and concerns for the future with me.
CBI Wales, Clwyd, October 2013
I spent a very interesting breakfast meeting with CBI Wales, where I answered questions from Welsh businesses in a 'Question Time' format. I was delighted to see so many representatives present, with such an appetite to develop their businesses.
Cowbridge Conservative Branch, Vale of Glamorgan, October 2013
It was a pleasure to be invited to address Cowbridge Conservatives at their branch function, on my work as the Conservative MEP for Wales. Discussions took a number of interesting routes and it was great to see friends old and new there. Thank you for such a warm welcome!
Llanfair and Caerwent Conservative Branch, Monmouthshire, October 2013
I spoke at Llanfair and Caerwent Conservative Branch's evening and was pleased to see so many Party supporters in attendance.
FSB Caerphilly Castle, September 2013
It was a pleasure to be invited to address the FSB at Caerphilly Castle on my role as a Member of the European Parliament for Wales and how this enables me to help the business community expand in Wales.
Kay Swinburne
Welcome to my website. It’s a pleasure to represent you in Europe as the Conservative MEP for Wales. I hope this site will give you a clear overview of my work in Europe and Wales on your behalf and that you will feel able to contact me either by leaving your details or through contacting our Wales office direct in English or Welsh. I look forward to hearing from you.
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Kay was delighted to help launch a European Parliamentary Interest Group on Innovation in Health and Social Care this week. This Interest Group is led by Health First Europe and with Kay’s support as one of the Co-Chairs will aim to facilitate greater focus on improving patient access to innovation in health and social care and to address key policy objectives around research, health promotion and public health at EU level.

Ensuring that public health is a Parliamentary priority in the next term, the Interest Group will focus its activities on prioritising innovation on the EU health and social care agenda, raising awareness of patient-centric solutions for sustainable, accessible and resilient health systems, and seeking broad support from MEPs for implementing innovative solutions for patients and healthcare professionals.

The Interest Group was launched on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of Health First Europe, bringing together officials from the European Institutions and health stakeholders to celebrate the past work of the association on a variety of key health issues.  The first meeting of the Interest Group will take place in 2015.


Kay was really pleased to welcome representatives from Swansea Conservative Future to the European Parliament, so that they could hear more about her work as an MEP and view this month’s mini-plenary session first-hand!


Kay was delighted to welcome a group of 12 constituents from Porthcawl to the European Parliament to discuss how European Union funding can be better used going forwards
to help grow businesses in Wales.


I was delighted to meet with members of British Council Wales to discuss the ways in which they promote Wales on an international stage.  We covered a wide range of issues including the Erasmus Plus programme, how efforts may be coordinated to showcase Wales globally and how to actively involve and educate Welsh schools as to what goes on in the European Parliament.

23/09/2014 Today Kay will be meeting with NFU Cymru President Stephen James and NFU Cymru Director John Mercer. Kay will have the opportunity to discuss the key current issues facing farmers, mainly being: The new CAP rules set to be implemented in just over three months and the new Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development who will be questioned on Thursday 2nd October on what he intends to achieve if his position is confirmed.

Welsh Conservative MEP Dr Kay Swinburne met local fishermen to discuss support for those unable to put to sea because of the severe winter storms.

Dr Swinburne was in Tenby for a meeting with the New Under Ten Fishermen's Association, which represents those operating in boats under 10m in length.

Inshore fleets in Wales have been particularly badly affected this winter as storms have prevented them from going to sea.

Fishermen have faced the choice of risking their lives at sea or not having enough money to pay their bills and feed their families. It was only by mid-February that fishermen were able to return to the sea after almost two months of inactivity.

Following pressure from Conservatives in the European Parliament, the European Commission revealed that support can be provided via EU schemes such as the European Fisheries Fund... (Read more under 'Articles')


Conservatives rallied sufficient support during a full plenary session in Brussels to overturn an earlier decision by the Environment Committee under which the EU would have attempted to force non-European airlines to pay a carbon levy every time they flew in or out of the EU. This would have provoked retaliation which could have severely damaged the UK's aerospace sector.


During the vote Plaid MEP Jill Evans joined Green colleagues in rejecting proposals to continue exempting non-European airlines from its Emissions Trading Scheme... (Read more under 'Articles')


Dr Kay Swinburne, Conservative MEP for Wales, has today become a Freeman of the City of London.

Dr Swinburne collected her Freedom of the City in a ceremony that took place today at London's Guildhall, in recognition of her work throughout this mandate as a Member of the European Parliament, particularly during her period as Co-ordinator on Economic and Monetary Affairs for the European Conservatives and Reformists Group.

The granting of the Freedom of the City of London is one of the oldest traditional ceremonies still in existence today...(Read more under 'Articles')


Dr Kay Swinburne MEP was delighted to welcome the Gwent Magistrates to the European Parliament in Brussels this week. The group, led by Revis Williams, enjoyed an informative talk about the workings and the history of the European institutions, followed by a visit of the main Parliament buildings.


The group also listened to the European Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee, and watched a televised briefing by UK Government Minister of State for Europe, David Lidington MP.


Speaking of the Gwent Magistrates' visit to the European Parliament, Dr Swinburne remarked:


"The opportunity to welcome Welsh constituents to the European Parliament, whether it be in Brussels or Strasbourg, is always an occasion which I look forward to. It was a pleasure to meet the Gwent Magistrates this week, and I look forward to hearing from them in the near future."


The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the Royal Air Force is reforming an auxiliary squadron in Wales, 57 years after its disbandment. The announcement follows a series of proposals outlined in the independent review of the UK's reserve forces, part of the overall strategic defence and security review in 2010.


The newly reformed squadron’s commanding officer, Wing Commander Phil Sagar, said:


“As reserves play a bigger part in the UK’s military strategy, the reforming of 614 Squadron will provide an exciting and challenging opportunity for people in Wales to be part of the future of their Royal Air Force."


Efforts to re-launch 614 Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force is now nearing completion, with an emphasis to start recruiting personnel to man the squadron in the near future.


Upon learning of the announcement, Dr Swinburne MEP commented:


"I am delighted to hear of the Ministry of Defence's decision to reform 614 Squadron in Wales, especially considering the UK's reserve forces play such a crucial role in the nation's defence capabilities.


"The opportunities to develop skills in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadron are endless, and provide for an excellent opportunity for those who are interested to train with likeminded driven, and professional individuals.


"I wish Wing Commander Sagar the best in the recruitment process for the squadron, and look forward to hearing of its successes in the weeks and months to come."


If you are interested in joining the reserve forces, find out how you can get involved at:  https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence/about/recruitment#join-the-reserves

Conservatives in the European Parliament have contacted the European Commission seeking information about EU funds for those facing financial losses because of the storms.


Inshore fleets, including those in Wales and southern England, have been particularly badly affected this winter as storms have prevented them from going to sea.


According to Dr Swinburne fishermen have faced the choice of risking their lives at sea or not having enough money to pay their bills and feed their families. Fishermen were finally able to return to the sea only last weekend after almost two months of inactivity.


Following pressure from Conservative MEPs, the European Commission has revealed that support can be provided via EU schemes such as the European Fisheries Fund...(Read more under 'Articles')



In advance of tomorrow's European Parliament vote on the Tobacco Products Directive UK Conservative MEPs gather to show that they are 'still fuming' about EU proposals to over-regulate e-cigarettes. Many of the companies currently supplying Welsh constituents with these less harmful alternatives to tobacco products are small Welsh businesses. As the proposal currently stands it would be draconian and likely to result in the e-cigarette business being moved to the pharmaceutical companies and tobacco companies themselves. Another unintended consequence would also be that the sponsorship of the Merthyr stadium by Welsh Company, E-ciggs would also be unlikely to be allowed if these measures are adopted unchanged.


Dr Kay Swinburne, Conservative MEP for Wales, will join representatives of UK thalidomide survivors today to meet with Health Commissioner, Tonio Borg, in Strasbourg.

These representatives have campaigned tirelessly for proper compensation for thalidomide survivors, from the German manufacturer of the drug, Grunenthal.

Speaking in advance of today's meeting Dr Swinburne MEP said:

"I am very pleased to have the opportunity to join the representatives at this crucial meeting today."

"Proper compensation from Grunenthal for thalidomide survivors is long over-due, but these representatives have refused to give up, campaigning continually for justice."

"I have already written to Commissioner Borg stating my support for their campaign and I really hope that together we will be able to secure the help of the Commissioner, in brokering a meeting between the representatives of UK thalidomide survivors, the German Government and Grunenthal."


Wales has already benefitted from £57 million pounds of UK Government investment in the Superfast Cymru project, but today's news that local projects in Wales will receive an additional £12 million of funding, focusing in particular on rural areas, will come as a welcome boost to businesses and families, who are yet to reap the benefits of superfast broadband.

Commenting on the news Dr Swinburne MEP said:

"This is great news for Wales. We are already seeing the value that investment in superfast broadband can bring, but it is vital we ensure that no community in Wales is left behind and this kind of extra funding can help us to achieve this goal and deliver a real boost to our rural economies."

"Superfast broadband can also unlock direct access to EU markets for our Welsh businesses, providing real opportunities for growth and for export."

"This extra funding is a clear signal of the UK Government's commitment to investing in broadband infrastructure for people in Wales and I look forward to seeing this funding aiding the delivery of the new technology to the doorsteps of as many homes and businesses in Wales as soon as possible."


Dr Kay Swinburne, Conservative MEP for Wales, has today met with European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, László Andor, who is currently making a visit to Cardiff. At an event in Ty Hywel, to welcome the Commissioner, she had the opportunity to discuss with him her thoughts on how Wales can ensure it generates the absolute maximum benefit from its new allocation of European Union funding for 2014 – 2020.

During his visit, Commissioner Andor will also be visiting the sites of three European Social Fund projects in Wales, to see how our communities have already been aided by EU funding.


The plans outlined by the Welsh Government on how Common Agricultural Policy funds will be distributed have confirmed that they will transfer 15% of the CAP Single Farm Payment from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2 (Rural Development Programme).

15% is the maximum amount allowed, when it comes to transferring funds from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2 and it is a bigger chunk of the budget than is planned in England, where the Government will only initially move 12% of the funds available and then gradually increase the amount to 15%. This initial reduction is designed to provide some comfort to farmers who are worried that this transfer of funds could leave them disadvantaged.


Commenting on this decision by the Welsh Government to opt for the maximum 15% transfer Dr Swinburne, Conservative MEP for Wales said:


“I am disappointed to see that the Welsh Government have not chosen to offer our farmers the same sliding scale that farmers in England are going to receive. Conservative MEP's fought hard for the flexibility and it is a shame that the Welsh Government are not using it to help Welsh farmers".


“In failing to opt for the 12% transfer rate, the Welsh Government has missed a vital opportunity to address some of the understandable concerns our farmers have and to offer Welsh farmers a helping hand in what is a hugely competitive European agricultural market.”

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