Live updates

Theresa May 'not engaging' on steel claims Carwyn Jones

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

There has been no progress in tackling Tata Steel's pensions deficit since Theresa May became Prime Minister, the First Minister has told AMs. Answering questions in an Assembly scrutiny committee, Carwyn Jones also said that the position of Port Talbot steelworks was "better but not out of the woods".

The UK government is not engaging in the same way as it was when the pervious Prime Minister was there. David Cameron did take as personal interest. That's gone with this current government.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

Mr Jones said it was crucial the proposed merger between Tata and Thyssen-Krupp didn't lead to Port Talbot losing one of its two blast furnaces. He added that it would be an "immense disappointment" if there's no action to reduce energy costs in next week's autumn statement by the Chancellor. The fall in the value of the pound had helped but prices were still 37% lower in Spain.

Advertisement

Tories and UKIP attack Plaid plan to keep EU laws

Plaid Cymru's call for EU laws affecting devolved areas to remain in force after Brexit has come under fire from the Conservatives and UKIP. Plaid want the Assembly to pass a bill turning EU laws and regulations into Welsh law, partly because the party fears that otherwise the powers will pass to ministers in London.

This reinforces just how out of step Plaid Cymru are with public opinion, and with the voters they claim to represent. Just weeks ago the Welsh public voted to restore the sovereignty of British law – not to introduce a new Bill that would permanently gold plate every single edict and directive emanating from Brussels.

The Prime Minister’s Great Repeal Bill is the first step towards returning sovereignty to Westminster, where the Welsh national interest is represented by its MPs.

– Welsh Conservative Spokesperson

This is an anti-democratic political stunt. Wales voted decisively for Brexit and the so called ‘Party of Wales’, Plaid Cymru should respect the referendum result.

Political decisions will be made in future by elected politicians in Westminster & Cardiff Bay and not unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

– UKIP Spokesperson

In the Senedd, Plaid Cymru's Steffan Lewis asked the First Minister if the Welsh Government would support the idea of a "Great Continuity Bill" to preserve EU law in devolved areas. Carwyn Jones replied that he would first want to see what was in the UK Government's "Great Repeal Bill".

The principle must be that no powers are lost to the people of Wales. In devolved areas, they must come straight here.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

Assembly should vote to keep EU law say Plaid

Plaid Cymru is calling for the Welsh Assembly to pass a bill that would keep in force after Brexit all EU laws and regulations affecting devolved matters. The party argues that the UK Government's plan for similar legislation would undermine devolution by giving powers over the environment, jobs and the economy to Whitehall, not Cardiff Bay.

Wales needs an EU Continuity Bill to enshrine all existing EU regulations into Welsh law. This will ensure that the standards we value, like environmental protections, food standards, and the rights we have come to take for granted as EU citizens, continue to apply to Wales after Brexit. It will also stop the Conservatives’ EU Repeal Bill turning into a Westminster power-grab over already devolved matters.

– Plaid Cymru Brexit spokesperson Steffan Lewis AM

Plaid say they will talk to the Welsh Government about their proposal but they claim to be frustrated by a lack of clarity on Brexit from Carwyn Jones and his ministers.

Jobs at Merthyr meat plant 'no longer sustainable'

St Merryn Foods have said the packing operation at a meat processing site in Merthyr are 'no longer sustainable' - putting around 400 jobs there at risk.

St Merryn Foods employs 1100 people in total in Merthyr.

The meat processing company, which employs 1100 people in total in Merthyr, say serious challenges facing the red meat sector in the UK - including declining markets, falling volumes, higher input costs and a fiercely competitive retail landscape - are to blame.

They've confirmed the decision does not impact the Beef and Lamb slaughter and cutting operations, with these continuing to operate as usual at Merthyr.

They say they'll be working with the Welsh Government, Job Centre Plus and Staffline to "seek opportunities for colleagues outside the business."

As part of a wider strategic review, we can confirm we are consulting with colleagues about the viability of our retailing packing operation at our Merthyr Tydfil meat processing site.

We do not take the decision to launch this review lightly, but it is the only way our business can survive and prosper for the longer term.

Our main focus now is to begin discussions with our colleagues to explore every available option to mitigate the potential loss of this function, which will include seeking relocation and redeployment opportunities elsewhere in the Group.

– St Merryn Foods statement

If the proposal goes ahead, jobs will be transferred to an alternative St Merryn site - most likely in Bodmin and Victoria in Cornwall.

St Merryn have confirmed this would not take place until January 2017.

Watch Hannah Thomas' report here.

Advertisement

Unemployment falls again in Wales

Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Unemployment in Wales has fallen again to 4.1 per cent - down 10,000 on the last quarter.

The total number of unemployed in Wales now stands at 63,000 - down 35,000 from a year ago.

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said the Welsh employment market is "rapidly closing the gap" on the rest of the UK.

UK-wide, a total of 1.63 million people are unemployed - a fall of 39,000 over the quarter and 190,000 down compared with a year ago, giving a jobless rate of 4.9%.

Unite Wales calls for Ford to “end the silence”

Unite Wales has called on Ford to "end the silence" over the future of the Bridgend engine plant.

Credit: Andrew Parsons/PA Wire

This follows Ford's announcement that the production of the new Dragon engine is to be halved but the company insists production at the plant 'remains healthy'.

Bridgend Engine plant has a world class workforce and the plant deserves to have a long term secure future. Ford must end the silence and set out how it envisages Bridgend playing a key role in its global production strategy. Unite will never roll over and accept the slow demise and ultimate death of the plant. We are calling upon Ford, at the very highest levels of the company, to talk with us about how we can work together to secure a sustainable way forward for the plant, that builds upon its enormous strengths.

– Andy Richards, Unite Wales Secretary

Ford says it will continue to constantly review capacity and demand and 'deal with the reality' of its business and market competition, taking 'whatever action needed to build a vibrant and sustainably profitable Ford business in Europe'.

Load more updates