Despite the latest opinion poll showing that Welsh voters would narrowly back Britain leaving the European Union, Labour MEP Derek Vaughan has said that he believes Wales remains pro-European.
He was cautious about another poll finding that he will be joined by at least one Labour colleague from Wales after next year's European election, with the party also having a chance of winning a third seat in a close contest with Plaid Cymru and UKIP.
Mr Vaughan is currently Labour's only Welsh MEP. Plaid Cymru and UKIP also each have one seat, as do the Conservatives, who seem set to hold their seat. The pictures are from the European Parliament.
Labour MEP for Wales, Derek Vaughan, has welcomed a vote in the European Parliament which rubber-stamps the EU budget for 2014-2020 including proposals to give Wales more than €2bn in aid.
Derek Vaughan MEP has met the European Regional Policy Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, to press the case for an increased aid budget for West Wales and the Valleys. He was interviewed afterwards by Georg von Harrach. The pictures are from the European Parliament.
ITV Cymru Wales understands that the European Commission is close to approving the Welsh Government's proposals for spending €2.1 billion of aid to West Wales and the Valleys over the next seven years. Rough percentages have been given to the different spending priorities.
- Roads, public transport and other Infrastructure 50%
- Small and medium-sized businesses 15%
- Research and development 15%
- Low carbon projects 12%
- Information technology 8%
Although nothing is officially decided until the plans are formally presented as part of the UK Government's submission, the Welsh Government is close to securing half the money for its major priority of infrastructure development. The other four priorities have been set by the European Commission.
In a separate development, Welsh Labour MEP Derek Vaughan says Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn is "receptive" to the UK Government's plan to avoid a projected cut in the aid budget for West Wales and the Valleys to nearer €1.6 billion. Parts of England will lose out as a result.
Welsh Labour MEP Derek Vaughan says the aid cut for Wales is still 'disappointing' but fairer than first thought. He hopes that it will be possible to draw down additional funds as well and perhaps even get to a position where Wales benefits more than ever.
Welsh MEP, Derek Vaughan, says the credit for a reduced cut in EU aid belongs to lobbying by Labour politicians. And he says the task now is to find ways to fill the shortfall.