- by Nick Powell
When Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns speaks to the Conservative party conference in Manchester this morning, he's expected to strike an optimistic note about Brexit, although he also wants close links with the EU to continue.
His visit at the weekend to Qatar was part of what the UK government describes as "a series of international missions taken by senior government ministers to showcase the UK’s commitment to forming even stronger global economic, investment and security ties as we prepare to leave the EU".
But Mr Cairns was careful to stress that he also expects the Brexit negotiations to achieve a deal that will preserve economic, investment and security ties with the European Union.
In this morning's speech, he'll complain about the objections to the EU Withdrawal Bill from the First Minister Carwyn Jones, who sees it as a Westminster power-grab, with the UK Government taking over the EU's powers in devolved areas such as agriculture and economic development.
Tensions are high at this conference, after a General Election that cost the Conservatives their majority at Westminster. Many representatives are looking forward to Boris Johnson's speech on Tuesday at least as much as Theresa May's on Wednesday. Mr Cairns has the task of helping the Prime Minister to at least get through Monday's conference business unscathed.
The Welsh Secretary is expected to highlight what the UK Government is doing to help the Welsh economy, such as ending the tolls on the Severn Crossings.
He will also controversially claim credit for Aston Martin's investment in a new plant at Saint Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan and the new daily flights between Cardiff and Qatar. They are both projects where Welsh Government ministers insist that they took the lead.