MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

Mark Menzies Harriett Baldwin Martin Taylor BAE Systems

The £5 billion Qatar deal to buy 24 Typhoons from BAE, which will be manufactured in Warton, will help safeguard some 5,000 jobs in Fylde for the next decade.

That is great news – and I hope the deal will be the first of many for BAE Systems.

This week, I understand the German Government is now looking at Typhoon to replace its ageing squadrons, negotiations with the Belgian government are ongoing, Finland is interested and negotiations with existing customers are ongoing.

And so they should be. This is a world-leading aircraft designed and built by world-leading engineers here in Fylde.

That is all good news for workers in Warton, and I hope we will see many of the potential job losses the company announced earlier this year mitigated.

I’ve also spoken to ministers this week to ask them about coastal flooding in Fylde and Lancashire.

I asked what steps the Secretary of State’s department was taking to prevent coastal flooding.

In short? There’s £120 million of work which started in 2015 and continues to March 2021.

I’m delighted to see the start of the £19.8 million Fairhaven to Church scar protection scheme, and the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed work to turn the triangle of grass at the end of Lytham Green into a compound for the project.

Ministers also told me the £27 million Anchorsholme scheme is complete, and the £63 million Rossall scheme will be completed by next year.

We also have work still ongoing at the east end of Lytham, which will hopefully alleviate some of the issues on the surrounding farmers’ fields, and help protect homes across Fylde by making the Main Drain waterway more efficient.

We enshrined animal sentience in law this week, in far better legislation that that offered under the Brexit amendment last month. That amendment included lax and wanting laws which allow for bull fighting, veal farming, live animal exports for slaughter, foie gras production and other practices we already ban in the UK.

Our Animal Welfare Bill, which also increased the maximum sentence for animal cruelty from six months to five years – is proof positive that we lead the world in caring for animals, and a far better piece of legislation in which animal sentience is recognised.

I also managed to spend some time this week at the Royal School of Artillery as part of the Armed Forces Parliamentary scheme, and spent time seeing how our soldiers operate artillery guns – I have every respect for our brave troops who put themselves in harm’s way to protect others.

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