I'M writing this column on the morning of what has proven to be a historic vote for Gwent and the UK.

The vote for Brexit was always going to be a close one. People have been engaged, passionate about the referendum and always asking for as much information as possible.

Having conversations in the markets and on the doorstep about the future of the country, though our views may have differed at times, was so important.

Now we have to accept the result of those votes. It would do our democracy as massive disservice not to pull together to make this work.

Long term, Labour is the only party that can meet the challenge we now face.

As the party that stands up for working people, Labour is best placed to re-unite the country.

We want to provide leadership and share people’s dissatisfaction with the status quo, which is why we put a critical case for both remain and reform.

The Government has a lot of important questions to answer in the months ahead – especially for a country such as ours where we got back more than we paid in.

They must take on board the lessons about investing in infrastructure in Wales, supporting local jobs and making sure Wales gets its fair share.

I’ll be making our voice heard in the months to come to ensure those points are always on the agenda.

In my role as shadow farming minister, our agricultural and food industry also faces an uncertain future as questions over funding and free trade rear their heads.

It’s our largest industry in the UK.

As our big employers locally have said to me in the build up to the election, the EU is an important market for our goods and farmers feel that more than most.

The near 4m people across the country in the industry deserve answers. It’s important we make sure that farmers and food producers get the best possible deal.

Finally, after all these questions of sovereignty and security it is good to see the Royal British Legion mark a time where countries came together to defend our freedom.

They are holding a vigil at the War Memorial in Abertillery on Monday July 11, with two services at 10.30am and 6pm, to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Blaenau Gwent has always made the effort to recognise the contribution and sacrifice of our armed forces. I would encourage you all to take part.