Plaid Cymru criticises Industrial Strategy for failing to commit to Welsh projects
Plaid Cymru’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson, Liz Saville Roberts, has criticised the UK Prime Minister’s Industrial Strategy for failing to make any proposals for Wales.
The Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP welcomed the “long-overdue” development of an industrial strategy but criticised the UK Government for ignoring the industrial economy of Wales.
Ms Saville Roberts warned that the UK Prime Minister’s threats to take Wales out of the Single Market and the Customs Union will exacerbate already significant geographical inequalities across the British State and called for the UK Government to develop a replacement Regional Convergence Fund, to honour the promise made by the Brexit campaign – that Wales would not lose a penny if it voted to Leave.
The UK Government’s Industrial Strategy makes commitments on infrastructure across England but does not mention any specific projects in Wales. The Plaid Cymru MP called for clarity on the UK Government’s commitment to electrify the railway lines in both the South and North of Wales.
Commenting, Plaid Cymru’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson, Liz Saville Roberts MP, said:
“After seven years of neglect, this industrial strategy is long-overdue but it beggars belief that it does not propose anything for Wales.
“Our export-led economy, driven heavily by manufacturing, makes industrial policy and strategy intrinsically important to our economic performance, and therefore to our people’s standard of living.
“Our substantial trade surplus, driven primarily by our trade with the European Single Market means the UK Prime Minister’s threat of a brutal-Brexit will have severe and disproportionate consequences for Wales and it is deeply disappointing that this strategy comes as a form of mitigation against the damage of Brexit, rather than a boost for industry, complementing our position as a strong exporter within the biggest market in the world.
“Without the EU’s wealth distribution programmes, from which Wales benefitted significantly, it is all the more crucial that the UK Government gets to grips with the increasing geographical wealth divides across the British State.
“It is unacceptable that one part of the British State, in inner London, can be the richest region in Europe while other parts of the state in regions of Wales are suffering unbearable poverty.
“Westminster must get a handle on this economic sectarianism. The UK Government must commit to replacing the EU’s economic convergence funding programmes with its own wealth distribution fund and urgently begin to invest in capital projects in Wales.
“It is disgraceful that the people of Wales are still waiting for the electrification of the Great Western Main Line in the south, let alone the electrification of the North Wales Main Line. This industrial strategy was the perfect opportunity for the UK Government to commit to a timescale but instead, they ignored Wales once again.”