Plaid Cymru peer, Dafydd Wigley, has today urged the UK Government to prove its integrity by supporting a Plaid Cymru amendment to the Article 50 Bill based on the joint Plaid Cymru-Welsh Government white paper ‘Securing Wales’ Future’.
In working with the Welsh Government, Plaid Cymru has presented a clear, unified and strong position in the cross-party white paper with the Welsh economic interest, jobs and livelihoods at its heart.
The Plaid Cymru peer has tabled an amendment to be considered during the Committee Stage of the Bill, calling for “full and unfettered access to the European Single Market” the white paper’s most significant red line.
Speaking during the Second Reading of the Article 50 Bill, Dafydd Wigley said:
“Unequivocal commitments have been made by the Westminster Government time and time again to listen to the devolved administrations when forming their Brexit plans. So far, there has been little evidence of these commitments coming into fruition.
“Wales needs full and unfettered access to the Single Market. That’s the basis of the excellent white paper produced by Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government, with Liberal Democrat support.
“From a Welsh perspective, two thirds of our manufacturing exports go to EU countries. Companies such as Ford, Airbus, Siemens and Toyota could be hard hit by tariff barriers. Two hundred American and 50 Japanese companies are located in Wales to sell to EU markets. That strategic element of industrial policy in Wales will be undermined by a hard Brexit.
“Our agricultural sector faces similar challenges. Over 90% of beef and sheep meat exports go to EU markets. Any tariff barriers would be a kiss of death to rural Wales.
“Entitled ‘Securing Wales’ Future’, our white paper calls for ‘full Single Market participation’. I would urge the Government to accept amendments to that end.
“Brexit Ministers must now put their money where their mouth is and pay more than just lip service to Wales when it comes to Brexit.”