Yes, we need a Brexit plan that benefits Wales

24 January 2017

Wales Green Party responds to Carwyn Jones’ and Leanne Wood’s Brexit plan.


Wales Green Party supports the aim of the leaders of Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru, as unveiled yesterday, to keep Wales as part of the single market. Wales Green Party believes that a strong cross-party consensus is required to ensure that Wales’ interests remain on the Brexit agenda.


The Welsh Conservatives have criticised the plan yet done nothing to further Wales’ interests, which is staggering when considering how much Wales stands to lose if the UK withdraws from the single market. Wales Green Party believes that a continuing single market membership is part of the solution for Brexit that works for everyone in Wales.


Alice Hooker-Stroud, leader of the Wales Green Party, said:


“The Wales Green Party respects the democratic decision the people of Wales made to leave the EU, however, we strongly urge the government to ensure that the departure does not happen at the expense of Welsh jobs or Welsh trade. It should also not happen at the expense of those who voted remain – we must find a way that unifies more than divides.


“The EU has provided significant funding to Wales over the course of our membership. It is crucial that the UK government ensures they match this funding in the future. More importantly, though, the Welsh government must ensure that any funding that that is secured in the future is used in a manner that benefits the people in Wales in a tangible way. The funding that Wales has received from the EU has often not been directed to the causes that are most at issue: such as job growth, proper pay and infrastructure creation. If Brexit is to benefit people – both those who voted leave and those who voted remain – we must ensure that the Welsh Government focuses on creating secure jobs that pay enough for a person to live. Wales has a lot of potential to develop jobs in the green energy sector, for example.”


Pippa Bartolotti, deputy spokesperson of the Wales Green Party, said:


"Concerns about jobs, wages and living standards were made clear in the EU Referendum, but let's not forget that 16 million people voted not to leave - many of them young people who will have to live in the future being created right now.


"Those young people mustn't pay the price for bad trade agreements. Brexit will mean nothing if it does not improve the lives of all of us.


"Any move away from the favourable tariff-free terms of being within the EU will inevitably put up prices. A cut in Welsh exports would reduce incomes. Even more menacing will be the cuts in protection of food standards and animal welfare this 'free trade at any cost' path being pursued is likely to bring. No-one wants to see more growth hormones in beef, a return to the cruelty of battery caged hens or rampant genetic modification of our foodstuffs, but the new trade agreements will put everything up for grabs. 


"Wales has always had to fight the Westminster government for crumbs from their table, but abandonment of the EU means our working and safety standards are under threat. We might once have blamed immigration for this, but soon we will be fighting each other in the race to the bottom. Standards will slip, and the Precautionary Principle will be abandoned.


"Greens know that only a strong cross party consensus will get Wales even the bare minimum it needs in order to sow seeds for a future fit for the next generation, to fulfil our energy generation potential and make this a country worth working in."


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