Warnings over Brexit impact on Wales

17 January 2017, 11:18 | Updated: 17 January 2017, 11:20

Brexit jigsaw puzzle stock image

The Shadow Secretary of State for Wales warns leaving the European single market could cause lasting damage to Wales.

Jo Stevens MP, says walking away would decimate Welsh farming, ruin our aerospace, steel and automotive sectors and do lasting damage to jobs and the economy in Wales.

Theresa May will give further details of her plans for Brexit in a speech in which she will declare she does not want an outcome which leaves the UK ``half-in, half-out'' of the European Union.

Extracts released by Downing Street in advance of the much-awaited address are likely to fuel speculation that the Prime Minister is ready to take Britain out of the European single market and customs union, though it remained unclear whether she will give a definitive answer on the question.

Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Jo Stevens MP said:

"Access to the single market is a red line for businesses and people across Wales even amongst those who voted to leave. Labour believes we must get the best deal possible that works in the national interest, not ruin our economy for the sake of ideology.”

The Prime Minister will say that she wants a ``truly global Britain'' which will be ``more outward-looking than ever before'' and will remain ``the best friend and neighbour'' of the other 27 members of the EU.

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs has warned the Prime Minister against a “made in London, for London" Brexit plan that fails to protect the interests of each constituent part of the British state.

Steffan Lewis AM said:

"The Prime Minister must use her speech today to show respect towards the devolved nations by unveiling a Brexit plan which protects all their respective interests.

Wales's unique features must be taken into account if our country is to be offered a fair deal. 

These features include the fact that we have historically received more money from the EU than we have paid in, we are a net exporter to the EU, and two thirds of Welsh exports are sold to the European Union - markedly higher than the UK average of around 50%.”

The pound tumbled below 1.20 US dollars on the eve of the Prime Minister’s address, and a further day of market volatility is expected as nervous traders weigh up the possible impact of Theresa May's comments on Britain's future trading relationship with the continent.

Downing Street said that Mrs May will set out 12 negotiating priorities for the upcoming EU withdrawal talks, driven by the principles of certainty and clarity and the aims to make Britain stronger and fairer.