First Minister Carwyn Jones has called on the UK Government to keep full access to the European single market after Brexit.
Launching a report on the issues faced by Welsh exporters, he also argued for a UK-EU customs union. He said that Wales would suffer more than the UK as a whole from a hard Brexit, with the automotive, chemicals, steel, electrical engineering and aerospace industries most at risk.
The report highlights that nearly two-thirds of Welsh exports (goods not sold within the UK) are sent to the EU.
- WELSH EXPORTS
- Goods worth £14.6 billion a year
- 61% go to the European Union
- Biggest markets are Germany and France
The United States is in third place, with the Irish Republic fourth. The Welsh Government argues that the first priority must be to protect existing European markets, however desirable it is to also increase trade with the rest of the world.
- WELSH GOVERNMENT DEMANDS
- No new barriers for Welsh exports to EU
- Full and unfettered access to Single Market
- A transitional period with no arbitrary time limit
- Full involvement of devolved governments in decisions
In response, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies, who was a leading leave campaigner in the referendum on EU membership, has claimed that the First Minister should take responsibility for Wales being over-dependent on trade with the EU.