Rebecca Evans, the Welsh Minister for Housing and Regeneration, visited TWI Technology Centre Wales in Port Talbot to gain an insight into the importance of access to the EU Single Market to business. The visit, which took place last week, was scheduled ahead of Rebecca meeting a group of UK Ministers to discuss Brexit.
Welsh minister, Rebecca Evans looks to TWI for Single Market insight
During her visit, Rebecca was able to discover how access to the Single Market helps TWI deliver a mix of goods and services to customers around the world, as she explained, ‘It was extremely useful to meet the team at TWI and to discuss how they are planning for when we leave the European Union.’
She continued, ‘I am concerned that the UK Government’s White Paper on Brexit is advocating a different trading relationship with the EU for services than for goods. We have repeatedly warned that the UK cannot take the huge economic risk of cutting ourselves adrift from the Single Market and Customs Union. This is particularly true for manufacturing sectors and specialist services, which in Wales are so important in providing high-paid, high-skilled jobs.’
Rebecca was keen to emphasise how important Single Market access is to Welsh business as a whole, saying, ‘Welsh businesses benefit hugely from our current position in the EU Single Market and the message from firms like TWI is clear; this access must continue for business to thrive. At the Ministerial Forum in Cardiff I urged the UK Government to listen to Welsh businesses and to commit to securing the access that firms like TWI require.’
She concluded, ‘The White Paper was a belated step in the right direction and provides a better starting point to begin negotiations, but much more flexibility is needed from the UK Government to deliver a Brexit which works for Wales.’
TWI’s Regional Manager for Wales, Philip Wallace, reiterated the Minister’s views, saying, ‘The meeting with Rebecca Evans was interesting and positive for both of us, as it showed how her views are closely aligned to those of TWI. The Minister was extremely grateful for our input and the insight we were able to provide ahead of her meeting to discuss the implications of Brexit for business in Wales and the UK as a whole.’
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