THE UK’s membership of the European Union has helped boost job creation and growth in Wales for more than forty years, with as many as 100,000 jobs in the region currently linked to exports to the Single Market, the Confederation of British Industry is arguing today.
According to figures from HM Treasury, there is the potential to create 49,530 future jobs for Wales if the UK remains in the EU, and continues to deepen economic ties with its member states. Several key sectors in the region depend on the Single Market:
- 42,780 manufacturing jobs in Wales are linked to UK exports to EU countries. Remaining in the EU and extending the Single Market could see an additional 6,130 manufacturing jobs being created in the region
- 12,860 jobs in wholesale and retail trade are boosted by trade with the Single Market. 6,630 jobs could be added to Wales’s distribution and retail sector by staying in, and strengthening, the Single Market
- 7,780 jobs in banking and business sectors could also be created in Wales through strengthening the Single Market.
Michael Plaut, CBI Wales Chairman, told The Herald: “The UK’s membership of the European Union has been of enormous benefit to Wales for over 40 years. Some of the key sectors that lie at the heart of communities across the region, from manufacturing to retail, rely on our membership of the Single Market.
“Virtually every economist agrees that leaving the EU would likely cause an economic shock, damaging Wales’ prospects. We’d not only put a dent in what we have now, we’d also miss out on thousands of jobs in the near future, as a result of losing access to the Single Market, pulling the rug from under our local economy.
“This is why the majority of businesses want the UK to remain inside the EU, to best drive growth, support and create jobs, and increase prosperity for our region.”