A CARMARTHENSHIRE MP will be Wales’ sole representative on the House of Commons’ Brexit Committee, it was announced last week.
Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on international trade, Jonathan Edwards MP, said that he will use his seat on the Exiting the EU Select Committee to ensure that Wales’ interests would be represented and that the people of Wales did not have to rely on ‘a silent and obedient Labour First Minister’ to make their case.
The party had previously written to the Leader of the House of Commons urging him to ensure the committee had a fair representation from each of the four constituent parts of the UK, and that Plaid Cymru would be allocated a seat.
The Committee will consist of 20 MPs – 16 from England, two from Scotland and one each from Wales and Northern Ireland.
Mr Edwards said: “It is essential that Wales is represented on this important committee and I’m pleased that our efforts to ensure that happened have been successful. Wales will now have a voice during this pivotal period in our nation’s future and I’ll be doing everything I can to ensure our interests are protected and promoted during the committee’s work on Brexit.
“Wales has very unique needs in that our economy is heavily driven by our exports and manufacturing – something that is not true for the rest of the UK. Our trade with EU countries alone accounts for 200,000 jobs and we trade even more with countries outside the EU than those inside it.
“While I fully respect the result of the referendum and accept that we must leave the European Union, it is essential that Wales does not lose its membership of the single market as a result. Just as important as our trade with the single market itself is the free trade we benefit from as a result of the market’s 53 bilateral trade deals with other countries around the world. Losing that would devastate our economy – something Wales simply cannot cope with having already suffered the consequences of de-industrialisation.
“The Prime Minister has already suggested that she will seek to cut special deals for bankers in the City of London, so there should be no reason why she shouldn’t respect the unique needs of Wales and cut a similar deal for Wales. That is one of the first things I will be pushing for when the committee meets for the first time next week.
“I am pleased that Wales will finally have a voice, and an effective opposition to the right-wing Thatcherite agenda in Westminster, rather than having to rely on a silent and obedient Labour First Minister in Cardiff.”