Brexit in Wales Your Priorities

On 23 June 2016, 52% of Welsh voters chose to leave the European Union.

17 of the 22 local authorities in Wales returned a Leave Vote.

Blaenau Gwent had the highest leave vote at 62% and Cardiff had the lowest at 40%.

The Welsh Affairs Committee is a cross-party group of MPs appointed by the House of Commons to scrutinise UK Government policy relating to Wales.

We are inquiring into the implications of the EU Referendum on Wales and have begun by speaking directly to the people of Wales. We hope to get to the heart of your reasons for voting and understand how we should prioritise our focus as we scrutinise the upcoming negotiations.

David TC Davies MP, Chair, Welsh Affairs Committee
"It is key that Wales is on the front foot to benefit from new opportunities that will come from Brexit. We have launched this inquiry, as it is essential that the negotiations to leave Brexit are scrutinised from a Welsh perspective, and that Wales’s voice is heard." - David T.C. Davies MP

We asked you to share your priorities and concerns for Wales during the UK Government's Brexit Negotiations...

This is what you told us...

...In Ebbw Vale

Where?

Ebbw Vale Institute

When?

14 November 2016

How did you vote?

Ebbw Vale resides in the Blaenau Gwent local authority area - of which 62% voted Leave - the highest proportion in Wales.

"Regional Development Funds brought a lot of work and benefits to the area, after the decline of the steel industry, particularly through infrastructure projects."
"The Welsh Government hasn't spoken to local people about how funding can benefit them."
"The use of EU funds has not been widely promoted. EU Funding has just gone to one place, Ebbw Vale, as a lump sum and not dispersed."
"It's not clear if money saved from leaving the EU will go to the Welsh Government."
"The devolved administrations need a strong voice during the Brexit negotiations, they must have a seat at the table."
"There needs to be less red tape"
"Artists need to be able to move freely within the EU. Not being able to do so will negatively impact the Welsh Arts Scene."
"More funding for apprenticeships."
"Wales needs to stand up for itself, demand more. Scotland is being loud and strong, Wales needs to be too."
"A lot of EU money has been spent in Wales, but spent in the wrong way."

Ebbw Vale's Top Priorities

1. Industry and Skills Strategy for Wales - replacing EU funded work and apprentice programmes

2. Secure Higher Education Funding

3. A Welsh voice as strong as Scotland during the Brexit negotiations

4. Protect Workers' Rights

...In Aberystwyth

Where?

Aberystwyth University Campus

When?

28 November

How did you vote?

Aberystwyth is in Ceredigion, which voted to remain by 54.6%.

"It should be easy for EU students to study here, with minimum costs. Having them here adds massive benefit."
"Free movement of people is especially important."
"One benefit of leaving the EU is that we could scrap the law making GM crops illegal, meaning we could grow more produce here by modifying it, thus avoiding high import fees."
"There is a lack of appreciation of what the European coalition of farmers has done for the farmers in Wales."
"Pillar 2 CAP payments or similar should continue."
"We aren't confident that Westminster will replace the funding streams that currently come from Europe."
"Rural areas are losing out because of low population density."
"We've been an Objective 1 area and nothing has changed."

Top Priorities for Aberystwyth

1. Freedom of movement

2. A new post-Brexit devolution settlement

3. Better distribution of funding from Cardiff to the rest of Wales

4. Higher education research funding

....And in Prestatyn

Where?

Prestatyn Costa Coffee & Scala Cinema

When?

Monday 5 December

How did you vote?

Prestatyn resides in Denbighshire and voted by 54% to Leave - with a turnout of 69.1%

"Wales has not had adequate capital investment."
"Very little to show that EU money has created jobs."
"People in North Wales don't feel engaged with the Welsh Assembly."
"People feel disenfranchised."
"The Business Park in Prestatyn is an example of what EU funds could bring to an area. But the funds are very restrictive in terms of what they can be used for."
"EU money has been thrown at problems rather than addressing the underlying issues."
"Funds should be targeted at a local level, rather than being decided in a top down manner. Skills development, business and infrastructure are the main priorities."
"Following Brexit, areas of deprivation should not be treated any differently."
"Access to the single market has to be retained."
"A continued good trading relationship with Ireland is essential, and should be tariff free. A separate customs and border resolution with the Republic of Ireland should be sought."

Prestatyn's Top Priorities

1. Infrastructure and skills funding and training for local people

2. UK-wide farming and forestry policy

3. Strengthen infrastructure and links to North Wales

4. Secure research opportunities and funding.

What Happens next?

Following your recommendations, we will examine the impact on Welsh Agriculture after Brexit. Details to be announced shortly.

We also heard from Professor Alan Page, Dundee University, on 20 February, to discuss the repatriation of powers post-Brexit and its impact on the devolution settlement. Watch the session live on Parliament TV.

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to the following for your assistance in organising these events:

  • Ebbw Vale Institute @ebbwvaleEVI
  • Aberystwyth University @AberUni @Prifysgol_Aber
  • Scala Cinema Prestatyn @ScalaCinemaPrestatyn
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Welsh Affairs Committee
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