Brexit threatens to quash plans to bring high-quality internet to public spaces across Wales
The European Parliament today backed a scheme to bring WiFi connectivity to public spaces such as parks, squares and public buildings across Europe. The agreement, dubbed WiFi4EU, will bring high-quality internet to 6000-8000 communities across Europe.
Labour MEP for Wales Derek Vaughan said he was pleased to see the Parliament vote in favour of the initiative, but is worried that Brexit will mean Wales misses out.
“All Welsh people should have access to good-quality WiFi connections, no matter where they live or how much they earn.
“This project would allow local communities to set up in state-of-the-art infrastructure in train stations, parks, libraries, hospitals or any other public spaces and would benefit both residents of and visitors to local communities across Wales.
“Wales would benefit hugely from this initiative, but Brexit may render us ineligible.
“This is just one example of what we stand to lose due to Brexit. Farmers stand to lose millions in CAP funds, universities stand to lose millions in research funding, Wales will lose EU funding for infrastructure, not to mention EU protections for workers’ rights and women’s rights.
“That’s why the Tory Government has been stalling on providing details about the negotiations and exactly what they expect from any deal with the EU post Brexit. They know any deal will be worse than what we have now.”
The first call for projects is expected to be launched towards the end of 2017 or early 2018.