Welsh Labour MEP, Derek Vaughan, and Ynys Mon MP Albert Owen have said that the threat of Brexit to Welsh jobs is real following an article published today by Hitachi Chairman, Hiroaki Nakanishi. Warning that the UK leaving the EU would have a “big effect on jobs”, he pointed out that at the moment the UK was “the best base for accessing the whole European market of 500m people” but that if the UK left the European Union “the future investment case looks very different.”
Mr Nakanishi also laid out concerns that those advocating leaving “have no answer to how the UK could negotiate cost-free access to this huge market from a position outside it” and in the case of Hitachi, “we still have a European vision, and would be disadvantaged in pursuing it from the UK.”
Ynys Môn MP Albert Owen said
“The remarks by the Hitachi chairman are evidence of the negative impact Brexit would have on jobs, industry and communities across Wales and the UK.
Wylfa Newydd is the biggest proposed investment in Wales and will boost the local and national economy in terms of quality direct and indirect jobs, in the planning, construction and operation of Wylfa Newydd.
Hitachi moved its European HQ to the UK and made important investment decisions because we are currently an integral part of the single market and the UK has unrestricted access to that single market.
We have the potential to be world leaders in energy and transport because global companies such as Hitachi are willing to invest. Let’s not put that future investment at risk, and on June 23rd we can send a vote of confidence for future generations by voting Remain in the EU Referendum.”
Derek Vaughan MEP commented: “People have been asking for the facts. This is a boss of a major international company saying that they will slash investment in the UK if we leave the European Union. Welsh jobs will be on the line if we leave the European Union, this isn’t political scaremongering,
“It’s another unbiased, impartial business being honest about what the consequences would be for their company and by extension the Welsh economy. The leave crowd haven’t got a real answer to them beyond just asserting that everything will be alright on the night. They keep telling us the rest of the world will treat us better if we leave, well this is the world saying it’s a terrible idea.”
“Hitachi, who are investing in Wylfa Power Station in Anglesey and are bringing much needed employment to the area, have now joined a long line of companies with a big presence in Wales including General Electrics in the Valleys, Ford in Bridgend and Airbus in Broughton that have all said Brexit would be bad for the Welsh economy. Even the only major economist supporting Vote Leave Patrick Minford has admitted that if we left the EU manufacturing would be “eliminated” in Wales.”
“Mr Nakanishi was absolutely right to point out that those advocating leave have no idea what comes after Brexit. They don’t have a plan for the Welsh economy beyond empty slogans. If they did Hitachi and other businesses wouldn’t keep calling them out on it. Brexit is not a plan, it would be a suicide note for our steelmaking, automotive and other key industries.”
“190,000 jobs in Wales are connected to the Single Market. The Leave campaign have no plan to protect Welsh jobs, no map to deliver growth and new jobs in the Welsh economy and no real idea about how to deliver on the promises they’ve made. Mr Nakanishi is right to say “… jobs will be lost. This is the cold economic reality”, I would urge people to really look at whether Vote Leave have a plan for a post-Brexit economy that would justify ignoring the concerns of Welsh manufacturing or whether they are just playing Russian roulette with Welsh jobs and livelihoods.