Welsh Labour MEP, DEREK VAUGHAN, has called on the leaders of the main political parties in Wales to stand together as part of a progressive alliance to defend and protect Wales’ interests in the EU.
Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg, DEREK VAUGHAN said that events over the recent few days and David Cameron’s mishandling of fiscal negotiations with our European partners threatened vital future EU funding for Wales:
"An engaged UK Government is key for the economic interests of Wales. The Prime Minister’s standalone position is bad for Britain and particularly bad for Wales.
Over 150,000 jobs in Wales rely on trade with other EU countries. More than £3.5bn of investment in some of our poorest communities comes as a result of EU Structural Funds. Latest figures put the net benefit of EU membership for Wales at around £1bn per year.
The loss of UK influence within the EU at this stage is potentially disastrous for Wales. Discussions on future EU budget priorities which will decide what Wales gets in the coming years, are at a vital point. At the exact time when we need to build sustainable relationships with other European regions, the UK Government has decided to put short-term gain ahead of our national interest.
What this episode has made clear to all those with the future economic prosperity of Wales at heart is that we now need to form a progressive, cross-party alliance to put the case for continued membership of the EU and engagement at the highest level.
An ideal first step would be for all of the leaders of the major Welsh political parties to each write to the Prime Minister, stating the clear benefits that communities across Wales have received from the UK being an integral member of the European Union and calling on him to think again about sacrificing the long-term future of the Welsh economy for a few cheap grandstanding headlines."