This week at the Senedd, Plaid Cymru Assembly Members led a debate on the need to strengthen Wales’ economy following the EU referendum result.
A motion was tabled by the Official Opposition in the name of the Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, Simon Thomas:
“In bringing forward this debate and in publishing our programme for opposition, Plaid Cymru was responding to a real need that we have now in Wales. Those in power, and those responsible for calling the referendum on the future membership of the European Union, did not prepare for this scenario whatsoever. They certainly didn’t prepare for what would be the implications of this scenario for devolved administration, and a devolved Government here in Wales.
“Wales should not lose out through Brexit. That’s why Plaid Cymru called on the National Assembly and the Welsh Government to prioritise protecting Wales from the immediate fallout of Brexit and prioritise closing the prosperity gap between Wales and the rest of the UK.
“We also wanted to call on the Welsh Government to create a Wales Development Agency for the 21stCentury and a National Infrastructure Commission for Wales. These are credible Plaid Cymru Maniffesto pledges that would help sell Wales, our products and ideas to the world as well as plan, fund and deliver our nation’s transport, telecommunications, energy and green infrastructure.
Plaid Cymru AMs Adam Price and Llyr Gruffydd spoke in depth at the need of a strong economic plan for Wales’ infrastructure and education sectors while Dr. Dai Lloyd argued the case for increasing procurement levels for Business based in Wales.
Plaid Cymru’s Spokesperson for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs was keen to debate the potential of Renewable energy to strengthen Wales’ economy:
“I have no doubt that we’ve gone off the pace in our effectiveness as a nation in the last 10 years with energy and renewable energy.
“We have massive potential for renewable energy in Wales. We have 1,200 miles of glorious coastline filled with deep sea ports which are extremely important for energy and development and capture. Welsh Waters could be worth, just for marine energy, £3.7 billion to the UK economy by 2020 and let’s not forget the potential of a tidal lagoon in Swansea bay.
“The Welsh Government must put pressure on Westminster to highlight the huge potential the Tidal Lagoon project has for Wales. If given the opportunity, Wales can be a world leader in renewable energy. This is our opportunity to recast our nation and lead the way
“The Welsh Government have been slow and ineffective in the aftermath of the referendum result. But Plaid Cymru is certainly ready for it. We didn’t want this scenario, but, as the party that represents Wales, and seeks to represent all parts of Wales, we want to make sure that we take the best opportunity from this position.
“We will work with the Welsh Government. We already have arrangements in place with the Welsh Government to try and deliver on some of these ideas, but we also want to seek to lead the Welsh nation in how we respond to the situation we’re in.”