Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesperson Jonathan Edwards MP has today welcomed a new report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies highlighting the importance of continued membership of the European single market to the UK economy.
Mr Edwards, who has made the case for Wales to remain a member of the single market since the vote to leave the European Union, said that the Welsh Government must spell out the steps it intends to take to protect the economy from the worst impact of Brexit.
The European Single Market is the destination of over 43% of Welsh goods exports, worth over £5 billion to the Welsh economy in 2015. Securing continued membership of the single market, without tariffs, is of vital importance in the short-term in securing Wales’ economic security.
Plaid Cymru's Jonathan Edwards MP said:
"Plaid Cymru welcomes this important report which highlights the importance of single market membership to the UK economy.
"The economic case is clear. As I have argued since the vote to leave the European Union, access to the single market is not enough - full membership is required if Wales and the wider UK are to maintain the trading relations they currently enjoy throughout the continent.
"We are under no illusion that this option poses challenges, but with the IFS estimating that Single Market membership could be worth 4% on GDP compared to relying on World Trade Organization terms, it is a route which must be pursued.
"Uncertainty is toxic for the economy - I urge the UK and Welsh governments to move swiftly to make it crystal clear that full single market status is the preferred and priority option."
Adam Price, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Finance added:
“The Welsh and UK Governments must secure continued membership of the European single market to ensure the continued health of the Welsh economy. This report is essential reading to both Governments, but particularly the Labour Welsh Government.
“With over £5 billion of exports to the European Single Market, any decision to impose tariffs or reduce our exporting capabilities to the market would have serious, detrimental impacts on our long-term economic security.
“While we should be exploring new avenues for trade, we must first secure what we already have access to. Securing single market memberships means securing Welsh jobs and economic security, and that should be our priority.”