Wood warns about the future of Wales
Leader of Plaid Cymru claimed her concerns about current situation in Wales including English nationalism, during Wednesday’s election campaign in local pub Skerries located in Bangor, North Wales.
She is not only worried about complications that Brexit is going to cause including loss of jobs, risks for higher education as well as loss of funding from European Union, which annually equals £634 million, but also about peoples’ livelihoods.
As a candidate for a National Assembly, she is aware that this election is going to be dominated by this topic and therefore she wants to make sure that these issues, which she considers crucial, are at the heart of the agenda.
“English nationalism is on the rise in the Conservatist Party. Therefore when Scotland leaves the UK, there’s going to be something called Wales and England entity,” she said.
“The question for us in Wales is what happens to us in that scenario in an increased size of a Tory mandate and my belief is that we have to send the strongest team of Plaid Cymru MPs to Westminster or otherwise we risk our voice not being heard at all.
“Wales has hardly being mentioned since the vote to leave EU.”
Recent Tory government’s two-child tax cap and rape clause policies are also part of Wood’s concerns.
The Rape Clause obliges women to prove that they have been raped in order to be qualified for child tax credits for a third child. Wood describes them as “inhumane” and “cruel”.
Wales and Brexit
Plaid Cymru leader wants to focus on avoiding hard Brexit rather than having another referendum and try to overturn it.
When asked about making the transition smoother she said: “I think we need to try and minimise the disruption and uncertainty as much as possible and that is why continued membership of the single market is really important.”
Leaving single market would risk tariffs being put on imported as well as exported goods. For example, airbus factory in Broughton, North Wales takes parts from other European countries and then sends the wings to Toulouse in France where they make the whole aeroplane.
If they had to pay 10% tariff for the parts coming in and another 10% for the wings going out, that would equal 20% increase cost of every unit of the production.
Therefore, this practice could put such businesses as well as companies across different sectors at risk.
In addition, according to the Public Policy Institute for Wales, leaving European Union would mean that structural funding as well as farming subsidies would no longer be provided.
Currently, farmers receive £250 million per year with an additional £665 million over the course of six years destined for rural development.
As a part of European Union trade agreement, they also benefit from export tariff reductions as well as import quotas.
Moreover, Wales gets more funding per person than other countries in the United Kingdom, which in 2014 equalled £628 per person as states Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
According to CEBR (Centre of Economics and Business Research), around 200,000 jobs in Wales are dependent on export to numerous European Union countries.
Therefore, there is a risk to job security to those who work in this particular sector, as they are built upon United Kingdom’s access to the single market.
Plaid Cymru target seats
- Ynys Môn
- Blaenau Gwent
2013 National Assembly election results
- Rhun ap lorwerth, Plaid Cymru- The Party of Wales, 12.601 votes
- Stephen William Churchman, Welsh Liberal Democrats, 309 votes
- Neil Fairlamb, Welsh Conservative Party Candidate, 1.843 votes
- Nathan Gill, UKIP Wales, 3.099 votes
- Kathrine Jones, Socialist Labour Party, 348 votes
- Tal Michael, Welsh Labour, 3.435 votes
By Aleksandra Kozlowska
- General Election Prediction (electoralcalculus.co.uk)
- Battleground Seats For Wales (conservativehome.com)
- Wales most at risk from hard Brexit, says think tank (bbc.co.uk)
- Wales voted for Brexit because it has been ignored by Westminster for too long (independent.co.uk)