Trading Links (European Union)

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th June 1996.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn , Newport West 12:00 am, 17th June 1996

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what new proposals he has to improve trading links between Wales and the European Union. [31660]

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

My right hon. Friend recently announced a three-year extension to the Welsh trade mission programme. A visit to Germany took place last month, and a mission will go to Belgium and the Netherlands in November. Also, the first approvals under the Wales-Ireland Interreg II programme will be issued shortly.

Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn , Newport West

Is not the main reason why 100 Japanese companies and a small number of Korean companies have settled in Wales that those businesses like that location, which gives them access to the European Union market? What effect is the present civil war in the Conservative party having on companies that are thinking of bringing high-tech jobs to Wales? When will the Prime Minister make a clear declaration that Wales and the United Kingdom will remain at the heart of the EU market?

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

I detected the slightest welcome from the hon. Gentleman for yet another announcement of inward investment in Wales—a matter on which his party has been conspicuously silent. May I further infer from the hon. Gentleman's remarks that he would condemn any proposals by his party to impose the social chapter or minimum wage, or to introduce a Welsh Assembly? All those measures would be massive disincentives to further inward investment in Wales.