Leaving the EU: International Business

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th December 2017.

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Photo of Ranil Jayawardena Ranil Jayawardena Conservative, North East Hampshire 12:00 am, 13th December 2017

What assessment he has made of the effect of the UK’s decision to leave the EU on Wales’s international business links.

Photo of Alun Cairns Alun Cairns The Secretary of State for Wales

Leaving the EU allows us to establish new trading opportunities across the globe, forging ahead as a global leader in free trade. Welsh exports have outperformed the UK average over the last year, and I am working closely with the International Trade Secretary to build on that success.

Photo of Ranil Jayawardena Ranil Jayawardena Conservative, North East Hampshire

What is my right hon. Friend doing to encourage Welsh businesses and consumers to seize the opportunity of a global Britain by boosting imports and exports to increase consumer choice and helping businesses to create more good jobs as we leave the EU?

Photo of Alun Cairns Alun Cairns The Secretary of State for Wales

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade has established the UK Board of Trade, and I am pleased that Lord Rowe-Beddoe and Heather Stevens sit on it as Welsh representatives—their reputation goes well before them. Businesses are already responding. I have already quoted the encouraging export data, but clearly there is more work to do.

Photo of Susan Elan Jones Susan Elan Jones Labour, Clwyd South

If the Secretary of State is serious in his discussions about Wales’s international business links, why will he and the Government not publish the impact assessments? Is it not time these disappearing documents came to light?

Photo of Alun Cairns Alun Cairns The Secretary of State for Wales

We have published the 58 sectoral analyses, which cover all the sectors that are key to the Welsh economy, from steel to aerospace. Not only have we shared them with the Commons and the other place, but we have shared these 800 pages with the devolved Administrations, demonstrating the open, pragmatic approach we are taking to involving every part of the United Kingdom.