Food: Wales

Wales Office written question – answered on 19th September 2017.

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Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the Welsh food processing sector of access to labour of the UK leaving the European (a) single market and (b) customs union.

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

The Government recognises the challenges and opportunities facing businesses across the UK, including in the food processing sector in Wales, and we’re committed to getting a deal that works for all parts of the UK.

We do not seek membership of the Single Market after we leave the EU, but a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement as part of a new, deep and special partnership. We start from a unique position with regulatory frameworks and standards that match. We want to have the greatest possible tariff- and barrier-free trade with our European neighbours, as well as to negotiate our own trade agreements around the world. We want to ensure that UK companies have the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets – and to let European businesses do the same in the UK.

Last month we published Future customs arrangements: a future partnership paper, which sets out very clearly the Government’s objectives for a new customs arrangement with the EU, and our proposals to achieve them. As we leave the Customs Union, the Government will seek a new and ambitious customs arrangement with the EU that facilitates as frictionless trade as possible in goods between the UK and EU and allows us to forge new trade relationships with our partners in Europe and around the world.

We will always welcome those with the skills, the drive and the expertise to make our nation better still. We will be setting out initial proposals for a new immigration system later in the autumn.

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