Triggering of Article 50

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Speaking as the Prime Minister triggered Article 50, Stephen Kinnock said:

"With the triggering of Article 50 we have begun the two-year process of negotiating our departure from the European Union. I voted in favour of triggering Article 50, and I think it is right that we get on with the process of Brexit, however that does not mean the Prime Minister has blank cheque.

As has been reported this week, Wales stands to lose more than any other part of the United Kingdom if Brexit is not handled properly, and so I will tirelessly fight for a Brexit that works for Wales and for Aberavon.

That means ensuring that we do not have a hard and harsh Brextremist departure. So Britain must engage when it comes to our liabilities, the rights of citizens both here and on the continent, and our future relationship with the EU and its many agencies.

And we must remember that Article 50 is just one half of the Brexit process: only once we have left we can we negotiate a new trade deal with Europe and with other countries. That is why it is so important that we secure a proper transition deal to ensure that we negotiate those new trade deals from a position of strength, not from a weak position trading on WTO terms.

A WTO Brexit would be devastating for Britain, for Wales and for Aberavon, in particular because of the impact it would have on our steel industry, which would struggle to compete given the tariffs that would be placed on it and on connected industries such as the automotive industry.

The next two years in which we negotiate Brexit will be key in determining the next twenty or so for our country and our communities. As the Article 50 process unfolds I will fight tirelessly for a Brexit that works in the interests of everyone in Britain, not just in the interests of a small faction of either the 48% who voted to remain or the 52% who voted to leave.

The Prime Minister has said that this must be a Brexit for the whole of the United Kingdom. The next few years will be the test of those whether those words are hollow or not, and so I will fight day and night to hold her to that promise for the sake of everyone in Aberavon, in Wales and Britain"