THOUSANDS of jobs in the Swansea Bay area are risk if the UK votes to leave the EU, according to MP’s.
Swansea West and Aberavon MP’s Geraint Davies and Stephen Kinnock have issued the warning as the countdown to the referendum on June 23 reaches the 100 day mark.
Mr Davies said: “”It’s not just cleaner Gower beaches and rights to paid holiday that we should be celebrating in Swansea Bay thanks to the EU. In fact, 25,000 jobs here depend on our trade with the EU and the £100s of millions invested in our Swansea University second campus on Fabian Way wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t in the EU.
“If we left it would be on terms that didn’t encourage others to leave. We would still play by their same rules with no influence to change them – including movement of Labour and higher costs – like Norway and Switzerland.
“The EU takes almost half of Britain’s exports whereas Britain takes less than 10% of the EU’s and the British trade deficit is mostly with Germany and Spain, not with the other 25 countries that would have to agree on a new trade deal so export tariffs would be on the cards. That’s why big companies like Ford, Airbus and Tata, who use Wales as a platform into Europe, are talking about moving jobs out of Wales if we leave. In Wales we receive £280 per person more than we pay per person which means nearly £70 million for Swansea. So we’re better off for jobs, services and investment in the EU.
“If the world’s fifth-largest economy uncouples from its biggest market it will also unmoor the fifth-largest defence spender from its allies leaving the EU poorer and disunited and the West less secure . In Swansea we should stand united to remain in the EU for a stronger, safer future for all our families.”
And Mr Kinnock added: “In exactly 100 days we will go to the polls in what is without doubt the most important vote of my adult life.
“The 23rd June referendum it is about the nature and destiny of the United Kingdom, and about the future security, jobs and livelihoods of the British people.
“When we go to the ballot box in 100 days we need to be asking ourselves whether we see Wales as an open, forward looking nation, confident of itself and of its place in the world.
“Or do we want pull up the drawbridge and float off into the mid-Atlantic, isolated and exposed?
“Wales benefits hugely from the United Kingdom’s membership of the EU. European funding has played a critical role in everything from our roads to our universities – the world class Swansea University Bay Campus in my Aberavon constituency could simply have never have been built without a major injection of European cash.
“Our membership of the EU also plays a vital role in attracting global businesses to Wales, supporting small and medium enterprises, creating and sustaining hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“The one thing that is certain about Brexit is uncertainty. Nobody is saying that the EU is perfect, but our 43 year membership has brought growth, stability and peace. Unravelling that relationship will cause huge disruption. It is a leap into the unknown.
“A vote to remain is a vote for a stronger, safer, more influential and more prosperous Wales.”
Data from the Welsh Government says more than 1,395 jobs were created in Neath port Talbot and 3,285 in Swansea.
Wales Stronger In Europe Advisory Board Chairman Geraint Talfan Davies commented:
“Today marks 100 days until Wales and the rest of the UK votes on whether to remain part of Europe.
“In an increasingly dangerous world, the whole of Europe all faces multiple threats. This is the last 8much yet to be done for each other and with each other.
“We now have 100 days to protect the thousands of Welsh jobs that are linked to Europe, 100 days to protect trade deals worth billions, and 100 days to protect farming subsidies that are key to our rural economy.
“In short, we have 100 days to protect the future for our families and for future generations.”