A call to candidates and parties from Wales for Europe
The UK has left the EU, but there is much to be done to build and shape our relationship with Europe, and with the rest of the world. The form this relationship will take over the next five years will have longstanding impacts on the economy and culture of Wales as well as the opportunities available to the people of Wales.
While many areas will be shaped by the policies and actions of the UK Government, Wales must take all possible steps to shape its own relationship with Europe. There is still much that remains within the power and influence of the next Senedd.
In addition to the work that needs to be done throughout the next Senedd term, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement will be due for review in 2025. The next Senedd must consider ways in which Wales could benefit from that process, taking account of effects on Wales, the UK and the EU, and making the case for change and improvement.
The next Senedd must resist any attempt to curb and narrow its world-view. It must be an internationalist Senedd. It must seek to mitigate the worst impacts of Brexit, whilst building positive opportunities for collaboration with Europe – and beyond.
We call on the political parties in the next Senedd to:
Fight to ensure that Wales receives from the Westminster Government ‘not a penny less’ in real terms than the £375m it received annually in EU funding, as was promised in 2016.
Ensure that the implementation of the proposed Shared Prosperity Fund in Wales is devolved to the Welsh Government and spent according to Welsh priorities.
Protect Welsh consumers and producers, including its farmers, by rejecting the imposition of inferior standards in food, agriculture and the environment.
Support Welsh businesses and industries by doing everything in their power:
- to reduce the impact of non-tariff barriers to trade
- to protect business from increased costs and time-consuming administration
Ensure continued access for all our young people, regardless of their background or educational attainment, to life-changing cultural and educational experiences via all elements of the Erasmus+ programme – including higher education, youth work and vocational opportunities; this must also include two-way exchange, with the presence of young people from other countries enriching our own educational environments and communities.
Guarantee the continued international engagement of our creative cultural sector
- by lobbying the UK government to ensure visa-free travel across the EU for our musicians, performers, artists and sports people – and vice versa
- by securing continued access to the Creative Europe programme
- by maintaining strong financial support for Wales Arts International
Act with urgency to avoid the shame of ‘a second Windrush’
- by supporting all EU citizens who have made Wales their home to achieve Settled Status by 30th June 2021,
- by lobbying UK government to ensure that vulnerable citizens who miss this deadline receive reasonable extensions and support,
- by lobbying the UK government to provide physical as well as digital proof of status to remove any obstacles to EU citizens proving their status or accessing the rights and support to which they are entitled.
Seek active engagement with the nations and regions of the EU to create opportunities for the people of Wales in all walks of life, from trade and education, to culture, research, science and technology.
Review constantly how the Trade and Cooperation Agreement works in practice to identify ways in which our relationship with the EU can be enhanced during the 2025 review, and at opportunities prior to that date.
About Wales for Europe:
Wales for Europe is an independent, cross-party and non-party, collaborative grassroots organisation with branches across Wales.
We believe that Wales and the UK are inextricably European by virtue of geography, shared history, culture, trade and values.
We believe that continued close cooperation with the European Union, its member states and other European organisations is in the best interests of the continued prosperity of the whole continent.
Our overarching objects are:
– To promote close cooperation between Wales, and the United Kingdom, and the European Union and their citizens in all areas of life in order to promote peace, prosperity and friendship in Europe and address shared challenges and opportunities;
– To promote and support the rights of EU citizens who live and work in Wales and the UK.