Wales is 'better off' in EU, say the Liberal Democrats

Alec Dauncey said leaving the European Union would be catastrophic for Wales

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have launched their campaign for the European elections, arguing that Wales is better off within the EU.

The party currently has no Welsh MEPs, and polls suggest it faces a challenge securing one of the four seats available on 22 May.

Much of the campaign is centred around Britain's membership of the EU.

The Lib Dems are traditionally pro-European, and say one Welsh job in every 10 depends on trade with the EU.

In the last European elections, in 2009, the party came fifth in Wales, with just under 11% of the vote, and the Conservatives, Labour, Plaid Cymru and UKIP won a seat each.

Speaking on a visit to Aryma, a craft and design company in Llandrindod Wells, Alec Dauncey, the party's lead candidate, said: "Other than UKIP, no-one knows what the other parties stand for.

"For those that want to protect Welsh jobs, then they should be looking to vote Liberal Democrat."

He said UKIP's plan to take the UK out of the EU would be "catastrophic" and leave Wales and Britain "alone and diminished in the world".

"We can only tackle the world's big issues by remaining in Europe," he said.

"As members of the European Union our police can work with their counterparts abroad to crack down on the criminals who cross our borders.

"Collectively, our governments can be much bolder in the fight against climate change too," he added.

'World-class'

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams said the Lib Dems were the only party of 'In', the only one fully committed to continued EU membership.

She said: "The message is clear: are you 'In or Out'?

"For the Welsh Liberal Democrats the answer is clear: Britain and Wales are better in Europe. We are Britain's only party of 'In'.

"It would be a disaster for our economy and for Welsh jobs if we left the EU.

"More than one in ten Welsh jobs depend on trade with EU, why on earth would we want to risk people's livelihoods?"

Ms Williams said businesses such as Aryma "thrive" within the European Union.

"This company offers the very best of British craftsmanship and working within the EU helps them continue to trade with world-class brands," she added.

A list of all candidates and parties in Wales standing in the European elections, on Thursday 22 May, is available here.

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