Wales politics

Brexit: Wales 'open for business' after EU vote

Alun Cairns
Image caption Alun Cairns says there will be 'no immediate changes to the way people live or work in Wales'

Wales remains "open for business", the Welsh secretary has said, despite the vote for the UK to leave the EU.

Alun Cairns will meet leaders from business, councils, universities and farming to outline the UK government's response to the referendum result.

He said there would be "no immediate changes" to anyone's right to live and work in Wales, or existing EU projects.

But he added: "Funding and support will inevitably be delivered in different ways in the future."

Thursday's result has sparked uncertainty within industry and the financial markets as to Britain's future terms of trade with the remaining 27 EU member states.

However, Mr Cairns, who backed Remain, stressed: "Britain and Wales are open for business with a strong economy.

"My job over the coming days and months will be to ensure that Wales continues to reap the benefits of our flexible and open markets, and opportunities further afield.

"For now we remain full members of the EU and there will be no immediate changes to the way people live and work in Wales, or to those EU projects under way."

'Momentous'

Mr Cairns attended a cabinet meeting earlier on Monday and said everyone was "supportive of the prime minister and sorry that he's chosen to go".

He said he used the meeting as an opportunity to "highlight the position from Wales - there are lots of uncertainties, but I was clearly making the point that we need to resolve how the successor to some of the European programmes would work".

He added that the voters had "made their wishes clear and we respect that decision".

"We must show confidence in our resilience and work together in the most effective way during this transitional period," he said.

"Of course there are going to be challenges. Funding and support will inevitably be delivered in different ways in the future."

The Welsh economy was in "robust form", the Welsh secretary insisted, claiming the UK Government had "fixed the roof when the sun was shining".

"The jobs market in Wales is outperforming the rest of the country and we have an increasingly dynamic business sector," he said.

"I have absolute confidence in our great nation and I will ensure that the voice of Wales is clearly heard right at the heart of government as we take our next steps in this momentous process."

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