Wales politics

'Accept Brexit' Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns tells AMs

Alun Cairns

Welsh politicians need to accept the result of the EU referendum and work together to ensure prosperity, Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns has said.

Mr Cairns addressed AMs in the Senedd on Wednesday - the first time he has since being promoted to the UK cabinet.

He told them "the people of Wales and the UK have spoken" and it was time to act on their instructions.

On 23 June voters across the UK opted to leave the EU.

A majority in Wales voted to leave, despite Mr Cairns and First Minister Carwyn Jones campaigning to remain.

'Talking negatively'

"We need to show strong leadership and instil confidence in businesses and investors," Mr Cairns said.

"Talking negatively doesn't help anyone.

"I am hugely impressed by the response from the business community in Wales. Phrases such as 'business as usual' and 're-birth of businesses' came out of a recent briefing session I held.

"We are leaving the institution of the EU, not turning our backs on our friends, neighbours and trading partners in Europe.

"I am optimistic about our future and of the Wales and Britain we must create outside the European Union."

Following an increase in the number of racist hate crimes reported to police in the wake of the result, Mr Cairns said: "I want to ensure that the values which British society holds dear - the values of tolerance, of openness, of unity - are not seen as casualties of this referendum."

The Welsh secretary has had the right to address the assembly since the inception of the institution, although this will be abolished in the Wales Bill which is currently passing through Parliament.

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