Skip to main content

First Minister stresses the importance of the European Single Market and of free trade ahead of the British-Irish Council Summit.

First published:
25 November 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

First Minister Carwyn Jones will call on the UK Government to secure continued full and unfettered access to the single market and guard against barriers to trade when he hosts a meeting of the British-Irish Council (BIC) today (Friday 25 November).

Today’s summit brings together leaders and ministers from the 8 BIC member administrations to jointly consider the implications of Brexit and the fundamental changes that will result from the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

At the meeting, First Minister Carwyn Jones will stress the renewed importance of securing full and unfettered access to the single market in light of uncertainty around future trading relationships with America under the incoming administration.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: 

“This is a changing world and these are tumultuous times. But our focus on retaining full and unfettered access to the single market is unwavering. Today I will once again call on the UK government to make this their absolute priority in forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

“Let me be clear, a situation where the UK faces barriers and tariffs to trading with the European market would be disastrous for our economy and I will not support any settlement that undermines our exports.

“President-elect Trump was elected on the promise to make America great again. He has made no secret of his overriding priority to get the best deal for America and I am totally unconvinced we will see a free trade deal that will do anything other than benefit the US. Indeed, access to the US market may become more, not less difficult. It is therefore even more important to secure the quality of our access to the European market of 500 million people.

“We stand at a major crossroads for Wales and the United Kingdom, and decisions taken now will determine our future for decades ahead. My government accepts and embraces our responsibility but we cannot work alone. It is more important than ever to maintain the strong relationship between the BIC members and work together to build consensus where we can to map out a successful way forward.”