I have received the following email concerning the future of Wales beyond Brexit, from First Minister Mark Drakeford. It is really encouraging to know that we have a Welsh Labour Government working for those of us in Wales to make the most of the opportunities that we have to take to protect the future of our proud nation.
Last week, the UK left the European Union but this doesn’t mean that we have left Europe. Wales remains a European nation, open for business and eager to trade internationally.
As we move beyond Brexit – as international relationships are reshaped and trade deals are negotiated – it will become even more important that Wales remains open and outward facing.
Our future success will be rooted in our engagement with both Europe and the wider world. We are strengthening international relationships and economic partnerships – attracting inward investment, and helping Welsh businesses stand out across the globe.
This is why the Welsh Government has – for the first time – appointed a Minister with portfolio responsibility for International Relations, Eluned Morgan, and why we’ve published our first International Strategy, setting out how we’ll be promoting Wales around the world, strengthening existing relationships with international partners and making new ones and supporting businesses in Wales to grow their businesses overseas.
We have a series of high-profile trade and overseas visits arranged for the coming weeks ahead, which are an important part of this work and will build on the success of our trade mission to Japan last autumn during the Rugby World Cup.
We’ll be in Ireland to promote Wales and in a number of other European countries, with an event in Berlin at the beginning of March. Our first mission of 2020 to Arab Health recently returned from Dubai. Wales Week in London will be part of our St David’s Day celebrations and Eluned will be visiting Canada and the west coast of the United States.
We do all this while continuing with the work of making a real difference to the lives of people in Wales – investing in our town centres and local communities; building more affordable homes; improving health services; speeding up access to new medicines and bringing new job opportunities to Wales.
We are embarking on a new phase of our history, which doesn’t include EU membership. As the world changes, Wales will change with it, but Welsh Labour and your Welsh Labour Government will always stand up for Wales.
Yours in solidarity,
Mark Drakeford AM
Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister