News that there will be real-term cuts in the EU Budget which could hit hard some of Wales' poorest communities is not good news. We are set to lose out on around £1 billion pounds over the next seven years, which threatens to jeopardise the future of important fields such as agriculture and education. Seeking to score points Labour in Wales MPs voted alongside Conservative Euro sceptic MP’s simply to show loyalty to their colleagues in London rather than to stand up for the people they are allegedly supposed to be representing as MP’s for constituencies in Wales.
Plaid Cymru's Jonathan Edwards MP said:
"The confirmation that the EU Budget faces real-terms cut is devastating news for Wales.
"As a net beneficiary of EU membership, some areas of Wales receive structural funds for all-important fields such as agriculture and education - funding which is vitally important for some of our poorest communities that are not only some of the worst off in Wales but throughout Europe.
"Areas such as West Wales and the Valleys are new set to miss out on vital EU cash that could have helped develop our economy.
"Those Labour MPs who voted with right-wing Eurosceptics must now make a public apology to the people they have betrayed for their role in the vote that started the chain of events leading to today's announcement.
"Plaid Cymru have always maintained that Wales' future lies within Europe. It is now clearer than ever that we are the only party working in the Welsh national interest."
Now when it comes to Europe I think there is a clear need for reform and proper democratic accountability. Regional policy is important to Wales, what’s alarming is that many people in our country appear to have missed the fact that both the Conservative and the Labour parties are calling for an end to EU regional policy. Thanks to the EU’s regional policy we have tapped into significant structural funding to create jobs and build the economy in some of our poorest areas, as well as substantial agricultural support for our farmers across our rural areas.
We have received more than 2 billion pounds in EU structural funding over the past seven years not to mention other forms of financial support for example, for students, fisheries and small businesses. What’s actually been done with the money and how effectively it has been spent is another issue! Perhaps if those Labour in Wales and Conservative MP’s in Westminster had actually worked for Wales and protected Welsh interests then we would never have needed or been eligible for European regional funding in the first place.