Carwyn Connects with Point FM — July 4, 2016 at 4:33 pm — Updated: July 4, 2016 at 5:15 pm

Column from the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones


On the 23rd June our country took a fundamental decision for the UK to leave the EU.
Many of you will now be thinking about the future and what this means for your family, your community, as well as for the country as a whole.
As I said on the morning of the result, now is the time for Wales to unite and to think clearly about our future.
My urgent priority is to protect the interests of Wales.  On Monday [27 June] the Welsh Cabinet met as a matter of urgency to discuss the implications of the result.  I can assure you that the interests of Wales and its people will be at the heart of our strategy.
We will use every lever at our disposal to ensure Welsh jobs and communities are protected, as much as possible, through what may be difficult times ahead, and we will work together to get the best deal for Wales.
This includes seeking assurances on the billions of pounds of funds Wales currently receives directly from the EU, which supports our farming industry, our businesses, people into work and training, and our most deprived communities.  I have written to the Prime Minister to ask him to guarantee that every penny of this funding is safe, as was promised by the Leave side during the campaign.
Wales continues to be a great place to do business, and this is a message the Economy Secretary has been making.  A number of measures have been announced to provide assurance and stability to the business community.
We have been assured by the UK Government that Wales will take part in the Brexit negotiations with the EU, ensuring that our priorities for growth and jobs are taken into account.  As a government, we are also forming an expert team of civil servants, based in our Brussels office, so that we can explore where our priorities can be taken forward directly with the EU.
I know this campaign has been divisive but now is the time to come together, across all our communities, to work to get the best deal possible for Wales.
Wales continues to be an outward looking and welcoming nation.  Nothing has changed in the status of foreign nationals living and working in Wales.  They remain as welcome as they always have been – before devolution, before the EU.
I know many of you will have concerns about the future.  What I can tell you is that whether you voted to remain or to leave, the Welsh Government will do everything in its power to protect Welsh interests, strengthen our economy, and unify our nation.


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