Call for Wales to 'take back control' of migration policy

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Plaid Cymru will push for Wales to grant its own visas, to enable the Welsh Government to attract the necessary skillset to build the Welsh economy.

Plaid Cymru MP, Jonathan Edwards, who was Wales' only MP on the House of Commons' Brexit Select Committee, says Wales has to "take back control" to prevent the collapse of manufacturing and the Health Service. He criticised the British Government for interpreting a vote to take control as a vote to "shut up shop" and "destroy the economy".

The Carmarthen East & Dinefwr MP, who is standing for re-election, says that Wales must be allowed to act, to ensure the country has a workforce that meets its unique needs.

The party will push for the Welsh Government to be able to issue visas that number 5% of the UK's total, reflecting Wales' relative population. Visas would be issued based on a criteria set by the Welsh Government, which would in turn be based on Wales' economic needs.

Commenting, Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Jonathan Edwards, said:

"There is a real danger that the Tories are so blinded by their obsession to appeal to UKIP voters that they are willing to sacrifice our country's economy. They have interpreted a vote to take control of borders as a vote to shut up shop and destroy the economy.

"Wales already has a shortage of doctors and nurses for example, and we are already reliant on skilled migrants from the EU and elsewhere to sustain the service. Thanks to continued neglect from the Labour Welsh Government we have not trained enough of our own people for the long-term so we must, in the short term at least, attract skilled medical staff from other countries.

"You cannot have a one size fits all approach to immigration. While one in six people in England are international migrants, 96% of people in Wales are from the British Isles. The Welsh economy has significant skills gaps in certain sectors while England has different needs.

"The Welsh Government should create a skills shortage occupation register and our immigration policy should be able to reflect that shortage. We cannot allow Westminster to focus on the needs of London at the expense of Wales.

"The Tories are hell bent on isolating us and destroying our economy and the Labour Party is too weak and divided to be able to stand up to them. If we want our economy to flourish, we have to take control, and I won't sit on my hands like our Labour First Minister or Jeremy Corbyn and let the Tories in London choke off Wales' economy.

"Only Plaid Cymru can defend Wales and the more Plaid Cymru MPs there are in Westminster, the stronger Wales will be."

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