Welsh Secretary Gives Brexit Update

In a Welsh Affairs Select Committee meeting, Virginia Crosbie, MP for Ynys Môn asked the Secretary of State for Wales about progress and investment for Holyhead Port. 

In light of rising concerns about the state of the port ahead of the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU in January, Ms Crosbie took the opportunity to question the Rt Hon. Simon Hart MP (Secretary of State) and Trade Minister Greg Hands MP saying “Holyhead port in my constituency of Ynys Môn is the second busiest RoRo port in the UK. HMRC, Welsh Government and the Isle of Anglesey County Council are working hard together to minimise disruption at the end of the transition period. What assurances can the Secretary of State and the Minister give companies like Stena Line, Gwynedd Shipping and other companies that rely on the port as part of their supply chain. Will the port will have the required infrastructure to deal with new customs processes?” 

In response, the Secretary of State said “Progress on finding a site is being made… And port infrastructure generally is the subject of a meeting three or four times a week.”

Trade Minister Greg Hands MP added that he “had very good conversations with the Welsh Government as to how we can approach data sharing to ensure both Governments can carry out their areas of competence. This is vital to deliver free-flowing trade, particularly important to your constituency to ensure trade continues to flow from Holyhead.”

Ms Crosbie added further questions, inquiring about the potential for Holyhead to be made a Freeport – something that would promise considerable investment into the area: “Could you please update us on the bidding process? I understand it will be open by the end of the year….and can you confirm that Wales will definitely have one of the Freeports?”

The Secretary of State replied that he “hoped for a reference to the bidding process in the November Spending Review from the Chancellor of the Exchequer” but that there was “no reason to think it would not be imminent”. He also added that the “Conservative Manifesto commitment was to ten Freeports, with one in Wales and there was no reason to believe otherwise”. 

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