News story

'Back Britain' as we approach Brexit, Davis tells business leaders

Welsh business leaders were urged to support Britain’s approach to negotiations to leave the European Union by David Davis, in a speech at the CBI Wales annual dinner on Thursday 1 December.

David Davis

CBI Speech

The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) asked businesses to be confident about the future, as the UK seeks ‘not a bitter divorce, but a better relationship’ with the EU.

In his second visit to Cardiff since the referendum in June, the Secretary of State addressed around 400 business leaders from a wide range of sectors at the event, held in Cardiff’s City Hall.

He said:

In exit we are not seeking a bitter divorce, but a better relationship. That’s the Government’s ambition.

So my request to you, leaders of industry here in Wales and across the whole of the UK, is a straightforward one. Help us to write this new and exciting chapter in the country’s history.

He added:

Our challenge is to navigate a period of inevitable uncertainty with cool heads and a united sense of purpose and confidence.

Suggestions that the UK might somehow reverse its decision aren’t just misleading, they risk undermining our negotiating position and adding to uncertainty.

And a second referendum would give those on the other side in the negotiations an incentive to give us the worst possible deal to try to force the British people to change their minds.

The Secretary of State made his speech after spending the day in South Wales, where he visited semiconductor manufacturer SPTS in Newport and small, independent business Elephant and Bun.

He was joined by the Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns to hear how the UK Government can continue to support Welsh businesses ahead of negotiations to leave the EU.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

We are facing both challenges and opportunities following Brexit. We will deliver a deal that ensures our exit from the EU will be a success for the whole of the UK, including Wales.

The Welsh economy is in good shape for the road ahead and remains fundamentally strong, highly competitive and open for business.

DExEU Minister David Jones said:

Leaving the EU will mean more opportunities in Wales for our businesses, our economy, for tourism and for our universities.

For Wales and the UK to be successful, we will all need to work together to seize the opportunities that Brexit presents, which is why we’re listening to the Welsh Government and businesses as we prepare for negotiations.

Published 5 December 2016