Rhun ap Iorwerth warns Brexit could “decimate” Wales’ R&D Sector

Menai Science Parc, CEMET, Geom and Food Centre Wales could struggle for post-Brexit funding

Plaid Cymru have warned that Brexit could decimate Wales’ research and development sector.

Speaking during the party’s European Elections campaign, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy Minister, Rhun ap Iorwerth AMs said that in the event of leaving the EU, Wales’ research and development output could be ‘decimated’.

80 per cent of Wales’ total EU funding for research and development currently comes from EU structural funds.

Menai Science Parc, Food Centre Wales, The Centre of Excellence in Mobile and Emerging Technologies and Geom are all partially funded by European Structural Funds and could struggle for replacement funding after Brexit.

He said Wales could not “trust” Westminster to deliver replacement structural funding and said that the shambolic handling of Brexit left no option but to have a People’s Vote with the option to remain in the EU to safeguard Wales’ current R&D funding.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Economy Minister, Rhun ap Iorwerth AM said,

“Research and development is vital to Wales’ economic well-being. Leaving the EU would be a disaster and could decimate our current research and development output.

“Almost 80 per cent of Wales’ total EU funding for research and innovation comes from structural funds. Universities are particularly dependent on the freedom of movement of their researchers to facilitate R&D.

“Already, Wales is not given its fair share from the Westminster Government. In 2016, of the £2.2 billion spent on research and development by UK Government, just £5 per person was spent in Wales UK compared to £54 per person in London and the Home Counties.

“We are still waiting on the Westminster Government’s so-called Shared Prosperity Fund which is supposed to replicate EU regional funding after Brexit. But how can Wales trust Westminster to deliver the funding we need to safeguard our communities and industries? We can’t.

“The Brexit shambles over the past three years means we now must have a People’s Vote and a final say referendum in these European Elections. We want to give people the choice on whether they want to remain with the crucial structural funding we have, or to risk our research and development on the whim of the Westminster government.