WALES must not lose a penny of funding due to Brexit, an Assembly Member has said.

Jack Sargeant, AM for Alyn and Deeside, spoke to the Leader to voice his concerns over Britain’s exit from the European Union and what it means for Flintshire and North Wales as a whole.

He said there is a lot of risk for the country, as it is highly reliant on the single market which, as well as Airbus’ warnings, could affect rural communities, hill farming and sheep farming if changed. Due to being dependent on EU funding, the AM said more support will need to be given after Brexit, particularly in these areas.

He said: “I believe a deal is there to be struck. That deal should include full and unfettered access to the single market and participation in a customs union to protect the 60 per cent of Welsh exports that go to the EU and to retain and increase job-creating investment.

“The Leave campaign should stay true to its promises. Wales must not lose a penny of funding due to Brexit, as promised during the referendum.

“Maintaining the current social and environmental protections, including workers’ rights, is also vital, as well as securing a period of transition to avoid a ‘cliff edge’.”

Mr Sargeant, who has voiced his critical opinions over UK Government’s handling of Brexit, said the issue needs to be dealt with and a focus should be on a new system which links migrations more closely to employment. This would enable the recruitment of doctors, nurses, engineers and other workers, whilst protecting employees from exploitation.

The Deeside AM said his local constituents have been regularly raising concerns, especially those working for businesses that rely on trade with Europe.

He added: “Most people have just wanted to know what’s going on. They look at the shambles that’s going on in Westminster and just want some clarity - sometimes that’s hard to give because of the chaos.

“Digital infrastructure is going to be important as we enter the next industrial revolution. It has been a priority for business and rightly so. Statistics clearly show that the country will receive £20 for every £1 spent on Broadband. This a great return in infrastructure investment.

“That’s why I’ve been working with the Welsh Government to support the idea of a gigabit hub in and around Flintshire and Wrexham. We should continue to promote North Wales as an especially attractive location for business growth and investment, as part of the long-term vision to accredit it as the most digitally connected region in the United Kingdom.”

Mr Sargeant was elected in February 2018 and was appointed to the Assembly’s External Affairs Committee to focus primarily on preparations for Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Since then he has worked with a range of Government Ministers and external organisations to deal with what he says is the biggest issue the UK has and will face in a generation.

In January, the AM, along with Deeside Business Forum, hosted a Brexit conference where those in business from across Flintshire had the chance to discuss issues facing them in the future.

It was the first major event of its kind where the new First Minister, Mark Drakeford AM and the Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates AM, addressed.

Mr Sargeant said: “Since that conference, I have met with the Welsh Government’s Brexit Minister, Jeremy Miles AM to discuss further issues facing businesses across North Wales and the North West.

“As promised in my manifesto during the by-election, I hosted a Jobs and Prosperity Summit within 100 days of taking office. Since then, I have taken the findings of that summit and the voice of Alyn and Deeside to the heart of Welsh Government decision making, and will continue to do so.”