Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats has warned of dire implications of Conservative immigration plans for the tourism industry in Wales.

Figures released earlier this week show that there was 27.7% decline in EU immigration in 2016, the highest fall since 2008, with an increase of 31,000 of EU nationals leaving the UK.

Conservative plans to end freedom of movement and place tighter restrictions on immigration will have serious negative consequences for Wales, in particular for the tourism industry which in 2016 directly employed nearly 117,000 people in 2016.

Commenting, Mark Williams said; 

“Tourism is vital for the future success of Wales, creating more than 200,000 jobs across Wales and generating billions of pounds for our economy.

“Theresa May’s obsession with chasing caps on immigration and ending freedom of movement will have dire consequences for rural and seaside towns in Wales, starving the tourism and hospitality industries of skilled and ready workers. It is nothing more than chasing headlines.

“Wales benefits from the free movement of people across the EU and the decisions the government makes now will be felt long into the future.

“The Liberal Democrats will fight to ensure that Wales’ interests in the Brexit negotiations are heard, to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, and make the positive case for a fair immigration system.”

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