§ Mr. Geraint Howells
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will estimate how many jobs in Wales are dependent upon the United Kingdom's membership of the European Economic Community; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Nicholas Edwards
It is not possible to estimate the number of jobs dependent on our membership of the European Community. However, like the rest of the United Kingdom, Wales benefits from access to a free trade market of 270 million people and the level of United Kingdom trade with our Community partners which has increased to 43 per cent. of our total trade compared with 30 per cent. prior to our membership. There is also clear evidence that Community membership is a significant factor in attracting inward investment, and hence new jobs to Wales.