Prime Minister Theresa May’s Speech at No.10 St David’s Day Reception 2017
10 Downing Street
1 March 2017
I am very pleased myself to be able to welcome you here to Number 10 Downing Street. I fear the Secretary of State has upstaged me somewhat, or…or I was going to say Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus.
But this…this reception is about celebrating everything that Wales has to offer to the world – and there is indeed much to celebrate, including the hills. And around Easter, I hope to be back in Wales walking up some of those hills once again. But this proud country – and a very special part of our United Kingdom – is home to some of the greatest talent and industry in the world.
And I think we can see that right here today. Whether it’s leading figures from the worlds of business, from sport and politics – or one of the finest arrays – I have to be very good and not participate in everything that has to walk through, but we’ve seen some wonderful cheeses, we’ve got cakes, ham, wine, beer, whisky, spirit, flowers or daffodils everywhere in Number 10 Downing Street today.
And…and I have to say I think it is no wonder that…I think quite a few Number 10 staff have suddenly discovered they’ve got Welsh heritage.
But anyway, I want to take this opportunity to say just two things today.
The first is I am immensely proud to be Prime Minister of the whole United Kingdom – and together with Alun as Secretary of State, I am absolutely committed to promoting and supporting Wales as part of that honour and responsibility.
As a UK government, we will always do everything we can to support Welsh business and help create more jobs in Wales.
And that’s why we are investing £500 million in the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal – the biggest City Deal in the UK, why we remain committed to negotiating a City Deal for the Swansea Bay City Region, too.
It’s why we will continue to promote Wales as one of the great tourist destinations in the world, with no fewer than 5 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including the first ever, Gower.
And we’ll continue to champion Wales as a top destination for iconic World sport – from hosting Rugby World Cup matches to the European Champions League Final in Cardiff this May.
And the second point I wanted to address briefly, and Alun has alluded to this, is how we seize the opportunity of this great moment of national change as we leave the European Union, as we forge that bold new future for ourselves in the world. And I’ve said I will strike a deal with the EU that works for all parts of the UK – and for the UK as a whole.
And we are engaging fully with groups and people from across Wales, including the Welsh government and indeed with all the devolved administrations as we form our negotiating position. And I want to ensure that Wales is in the strongest possible position to benefit as we work to spread wealth and prosperity to every part of the UK.
And as we forge bold new trade deals with old friends and new allies around the world – and I want that to mean more jobs in Wales, more exports of Welsh products and more growth for the Welsh economy. Because we are one United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. And we will succeed as one United Kingdom.
And I said it as Alun says on the doorstep of Number 10 when I first became Prime Minister, but I will always fight to preserve our proud, historic union.
And I am determined that we will emerge from this period of change – stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking than ever before. And that will be the best possible outcome for Wales – and for the whole of our United Kingdom.
So thank you everybody for coming today – thank you to those who have brought their wares here to sample, thank you for everything that you contribute to Wales, and everything you contribute to the United Kingdom. And please do stay and enjoy the rest of the reception.