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UK Transport Secretary claim that ‘a quarter of Welsh work in England’ deleted

10 Mar 2021 2 minute read
Copyright Steve Daniels and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence (CC BY-SA 2.0). Grant Shapps picture by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0).

A claim by the UK Transport’s Secretary that a quarter of the Welsh population works in England has been deleted.

Grant Shapps had made the claim in an interview with the BBC to promote a report arguing for the strengthening of cross-border rail and road links.

But after Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre pointed out that the true figure was below 7%, the claim was deleted from a tweet and the news website.

“This is a question of expanding those joint interests even further,” Grant Shapps had told the BBC.

“I think I’m right in saying that something like a quarter of the Welsh people actually work in England so there’s a lot of connectivity, we want to make it easier for people to get backwards and forwards.”

The Welsh Government Centre then responded to say: “The correct figure for working-age residents of Wales who work in England is below 7% – the implications of cross-border flows were examined in Guto Ifan and Ed Gareth Poole’s work for Wales Centre for Public Policy on the Welsh Tax Base.”

The comment in the article and a subsequent tweet were later deleted.

Welsh Government Deputy Minister Lee Waters had also responded to the error.

No Grants Shapps you are not correct. 100k out of 1.4 million working people from Wales commute across the border,” he said.

Grant Shapps had also told the BBC that the UK government project will examine the case for the M4 Relief Road and upgrades along the A55.

Transport is however devolved to the Welsh Government and they rejected an M4 relief road in June 2019.

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