The First Minister has visited Newtown to be quizzed by Assembly Members including Montgomeryshire AM, Russell George.
The First Minister, Carwyn Jones AM, visited Newtown last week (Friday 16th February) to be scrutinised by Assembly Members who sit on the Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister.
Meeting at the Hafren Theatre, the focus of meeting was to question the First Minister on the impact of Brexit on the Food & Drink Industry in Wales and the potential future international trade arrangements following withdrawal from the European Union.
Among other questions, the First Minister was asked how Brexit will affect food standards; the promotion of Welsh food production and the ‘Welsh brand’; and the tourism and the hospitality industry.
Following the committee meeting, Mr George said:
"I was delighted that the Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister agreed to host its latest meeting in Newtown.
"The importance of the Food and Drink Industry to Mid Wales must not be underestimated and Brexit presents a significant challenge to the sector given the fact that 90% of Welsh food exports are to the European Union.
"From my perspective, the Food and Drink sector and Welsh farming must be at the forefront of Brexit trade negotiations to ensure that we maintain the best possible access to the single market.
“Ultimately, we all want the same thing, which is to ensure a seamless transition to a new set of arrangements which will allow Mid Wales products like Welsh lamb, Hilltop Honey and Monty's Beer to be traded freely without posing additional barriers to the food and drink industry.
"As the local Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire, I was also permitted a more locally based question and I took the opportunity to ask the First Minister about rural health services and the need for new hospital facility in Newtown.
"Parts of Newtown hospital predate the NHS itself so there is strong case for a new build hospital, which would include a 24/7 Minor Injuries Unit, to be built in Newtown.
"I believe that changes to healthcare in Shropshire present us with an opportunity to strengthen our local services here in Powys and while the First Minister was non-committal in his response, this issue is now on his radar and I will now be looking for Powys Teaching Health Board to keep up the pressure on the Welsh Government by submitting a bid at the earliest opportunity."