§ 12. Lady Olga Maitland
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent representations he has received from the business community in relation to inward investment. 
§ Lady Olga Maitland
Will my right hon. Friend confirm that overseas investment in Wales has amounted to 75,000 jobs? Does he agree that those jobs, which have brought undoubted revival to Wales, will be at risk as a result of the burdens that will be introduced by over-regulation through the Welsh Assembly and, if a Labour Government ever came into being, by signing up to the social chapter and the minimum wage? Is that not a cruel trick on the people of Wales?
§ Mr. Hague
My hon. Friend is right. Seventy-five thousand people in Wales now work for overseas-owned companies, and, as was announced recently, many thousands more jobs are already in the pipeline. That has been instrumental in bringing unemployment in Wales—last month's figures show that it is down—below 100,000 for the first time in many years. We wish to continue that record, but it could not continue if this country were to sign up to a minimum wage, the social chapter and every other job-destroying measure advocated by the Labour party.
§ Mr. Donald Anderson
When the Secretary of State and his colleagues give vent to negative and carping criticism of the European Union, will they stop and consider that one of the major reasons why industrialists come to this country is that we are a launching pad for the European Union? The Secretary of State and his colleagues should stop and consider the damage that is done to Wales by their criticisms [Interruption.]
§ Mr. Hague
I have no doubt the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) will have heard the hon. Gentleman's remarks, since he is sitting so close to him. 664 The Government are fully committed to making a resounding success of our membership of Europe. It is a factor in bringing new jobs and new investment into this country. Access to a huge market and to the prospering market that we have in the United Kingdom certainly helps to bring inward investors in. There is no doubt about that whatever.