“WHAT is your Government doing?”

That was the question from Peredur Owen Griffiths, MS for South Wales East, to first minister Mark Drakeford as the future of Newport Wafer Fab remains uncertain pending a security review in Westminster.

American manufacturers Vishay Intertechnology agreed to take over Newport Wafer Fab in November in a deal worth more than £140 million.

READ MORE: American manufacturing giant set for Newport Wafer Fab takeover

The semiconductor manufacturing site, which is the largest in the UK, was the subject of a divestment order from the UK Government over owner Nexperia’s links to China, which forced it to sell.

Last week Nexperia Newport's staff association posted a picture of the factory empty, pleading against it becoming a "permanent scene".

Nexperia president Joel Smejkal said the company’s goal was to “safeguard the positions of the highly skilled and dedicated employees”.

Mr Griffiths, who is also Plaid Cymru’s spokesman for finance, told the Senedd: “I won’t detail the turbulent history of this site over the last couple of years, but it’s safe to say that the hundreds of staff working there richly deserve some good news of this takeover.

“Despite the interested company being headquartered in a country that is supposedly our closest ally, Westminster seems to have been dragging their heels when it comes to approving the acquisition.

“These delays are delaying investment; they’re delaying job security and they’re delaying expansion.”

South Wales Argus: Peredur Owen Griffiths has criticised the delays over the UK Government's security decisionPeredur Owen Griffiths has criticised the delays over the UK Government's security decision (Image: Senedd)

He asked Mr Drakeford: “Do you share the concerns and frustrations that I have, as well as the hundreds that work on the site at Newport Wafer Fab, about the wait for Westminster to approve such a key site for the Welsh economy?

“What’s your government doing to ensure this process is completed by the February 22 deadline in order to protect the semiconductor industry?”

The first minister said he agreed with the points Mr Griffiths made.

He added: “He can be assured that the economy minister (Vaughan Gething) here is doing everything he can to persuade the UK Government to deliver on the timetables they themselves have set and to end the uncertainty that is routed in the decision they themselves made in the first place.”