Johnson Facing Calls Not To Inflict No Deal Brexit On Wales

Wales' Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles and Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price say it would weaken the Welsh economy.

Price has today sent a letter to incoming prime minister Boris Johnson - he writes: “Wales will be one of the first casualties of a no-deal Brexit. It will endanger jobs, wages as well as the very way of life for the people that I and my party represent. Expert after expert, and even the British Government itself, has confirmed that the disastrous policy you are threatening to inflict upon us would lead to disaster for manufacturing jobs, for Welsh farmers and our rural communities. 

“On top of this, you are treating the lives of those who rely on medicines from the EU, the livelihoods of millions of EU citizens who have made their homes in the UK, as well as UK citizens in the rest of Europe, with contempt. You will be depriving young people who did not have a say in 2016 of opportunities to work, live and study in the rest of Europe – opportunities you yourself enjoyed unheeded.”

He goes on to say: “I cannot say I am hopeful that you will give much notice to this letter. Your misplaced comments saying that ‘too often there are parts of our country … where English is not spoken by some people as their first language’ does not fill me with confidence that your policy-making will be designed with a consideration for the people of Wales or our culture. Nor do your recent remarks about regional funds in Wales needing to have a ‘strong Conservative influence’, despite twenty years of devolution and two referendums confirming Wales’s right of power over economic development and despite your party’s track record on denying Wales the investment it requires to flourish.

“The time for reckless delusions about the land of milk and honey is over. I urge you now to be honest with the people of Wales and promise that you will not inflict the catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit on them.”

International Relations Minister, Eluned Morgan and Brexit Minister, Jeremy Miles have also warned a no deal Brexit is not in the UK’s national interest. Saying it could lead to:

* A smaller economy – 8% to 10% smaller over the long run under World Trade Organisation rules. This would be equivalent to between £1,500 and £2,000 per head. 

* Damage to Welsh jobs – A weaker economy and increased barriers for business will endanger jobs, investment, and livelihoods in Wales.

* New export taxes on Welsh business – Significant tariffs on Welsh lamb and beef exports. These could include tariffs (import taxes) as high as 84% on cattle carcasses, 46% on lamb and 61% on cuts of lamb.  

* New regulatory barriers for Welsh businesses – Any new barriers to the EU market could be hugely damaging for many Welsh businesses, especially those in the food sector, but as well as aerospace, and the automotive sectors – all vital to the Welsh economy. This would have an immediate and long-term impact on living standards and push more people into poverty in Wales.

* Red tape and delays – Changes to customs rules which add to costs, time, inconvenience and regulation could have a damaging impact on the economy of Wales.

* Delays at ports – Could see delays at Welsh and UK ports as new barriers and checks put in place. 

Brexit Minister, Jeremy Miles said: “Those hell bent on a no deal Brexit need to hear the clear message from Wales today – this would hit Wales hard, inflicting catastrophic damage on our country and economy. 

“This cannot be allowed to happen – we won’t stand by and allow sustained growth in Welsh farming and food to be derailed by the reckless actions of a few. Today we’re calling on the new Prime Minister to rule no deal out.” 

International Relations Minister, Eluned Morgan said: “I have spoken to many businesses who have told me they want to invest and create jobs in Wales but are put off because of the never-ending Brexit uncertainly. We need that certainty – and we need it now.

 “Those who advocated the UK leaving the EU said nothing would change. But we now know that a no deal Brexit would change everything and not for the better. No one who voted for Brexit voted to make the nation poorer. 

“People were promised a fantasy. The new Prime Minister knows that fantasy is in fact a nightmare that’s staring down on us. 

“That’s why we need a new Brexit vote and we will continue to advocate Wales remaining in the EU.”


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