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Calls for Wales to have same access to EU’s single market as Northern Ireland

01 Mar 2023 3 minute read
Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts in the House of Commons.

Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts said Rishi Sunak’s advocacy for the benefits of Northern Ireland retaining privileged access to the EU’s single market is an “excellent argument” for Wales to have similar access.

She told the Commons: “The Prime Minister said yesterday Northern Ireland is in the unbelievably special position in having privileged access not just to the UK market, but hey, also to the EU single market.

“This is an excellent argument for Plaid Cymru’s policy to rejoin the single market. Why isn’t it good enough for Wales?”

Wales Office minister James Davies said: “Wales voted to leave the EU quite decisively.

“She knows that the situation in Northern Ireland is really quite different to that in Wales, and there has been a carefully put together deal to accommodate that situation, and I feel quite sure that the EU is not in the business of allowing what she suggests.”

Enthusiasm

Speaking after the session, Liz Saville Roberts added: “Rishi Sunak was bouncing with enthusiasm about Northern Ireland’s privileged access to the EU single market – the same man who campaigned to deprive the rest of us of that very same access.

“When Brexit’s biggest cheerleaders are now singing the praises of the single market, it’s clear that the Brexit project has failed. It’s time for the Prime Minister to join the dots and begin the process of taking Wales, and the UK as a whole, back into the single market. Wales refuses to be short-changed any longer.”

Downing Street was forced to stress yesterday that Rishi Sunak’s hailing of Northern Ireland’s access to both EU and British markets should not be seen as an endorsement of single market benefits for the whole of the UK.

During a visit to a Coca-Cola factory in County Antrim to promote his Windsor Framework, the Prime Minister said the deal would create “the world’s most exciting economic zone”.

“If we get this right, if we get this framework implemented, if we get the Executive back up and running here, Northern Ireland is in the unbelievably special position – unique position in the entire world, European continent – in having privileged access, not just to the UK home market, which is enormous, but also the European Union single market.

“Nobody else has that. No-one. Only you guys: only here, and that is the prize.”

Brexit

Critics online were swift to point out that the entire UK had full access to the EU’s single market before Brexit.

In response, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters: “The British people made a decision in 2016 and we are seeing the benefits of that decision, whether that’s in the ability to change our environment laws, some of the tax elements the Prime Minister talked about just today, in fact.

“With regards to Northern Ireland, it is simply a fact that because of our respect for the Good Friday Agreement and the central importance: Northern Ireland’s unique position means it needs to have access to both markets, not least to avoid a border on the island of Ireland, which nobody wants to see.

“That puts it in a unique position and what the framework does is finally cement those capabilities.”


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
11 months ago

Brexiters are beyond moronic at this stage…there are literally no arguments for Brexit, there never was, but as usual in the “UK” we are dominated by idiots, from the rich idiots in power to the utter rifles in every pub and factory and shop that live by the mantra/philosophy of “You can’t tell me nuffink”…..and going back to today’s earlier story about the decline in appetite for Independence in Cymru, it is also the same “pride in ignorance” that holds back the concept of an Independent Cymru back too. Too many dweebs and not enough people of sincerity and high… Read more »

Iago Prydderch
Iago Prydderch
11 months ago

If people claim to be demotratic then they have to accept that Wales voted to leave the EU. They have a right to express their opinions, but if they want to change the situation then they have to do it the democratic way. Is it a case for independence? Today’s figures show that support for independence is falling even though those who are in favour of independence are also in favour of rejoining the EU. Does that mean some people are against independence because they don’t want to rejoin the EU? There is possibly a link and there could also… Read more »

Neilyn
Neilyn
11 months ago
Reply to  Iago Prydderch

Wales may have voted to leave the EU, but the Welsh did not. Guess how the democratic vote of the Welsh majority was overturned.

Rob
Rob
11 months ago
Reply to  Iago Prydderch

Voting to leave the EU is not the same as voting to leave the Single Market

Paul
Paul
11 months ago

Scotland also voted to stay in the EU so Scotland should be treated the same as Northern Ireland.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
11 months ago

“Wales voted to leave the EU quite decisively” – Once again we have incorrect use of terminology, I don’t call just over 50% “decisive” – in any other country it would be classed as void as not a significant majority. I still see people shugging and saying – what’s done is done – trying telling that to businesses that have lost millions ! Northern Irish increased prosperity shows us all what stupidity Brexit was.

Rob
Rob
11 months ago

“Wales Office minister James Davies said: “Wales voted to leave the EU quite decisively.” So did England, so why don’t Brexiteers make a similar remark whenever an English MP calls for the same thing? Furthermore exactly how is 52.53% decisive? In the run up to the Brexit vote the Leave camp were telling us time and time again ‘we can be like Norway’ (ie not in the EU but within the Single Market), yet as soon as the referendum went their way it was ‘support a hard Brexit or your a remoaner’. Exactly what benefit does Wales, England and Scotland… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Rob
Riki
Riki
11 months ago

Because we are the actual British and we must be kept under their boot so they can take advantage of us and pretend to be British out our expense. That completely changes and destroys over a century worth of work if they allow any change to Cymru. This is also why Wales is a no go in terms of historical epics in film.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
11 months ago

Fishy Rishy Sunak claims the new Northern Ireland Brexit deal will create, and I quote ” the world’s most exciting economic zone” while denying both Wales & Scotland similar. Basically, we are trapped in a false union with no representation that was formed out of conflict by a rogue. state England for the benefit of England. Truth be told. England is our Russia. Sadly the world will not come to our defense. We must fight our own battles. As a native people always have.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago

Not only is he a rope-trick artist but he is also a contortionist of unbelievable ability, to hold two positions simultaneously is no easy feat…

Frank
Frank
11 months ago

When Wales asks for something the answer is always an emphatic “NO”.

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