Fears over impact of Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal on Wales’ ports
There are fears that Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal with the EU could create a border in the Irish sea, meaning customs checks between ports in Wales and the island of Ireland.
Holyhead on Anglesey is currently the UK’s second busiest port, with 400,000 lorries and trailers and half a million cars passing through every year with very minimal delay.
Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru have warned that a new border could have a deeply damaging effect on the economy of Wales, with trade facing delays, tariffs or bypassing the UK altogether.
“This deal does nothing to protect Welsh interests; let alone safeguard our economy and jobs,” Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford said.
“It would wrench us out of the single market and customs union and create new barriers to trade which would make Wales poorer.”
Economists’ early analysis based on the mooted Johnson deal would reduce per capita GDP by 6.4%. They also concluded that Theresa May’s Deal would reduced GDP by 4.9%.
Plaid Cymru’s Westminster Leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP has demanded that official impact assessments must be released alongside the legal text of Boris Johnson’s deal with the European Union.
Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “The Westminster Government must now release the impact assessments of their so-called deal. It is only reasonable for us to see the effects of what we will be voting on.
“This deal will define our economy, society and children’s future for generations – to vote on it blindfold without any idea of its impact would be deeply irresponsible.
“If, as has been rumoured, a border down the Irish Sea will be created the Welsh economy will take a significant hit – especially in places like Holyhead.
“Fundamentally, what the last three years has shown is that the latest manifestation of Brexit is nothing like that which was promised in the 2016 referendum. For the sake of our democracy, economy and constituents, it is only right that this deal is put back to the people, alongside the option to remain.”
Commenting on the news of a deal between the UK and the EU, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Paul Davies AM, welcomed the development.
“A fair and balanced deal has been reached between the UK and the EU, delivering on the outcome of the referendum in 2016,” he said.
“Boris Johnson promised a deal and he’s now delivered one. The people of Wales voted to leave and today’s news takes us one step closer to achieving that.
“This deal ends the uncertainty currently faced by Welsh businesses and communities, will allow us to take full advantage of the benefits that Brexit will offer and my Assembly colleagues and I welcome this news and are fully behind the Prime Minister.”