Liberal Democrats claim botched Brexit deal threatens Welsh jobs
The Welsh Liberal Democrat have called on the the UK Government to “get a grip” and accused them of “failing to address the problems they have caused” with new post-Brexit customs regulations.
Following reports that Holyhead and Fishguard ports saw a 30 per cent drop in traffic in 2021, the Welsh Lib Dems leader Jane Dodds said the Conservative government at Westminster was “doing half a job” with the UK’s Brexit deal and stated that failures in the agreement are continuing to risk Welsh jobs.
At the start of January, new customs regulations came into effect requiring greater checks on goods coming into the UK, with the industry warning that even stricter checks due to come in over summer 2022 could prove even more disruptive.
The extra red-tape has led to numerous hauliers deciding to bypass the UK and Wales all-together, with direct ferry routes between France and Ireland increasing from less than 12 in 2020, to 44 as of October 2021.
Ian Davies, the boss of Stena’s UK ports, which operates the two Welsh ports has stated he thinks it is now clear the impact on Welsh ports is down to the new post-Brexit trading relationship with the European Union rather than the pandemic.
Welsh ports are thought to supply at least 1,000 jobs in Holyhead, Ynys Môn and support around 4,000 in Pembrokeshire.
‘Half a job’
Commenting on the developments, Jane Dodds, Senedd member for Midand West Wales said: “Yet again we are seeing more evidence that the Conservatives are the party of doing half a job.
“There are now numerous serious problems with the Brexit deal Boris Johnson negotiated, most of which they were warned about before they signed the deal.
“Whether it’s the unacceptable levels of new red tape for our hauliers and small businesses, the lack of an adequate veterinary agreement for our farmers or the impact of lost development funds on our most deprived regions, the Conservatives are failing to even attempt to address the problems they have caused on multiple fronts.
“We urgently need the Conservatives to get a grip, take some responsibility and clean up the mess they have made. People’s jobs and livelihoods are depending on it, as is the wider Welsh economy which does not need any unnecessary turmoil as we try to move into the post-pandemic era.”
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