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New figures make mockery of ‘Brexit freedoms’ claims – Plaid Cymru MP

14 Feb 2024 3 minute read
Hywel Williams

Plaid Cymru’s Spokesperson for Trade and Business, Hywel Williams MP, has called for the UK to re-join the Single Market and Customs Union as “a vital first step to improving our moribund economy.”

His comments come following a new analysis by Goldman Sachs showing that the British economy has “significantly underperformed” other advanced economies since the 2016 EU referendum.

The report published today by the Wall Street bank concludes that the UK economy is worse off today than before Brexit, concluding that the decision to leave the European Union has hampered the economy to the tune of 5% versus other comparable countries.

Shortfall

The analysis attributed the shortfall to three key factors: reduced trade; weaker business investment; and lower immigration from the EU.

Mr Williams, the MP for Arfon said the figures make a “mockery of UK Government claims of ‘Brexit freedoms.”

“Eight years on from the referendum, the impact on businesses can be seen everywhere: the forced closure of the 2 Sisters Group plant in Llangefni; a 34% dip in freight traffic through Holyhead; and rushed trade deals that have proved ruinous for our agriculture sector,” he said.

“These latest figures make a complete mockery of UK Government claims of ‘Brexit freedoms.’ Indeed, Brexit is projected to reduce the value of Welsh exports by approximately £1.1 billion.

“Today’s news makes it clearer than ever that membership of the Single Market and Customs Union is a vital first step to improving our moribund economy. Re-joining would lighten the burden on struggling businesses and give households a much-needed boost with the cost-of-living crisis.”

Grow the economy

A Treasury spokesperson told CNBC that the government was “making the most of Brexit freedoms to grow the economy,” including repealing EU financial services law, which it said could unlock a potential £100 billion in investment over the next decade.

Last month former Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the results of what he described as “the restoration of this country’s democratic power to make its own laws and rules” four years since Brexit took effect.

He said: “With those Brexit freedoms we have introduced improved standards for animal welfare, cut taxes on sanitary products, created greater flexibility for cutting edge industries from financial services to bioscience, done many global free trade deals – and it was at least partly thanks to Brexit that this country had the fastest covid vaccine rollout in Europe.

“We must retain the appetite and the courage to diverge from the low-growth high-regulation European model.”


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John Davis
John Davis
2 months ago

The people of Wales voted to leave the highly advantageous membership of the EU club, where some aspects of sovereignty were pooled in favour of greater prosperity. We were assured that they knew what they were voting for and so it must be assumed that being poorer in both money and rights is not a problem.  But it is not all doom and gloom. Remainers may claim that no industry has benefitted from Brexit, certainly not steel as those jobs are shifting into EU production, but foodbanks are definitely one industry which has Brexit to thank for its growth, as… Read more »

Annibendod
Annibendod
2 months ago
Reply to  John Davis

Polling has shown for some time that Brexit is no longer viewed favourably. But I agree with you. It’s consequences must be allowed to unfold so that they are fully understood. However, what I fear is that misinformation and propaganda is now so ubiquitous that a sizeable proportion of the population is being led into conspiratorial nonsense and manipulated for their votes. That’s on top of the general ingnorance and disengagement that has been cultivated. The UK electorate is sadly very compliant and subdued.

Rob
Rob
2 months ago
Reply to  John Davis

Leaving the Single Market and Customs Union was not what the people voted for? In the run up to the referendum we were told by the likes of Farage, Daniel Hannan that ‘We can be like Norway’, yet when the vote went their way it was ‘support a hard Brexit or your a remoaner.’

John Davis
John Davis
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob

With a simple in/out question what was voted for became whatever was decided afterwards. When power is handed to fantasists, chancers and, as it turned out, the seriously ignorant, then chaos and disaster are what you get. UKIP and Leave.EU were very much like fringe parties and the advantage of fringe politics is the liberty to advocate ridiculous things without any expectation of having to make them work. The tragedy for Britain is that, via Brexit, policymaking in wilful defiance of reality has been allowed to go mainstream.

Geraint
Geraint
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob

That was part of the false prospectus. Leave meant different things to different people. Farage and Hannan could promise what they liked. They were not leaders of governing parties that implemented policies after we left. There was never a word about the single market or customs union on the ballot paper – their get out of jail card free.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 months ago

I agree with Plaid’s Hywel Williams. Brexit has been a economic and democratic disaster for Wales. And anyone who says it isn’t are deluded. I find the only ones who have benefitted from leaving the EU are those in the Brexit party with their golden EU pensions for doing absolutely nothing. And that applies to those former Conservatives like ex-Tory Neil Hamilton , born in Wales to a Welsh miner father, a full-time crook, who did diddly squat in office but still took a Senedd wage whilst living in England , who wanted to abolish our Senedd. The clot years… Read more »

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
2 months ago

We can thank all the closet Tories in the valleys who read the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express for the Brexit vote in Wales.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 months ago
Reply to  Cwm Rhondda

The list is a long one…it looked bad when you listen to the Vox Pop from down there but along the coast there were eg ‘charity’ shops where the Brexit propaganda was disappointing… People who had waited since 1974 to get their own back on their grand-children. The parents of school-leavers working a summer job, to young to vote but already to begin their adulthood when against their pleas not to, their parents knew ‘best’… Blame bad people manipulating you for years, then in go the feathers and come a bucket full of human mackerel. Make it a moral maze… Read more »

David
David
2 months ago
Reply to  Cwm Rhondda

“closet Tories” who vote Labour as the Conservative vote is low in the valleys.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
2 months ago

What?? You’re telling me there’s no benefit to leaving the EU? Come on you are joking right? Surely it’s still project fear?? I’ve never seen so many new nurses, doctors and hospitals since we’ve had the weekly £350m injection! lol !

Dewi34
Dewi34
2 months ago

I thought this was a serious piece until the old Boris b****cks about the vaccine rollout was trotted out at the end. Followed by a request for money.

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