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Monday, September 26, 2016

Welsh Labour Ministers lose the plot on Brexit

As if it were bad enough having to put up with Theresa May's Government's prevarication over their position after we leave the EU, the Welsh Labour Economy Minister chipped in over the weekend with his own version of Brexit that does not seem too far away from the vision of Nigel Farage and UKIP.

According to the BBC, Ken Skates said that the Welsh Government wanted to maintain access to the single market but regain control over immigration, thus preventing the free movement of labour. He said:

"In the absence of any other indication from the UK Government... we are saying we are filling that void at the moment with a compelling argument for ensuring that Britain retains unfettered access to the single market while also recognising that in the referendum immigration was a major issue so we cannot maintain free movement of people."

How exactly he is going to achieve this feat is unclear given that all the European leaders insist that you cannot have access to the single market without retaining the free movement of people. They are doing so, not because they are being awkward but because the two go together naturally. You simply cannot have free trade if you restrict your labour market.

If Welsh Labour now want to prevent EU nationals coming to Wales, then how are they going to staff the health service, meet their new obligations to achieve better nursing levels, ensure that we have the right mix of labour for the needs of the Welsh economy and what are they going to do with the European nationals already here, many of whom are working in our public services?

This is not a thought-through position, it is a sound-bite designed to win back Labour voters from UKIP. It does Welsh Labour no credit whatsoever to follow the Brexiteers into this sort of identity politics.

Theresa May might want a bespoke solution but even she is going to be faced with the stark reality that if the UK is to remain in the single market then they will need to retain freedom of movement. What makes Welsh Labour think they can achieve a different outcome?
This is outrageously irresponsible to fabricate such lies in a desperate attempt to hold on to power. It just reinforces illusionary believes.
Great post.
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