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Saturday, March 04, 2017

More Tory nonsense on Brexit

I admit that over the last eight months I have struggled to find anything positive about Brexit. As far as I can see it is going to be an unmitigated disaster, at least in the short to medium term.

Businesses will look to relocate within the European free trade area so as to avoid having to pay tariffs on the goods and services they sell to Europe. The City of London financial centre will see many of its institutions hedge their bets by taking jobs over the English channel and goods in the shops will be more expensive because of the impact on the exchange rate and because we are now imposing our own tariffs on imports.

Furthermore, we will no longer be part of the European Arrest Warrant, so it will become more difficult to tackle international crime, whilst even if we do a deal with Europe on trade we will end up paying in and abiding with their rules without any influence on the terms.

Yes, we will find other markets in time but they will not compensate us for what we have lost, simply because they will not be anywhere near the size of the market we have walked away from.

And here in Wales the fate of European structural funds and help for agriculture is in the balance. We do not know if it will be replaced in full by the UK Government or what conditions will be attached to that money. 

I am therefore sceptical about the claim in today''s Western Mail by the Welsh Tory leader that negativity about Brexit is a threat to the prosperity of Wales. Andrew RT Davies believes that Brexit is "a fantastic opportunity to remould the Welsh economy, and to rediscover our resourceful, creative and industrious best.”

Fine words indeed but even he has no concrete ideas or assurances as to what a post-Brexit world will look like. The promises that he and his fellow Brexit campaigners made about extra money for the NHS have evaporated in the cold gaze of reality. His rhetoric carries no currency either.

With all the uncertainty, unanswered questions about Brexit and the determination of this Tory government to take us out of the single market, undermine public services through draconian controls on immigration and their refusal to give the British electorate a say on the final deal it is very difficult to be anything but sceptical.

Until Andrew RT Davies and his party can give us something to be positive about then he should stop lecturing us with such nonsense.
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