Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for Ynys Môn Rhun ap Iorwerth says the draft European Withdrawal Agreement is “miles away” from what was promised and has once again made the case for a people’s vote on the final deal.
The Plaid Cymru Shadow Secretary for Economy, Transport and Finance and prominent remain campaigner also criticised the uncertainty within the agreement regarding the implications for Holyhead Port, noting how damaging a hard border with the Republic of Ireland would be for the port.
Mr ap Iorwerth said that now the people know what Brexit could look like, now that they have evidence of how leaving the European Union would affect Wales and the United Kingdom, the people should be given a vote on the final deal.
“It is clear that the deal we now have is miles away from the land of milk and honey that was promised in the 2016 referendum. That being the case, I don’t think there is any choice other than to do what I’ve called for for a long time, which is to ask people again “what do you think now? Now that we have some evidence?” – that means having a people’s vote.
“Holyhead Port is clearly vitally important, not just as part of the local economy on Ynys Môn, but it is a vitally important border crossing between the UK and the EU – the second-busiest roll-on, roll-off ferry port between the EU, second only to Dover – and we still don’t know what is going to be happening to Holyhead long-term.
“Yes there is a backstop deal, there is talk of not changing too much now because of the Northern Ireland problem, but what happens then? What happens to Holyhead? A hard border between Holyhead and Dublin would be hugely damaging for Holyhead Port.
“We’re already seeing ferries coming into commission that will do the crossing directly from the Republic of Ireland to continental Europe, but we’ve got to be clear – for us, we need that free movement of trade between Holyhead and Dublin, we need it for our economy, and I haven’t changed my opinion on that at all.”