Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for Ynys Môn Rhun ap Iorwerth has said that he could never support Boris Johnson’s Brexit Deal as it would put communities at Ynys Môn at a disadvantage and the island would lose out.
Discussing the practicalities of Mr Johnson’s Brexit Deal in the Assembly Chamber this week Mr ap Iorwerth said that a border down the Irish Sea would be a significant threat to the success of Holyhead port, which is currently the best route for trade between Ireland and Europe.
50% of present trade across the Irish Sea into Holyhead Port comes from Northern Ireland, but a hard border down the Irish Sea would likely result in most of that trade opting to cross into the UK through Stranraer or Liverpool, as goods wouldn’t have to be checked when passing through the Republic – which is part of the European Union’s Single Market and Customs Union.
Mr ap Iorwerth said:
“Trade through the port of Holyhead has grown 700 per cent or thereabouts since the creation of the single market. Holyhead is a hugely important port, not only because it’s well run, it has great staff, and it’s an effective and efficient port, but it’s successful because it is the easiest way for trade to flow from Europe through Britain on to Ireland.
“So, much of what is being proposed now threatens that position that Holyhead has—that privileged position of being the best route for trade. Fifty per cent of the trade through Dublin and Holyhead comes from Northern Ireland.
“Now, under the terms of what is being proposed now, there would be parts of that trade traffic that would be tariff-free, which would have easier access directly into ports in Scotland and England. That would directly put the port of Holyhead under disadvantage.
“At the end of the day, trade will find the easiest route and we are the ones that will lose out. Those hard-working families in Holyhead, on the Isle of Anglesey, will find that that port—which has been so vital to the economy of my constituency, of my community—will find itself at a disadvantage, and I will never support a deal that places my community under a disadvantage.”