Any kind of Brexit risks trade flowing directly between the Republic of Ireland and the European continent, bypassing Welsh ports including Holyhead.
Brexit contingency plans published recently by the Irish Government show that any Brexit would be ‘devastating’ for Welsh ports, according to Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy and Finance Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth AM.
The Republic of Ireland has been making substantial plans for its ports in the event of Brexit, with hundreds of millions of Euros invested in a number of companies, including Irish Ferries, to help increase capacity on direct routes to France, Belgium, Spain, and the Netherlands.
Mr ap Iorwerth says that the Irish contingency plans necessitated by Brexit will mean that Welsh ports, and as a result Wales, will be bypassed.
According to Mr ap Iorwerth, Plaid Cymru had warned that any kind of Brexit, but particularly a no deal scenario, would be ‘very damaging’ to Welsh ports and ‘disastrous’ for Wales.
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy and Finance Minister, and Ynys Môn Assembly Member, Rhun ap Iorwerth AM said:
“A Brexit of any kind would be very damaging to Holyhead port. It is in the interest of all concerned to continue seamless flow of trade between Holyhead and Dublin, regardless of which Brexit – if any – we end up with. It is vitally important we avoid a No Deal Brexit, which would be devastating.
“What this document by the Government of Ireland shows is that the Republic of Ireland has invested heavily to prepare for the possibility of bypassing Welsh ports in the event of a no deal Brexit, putting infrastructure in place to service direct routes to continental ports. This would be severely damaging to our ports here in Wales, which rely heavily on trade flowing seamlessly between Wales and the Republic.
“A no deal Brexit would be disastrous for Wales, and the best deal we can get is the one we already have. The future of our relationship with the European Union should be put to a People’s Vote now that we have a clear picture of what Brexit really means.”