Plaid Cymru AM warns of “devastation for the Welsh economy” if Brexit deal leads to hard border in the Irish Sea
With reports from Brussels that negotiating teams have agreed in principle that there will be a customs border down the Irish Sea, Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for Ynys Môn and Shadow Minister for Economy and Finance Rhun ap Iorwerth AM has today urged MPs not to support any deal that leads to economic turmoil for Welsh ports.
The ferry company Irish Ferries has previously said that the reintroduction of customs checks could lead “UK plc to quickly grind to a halt” and Stena Line has said customs checks could disturb the whole “open port” business model of Holyhead.
Plaid Cymru AM for Ynys Môn and Shadow Minister for Economy and Finance Rhun ap Iorwerth AM said:
“A Brexit deal placing a hard border in the Irish Sea would be almost as bad for Wales as a crash out Brexit.
“Holyhead is the UK’s second busiest port, with 400,000 lorries and trailers passing through every year with very minimal delay. That is currently only possible because both Wales and Ireland are members of the Single Market and Customs Union.
“A Brexit deal based on the principle of putting a customs border down the Irish Sea will change everything for Holyhead, wreaking havoc on the port and potentially leading to devastation for the Welsh economy as a whole.
“All our Western ports are primary national strategic priorities. We in Plaid Cymru will never throw them under the bus by supporting a deal that would put them in a weakened position.
“It is now clearer than ever that the only way that we can secure seamless trade between Wales and Ireland – and protecting our economy as a whole – is to remain a full member of the European Union.
“It is time the British Government accepts that and urgently makes provisions for a People’s Vote.”
400,000 lorries pass through Holyhead every year with minimal delay because Wales 🏴 and Ireland 🇮🇪 are in the customs union and single market.
A border down the Irish Sea would be a disaster for Holyhead and for Wales.
— Rhun ap Iorwerth (@RhunapIorwerth) October 16, 2019
Plaid Cymru’s Westminster Candidate for Ynys Môn Aled ap Dafydd added:
“We saw from the recent release of the Yellowhammer document that not only are the devastating effects of a crash out Brexit laid bare, but the UK Government has showed complete contempt towards the people of Anglesey.
“By making no assessment whatsoever of the impact on Holyhead and congestion on the island, this reckless UK Government has proved yet again that it knows little and cares less about Ynys Môn and its people.
“I will protect Ynys Môn from the chaos of Westminster. There is no deal as good as the deal we currently have: frictionless trade and an outward-looking Wales in the European Union.”