This article first appeared in the Llanelli Star 16/08/19
This is a very dangerous moment for our country.
We now have a Prime Minister who gives the impression a No Deal Brexit is a viable option. It is not. It would be a complete disaster for our country, and particularly for workers in Wales who would lose their jobs.
I recognise that many people who voted to leave the European Union believe we just need to get out. This is understandable, but the truth is that leaving the EU without a deal will NOT get Brexit over and done with and allow us to move on. On the contrary, a No Deal Brexit will just be the beginning of a long process to establish a future relationship with the EU, which, with our economy in tatters and chaos at our borders, we will be negotiating from a very weak position.
The fact of the matter is that without any agreements in place, there will be tariffs on goods we export to the EU. Those goods will also face customs and regulatory checks. Both of these facts will massively increase costs for many of our vital industries. For example, EU member states would have to place tariffs of 10% on finished cars and 2.5% to 4.5% on car components imported from the UK. Many of these components cross the UK/EU border multiple times during production, so costs would accumulate. This would pose a huge threat to the automotive factories we have here in Llanelli.
Similarly, a No Deal Brexit is serious threat to our steel industry. Steelworks like Trostre rely on trade with Europe, so the tariffs that would be placed on our steel exports by European countries would be crippling. This, combined with the extra costs and delays involved in moving goods between the UK and the EU, could prove fatal for many of our steelworks which already face huge challenges.
Leaving the EU without a deal would mean economic chaos and job losses. That’s why I could never support a No Deal Brexit, and why I will be doing everything I can to stop it from happening.