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A catastrophic no deal Brexit will endanger jobs, investment and livelihoods in Wales – Welsh Government Ministers will today demand the UK’s next Prime Minister to rule it out immediately.

First published:
23 July 2019
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Speaking on the second day of the Royal Welsh Show – and on the day the UK’s next Prime Minister is set to be revealed – International Relations Minister, Eluned Morgan and Brexit Minister, Jeremy Miles have warned a no deal Brexit is not in the UK’s national interest.

They also warned a no-deal Brexit would destroy Welsh farming. The sector has well-established export links to EU countries, exporting significant amounts of Welsh produce and would be impacted by tariffs levied on Welsh produce should the UK leave without a deal.

A catastrophic no deal Brexit could lead to:

  • a smaller economy – 8% to 10% smaller over the long run under World Trade Organisation rules. This would be equivalent to between £1,500 and £2,000 per head. 
  • damage to Welsh jobs – a weaker economy and increased barriers for business will endanger jobs, investment, and livelihoods in Wales.
  • new export taxes on Welsh business – significant tariffs on Welsh lamb and beef exports. These could include tariffs (import taxes) as high as 84% on cattle carcasses, 46% on lamb and 61% on cuts of lamb.  
  • new regulatory barriers for Welsh businesses – any new barriers to the EU market could be hugely damaging for many Welsh businesses, especially those in the food sector, but as well as aerospace, and the automotive sectors – all vital to the Welsh economy. This would have an immediate and long-term impact on living standards and push more people into poverty in Wales.
  • red tape and delays – changes to customs rules which add to costs, time, inconvenience and regulation could have a damaging impact on the economy of Wales.
  • delays at ports – could see delays at Welsh and UK ports as new barriers and checks put in place. 

Brexit Minister, Jeremy Miles said:

“Later today, we’ll discover who will be the next Prime Minister of the UK. Whoever wins, we know they have threatened to tear the UK out of the EU without a deal, mainly to please their own party, rather than putting the interests of the country first.

“Those hell bent on a no deal Brexit need to hear the clear message from Wales today – this would hit Wales hard, inflicting catastrophic damage on our country and economy.

“This cannot be allowed to happen – we won’t stand by and allow sustained growth in Welsh farming and food to be derailed by the reckless actions of a few. Today we’re calling on the new Prime Minister to rule no deal out.”

International Relations Minister, Eluned Morgan said:

“I have spoken to many businesses who have told me they want to invest and create jobs in Wales but are put off because of the never-ending Brexit uncertainly. We need that certainty – and we need it now.

“Those who advocated the UK leaving the EU said nothing would change. But we now know that a no deal Brexit would change everything and not for the better. No one who voted for Brexit voted to make the nation poorer.

“People were promised a fantasy. The new Prime Minister knows that fantasy is in fact a nightmare that’s staring down on us.

“That’s why we need a new Brexit vote and we will continue to advocate Wales remaining in the EU.”