The Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Welsh Government to campaign for Britain to re-join the European Single Market and Customs Union. This forms part of the party’s campaign to put the recovery first as approved at the Welsh Liberal Democrat Spring Conference on 6 and 7 March.
The party have also called for the Welsh Government to provide a clear road map for businesses to plan a safe reopening in the coming months and to set up an Economic Recovery Council, grounded in real experience and including voices of small businesses across Wales.
The call to re-join the European Single Market and Customs Union follows the damage which the hard Brexit is causing Welsh trade. Businesses are incurring extra costs and red tape which could lead to job losses in fishing, agriculture and manufacturing.
There is the added threat that Pembrokeshire could lose one of its two ferries at Fishguard and Pembroke Dock. Rosslare’s UK ferry traffic has reduced by 49% this year and Glenn Carr, General Manager of Rosslare Europort, has suggested closing one of the ferry ports which the Liberal Democrats strongly oppose.
Alistair Cameron, Welsh Lib Dem Senedd Candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire said: “Since leaving the single market and customs union, we have seen damage to our farming, fishing and manufacturing industries. We now have the threat of losing one of Pembrokeshire’s two ferry ports leading to further job losses. We need to apply to re-join the single market and customs union as soon as possible in order to minimise the damage.”
Tina Roberts, Welsh Lib Dem Senedd Candidate for Preseli Pembrokeshire added: “Those who voted to leave did not vote to make ourselves poorer or to lose jobs. The further we allow ourselves to dilute our food standards the more complicated and costly exporting outside our own borders becomes for our Welsh agricultural sector. We cannot afford to wait any longer to undo the damage of this hard Brexit.”