- April 9, 2019
- Posted by: Vaughan Gething AM
- Category: Latest News
MARCH 29 was the UK’s planned withdrawal from the EU.
That date has come and gone.
Instead we now face the real possibility of crashing out of the EU without a deal on Friday April 12.
We are still no closer to determining what our relationship with Europe will look like than we were two years ago.
Understandably, I have been contacted by a number of constituents who look at the shambles in Westminster and just want to know what is going on.
Since my last update Parliament has twice rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal by large majorities.
On Monday MPs debated for the second time alternative visions for Brexit.
The proposals to stay in the Customs Union and for a confirmatory public vote had the greatest support – and more support than Theresa May’s deal – but nothing had a majority.
The choice of the UK Government to run down the clock have made the prospect of leaving the EU without a deal more likely.
Theresa May’s deal is plainly not going through Parliament but no deal is even more unpalatable.
A ‘No Deal’ Brexit would be bad for Wales and bad for jobs here in Cardiff South and Penarth.
Manufacturers, trade unions and a wide range of businesses have told us that jobs and livelihoods are at risk.
We have already seen that the threat of Brexit is a real factor in jobs that have already left the UK.
An industry study has warned that should we leave with no deal it could result in a loss of 750,000 jobs, with 28,600 of these jobs in Wales.
It would cost the jobs of families that I represent.
In my government role I have met with health and social care leaders to discuss the impact of a no deal Brexit and to plan our response.
We want to ensure an uninterrupted supply of medication and secure the rights of EU nationals working within Wales.
Last week I announced the acquisition of a warehouse in south Wales to provide additional storage health and care equipment to ensure there is a continuity of supply for Wales.
It has also created a £1million fund to help businesses prepare for the challenges of Brexit.
I would urge businesses in Cardiff South and Penarth to visit the Business Wales portal and find out about the support that is available.
However all of our preparations cannot remove the risk of disruption.
A no deal would be highly damaging for our health and care system and the people who rely upon it.
I cannot overstate how much time energy and effort has been soaked up in preparing for a No Deal instead of improving our health and care system.
No Deal is not a consequence free choice.
It is a scandalous waste of our resources and the commitment of our staff.
Politicians who bravely talk about a managed No Deal have not had to confront the realities of preparing for it or the scale of waste and damage it would cause.
The most troubling aspect of Brexit has been that the divisions within the UK are growing.
For all my disappointment, Parliament is not enemy territory, as Nigel Farage claimed. That anger and stoking of division is dangerous and irresponsible.
At that same rally we saw a leader of the far right who is a convicted violent racist criminal being applauded on stage.
That should not make any us proud regardless of how we voted.
It would not only destabilise politics in Northern Ireland but it would almost certainly guarantee another Scottish independence referendum.
More turmoil that would not turn back the tide of austerity or add a single extra penny into our schools, the NHS or any other public service that we rely upon.
I do not believe a divided UK Parliament can make a choice for the next generation of our divided countries.
I was proud to sponsor two coaches and march alongside more than a million members of the public, including many people from Cardiff South and Penarth calling for a People’s Vote.
We need to go back to the people with a choice between a Brexit deal that Parliament can agree and our current deal within the EU.
There is no simple choice to the divisions that we face but I would as ever be interested to hear views from my constituents.