“No deal should not be normalised” – Jeremy Miles
Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles has hit out at the growing trend of politicians describing a no deal Brexit as a legitimate means of leaving the EU.
Ahead of the culmination of the Conservative leadership race next week, the Counsel General said he will continue to take the argument to Westminster after both the Welsh Government and National Assembly voted to reject a crash out.
He yesterday said:
Next week, the Conservative Party leadership election will be over, and we will know the identity of the new Prime Minister.
We have all watched a leadership campaign characterised by a race to see who can talk the toughest about a no deal; a competition for the top job that focuses on the needs of the Conservative party and not the needs of the country; a debate that seems to forget that how the UK leaves the EU has a real world impact on people’s livelihood and jobs. We have consistently said that this would be catastrophic for the UK as a whole, but particularly for Wales.
And we are not alone in saying this. The list of businesses expressing grave concerns about leaving without a deal ought to be sobering. More and more experts are highlighting the additional complexity that an October exit date creates.
The normalisation of “no deal”, the idea that it is a reasonable choice in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, is extraordinary.
The Welsh Government and this National Assembly have rejected a no deal exit. Any rational look at the hard facts of a no deal exit shows this will be a complete disaster for Wales.
During the referendum debate 3 years ago no deal was not put forward as a viable option. Access to the Single Market and seamless trade with the EU was what were promised by those backing leave.
There is simply no mandate for a no deal exit. Canvassing the views of 160,000 members of the Conservative party is not a national mandate for leaving the EU in a way that will trash the economy. We will not simply stand by and allow this to happen.
So while, as a prudent and responsible government we will continue Welsh Government preparations for a no deal outcome in October at pace, we will continue to argue to put the decision back to the people.
It would be outrageous for any government to take the UK out of the EU without a deal – as a deliberate act or as a result of inaction - without seeking a specific mandate to do so.
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