Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Ukip may have a point on M4 upgrade and Brexit it will affect Ireland

Yesterday a Ukip AM asked the Welsh government to seek EU funding from the Irish government to help upgrade a motorway between London and south Wales.

The M4 motorway is the main artery between the main cities of Wales and the rest of the UK – but it also carries a large amount of Irish goods exported and sold there.

It is part of European route E 30 ian A-Class West-East European route, extending from the southern Irish port of Cork in the west to the Russian city of Omsk in the east. For much of its Russian stretch, it coincides with Trans-Siberian Highway and, east of the Ural Mountains, with AH6 of the Asian Highway Network, which continues to Busan, South Korea. This route is approximately 6,500 kilometres (4,000 mi)

Ukip assembly member David Rowlands made the appeal to the Welsh National Assembly yesterday afternoon. He says that Irish exporters also rely on the M4 to transport goods to other EU countries on the continent – and told that it is “quite a reasonable idea to explore”.

Rowlands – one of seven Ukip representatives in the Welsh National Assembly – asked Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones today to seek Ireland’s help in rebuilding the motorway, using EU transport funds.

“First Minister, given that a large proportion of all Irish exports, both to the UK and the EU, pass along the M4 motorway,” Rowlands began – before halting to read the question posed on the order of business.

Recommencing, he said:

Will the First Minister explore the possibility of part of the costs for the M4 improvement scheme being borne by the Irish government, given that three quarters of all Irish exports to the EU and the UK pass along that road?

The First Minister replied:
No, it’s for the Welsh government to maintain the trunk roads and motorways of Wales.

To jeers, Rowlands said:
I thank the First Minister for the answer, but this is a serious proposition, as I understand Ireland may be able to access European funds from the trans-European highway funds.

“Very ironic, I think,” he added. He proceeded to quote from the EU’s fund allocation principles, which, according to Rowlands, read:

Although we have been investing a lot in improving transport infrastructure, there is under-investment in many smaller cross-border sections, and bottlenecks.“I trust that they know what they’re saying, and that we can now get funds from the EU. Post-Brexit, of course.”
Speaking this afternoon to the Irish news,  who may not have found  his question so ridiculous Rowlands said:
“Of course I’m glad they all realise the irony in what I was saying to the assembly, and they were all intelligent enough to pick it up.
“But this is quite a reasonable idea to explore, if you think about it. That bottleneck in Newport is as damaging to the Irish economy as it is to the Welsh or English economy, really.
It is a very main access for the Irish economy to get into the UK and Europe, and it must be causing considerable costs to the Irish motor industry and the haulage industry.
“In a way, if you think about, Ireland – southern Ireland – is still part of the European Union, and it still desires access to the EU and to the British, the UK markets,” he added.

“And if the European Parliament is committed, as they say they are, to having a pan-European highway and networks, they can’t say to Ireland ‘you’re out on a limb now’.
So it’s reasonable for the Irish government to say that ‘this is a vital link’.
“It’s the same with anything with regard to Brexit, I realise the irony.”
So  Mr Rowlands may actually a point  particularly from an Irish  point of view but of course he could have added  that the UK was also out on a limb.

I'm not sure about him being Ironic . It seems he has highlighted a major flaw in Brexit in that the UK will no longer  mean that we will see signs that claim a infrastructure project is being built as a result of European funding.

Asking the EU  to pay for an Upgrade in Infrastructure in the UK when it no longer contributes  is plainly ridiculous.

Such funding with regards the a pan-European highway and networks, was part of the European which benefited all members opening markets both ways between Nations.

Whatever "Brexit means Brexit" actually result in the future of the UK economy will still be intertwined with European Markets .

Mr Rowlands may have identified a problem with Brexit but maybe he should realise that he and other Leave supporters could be responsible for Europe saying such an idea a part a pan-European highway and networks starts in Calais

After Brexit we may see a further development of projects like the H2 Train link which will largely benefit London and the South East of England.

Wales without European Funding  and reliant on Westminster will be "Out on a Limb" not only from Europe but from the UK as a whole.


Leigh Richards said...

"Wales without European Funding and reliant on Westminster will be "Out on a Limb" not only from Europe but from the UK as a whole" - you betcha! If the long history of wales unequal relationship with the British state tells us anything it's that the welsh can expect to be last in the queue when it comes to the priorities of most UK governments. And what doesnt help is welsh politicians like the buffoonish Andrew Davies reneging on an EU referendum promise and now arguing that funds intended for welsh farmers should be controlled by westminister and not the senedd.

I think it's fair to say that almost every other promise made to voters in wales by the leave campaign during the referendum can be taken with a pinch of salt - so dont expect Westminister to be replacing Objective One funds any time soon (and more fool any welsh voters who actually imagined they would).

Indeed if brexit goes badly wrong - and the early signs are not encouraging - we can be sure it's people in places like the south wales valleys who voted to leave in large numbers who will suffer most from any post brexit economic turmoil.

It sometimes sadly appears as if the welsh just never learn.

Anonymous said...

No David Rowlands doesn't have any point and the Irish are laughing at him and us Welsh, read the comments under the article

Not sure if anyone in Wales noticed but Nicola Sturgeon was in Dublin being feted by the Irish Parliament's upper house yesterday as well, the Irish press were visibly impressed and Irish politicians of all parties and none expressed their open support for Scottish independence, contrast that with how Wales was reported in the Irish press yesterday, they were rightly laughing at us for being so stupid as to vote for Brexit and UKIP thanks to David Rowlands and his ilk.

Well done Wales

Unknown said...

It is highly debatable that Irish hauliers will continue to use the UK as a route post Brexit. Currently we are in a Customs Union which mens there is no paperwork covering the transit of goods bound for other parts of the EU through the UK.

The UKIP T**Ts question actually betrayed a complete lack of understanding about the impact of Brexit from a Customs Perspective. It is highly likely post Brexit hat Irish goods bound for the UK will continue to arrive via Wales but for our market. While to simplify processing Irish goods destined for the EU will transit via Northern France.