Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Lib Dems Welsh Euro pitch runs hollow.

The Liberal Democrats  are possibly the most Europhile of all the political parties,but does that mean that people in Wales and indeed, the rest of the UK should see them as the Remain party to vote for in the forthcoming (?) Euro elections?

Certainly they are in the need of an electoral boost but may be perplexed  that the electorate are still not warming to them after they stint as Tory bag carriers in the Cameron-Clegg coalition.

Small wonder then that Alistair Cameron, Welsh Liberal Democrat Candidate for the European Parliament writes for Nation-Cymru.

Why Remainers should vote for the Liberal Democrats in Wales

He writes.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats are the party to Exit from Brexit. We were the first party to call for a People’s Vote in Summer 2016. This vote must allow us to choose to remain in the EU.
Wales benefits greatly from EU membership. Manufacturing, farming and tourism all rely on frictionless trade with the rest of the EU. Our ferries at Holyhead, Fishguard and Pembroke Dock need easy access to Ireland.
60% of Britain’s food, feed and drink exports go to the EU. If there is no deal, exports to the EU will face the same tariff rates as goods from other countries outside the EU.
We would need to apply for Export Health Certification and be subject to sanitary controls. This could amount to an effective trade embargo for many months.
We could, of course, set our own tariffs. However, if the government is tempted to lower tariffs to deliver lower customer prices, this will harm domestic production and throw many farmers out of business.
If we strike our own trade deals with other countries, we could be pressurised to adopt lower health, safety and animal welfare standards. The US Government has criticised some EU standards and NFU Cymru and FUW are concerned about a level playing field and production standards.
WalesLeaving the EU could be particularly severe for Welsh agriculture. About 40% of Welsh lamb is exported and 95% of that goes to the EU. Effective World Trade Organisation tariff rates on lamb are 46%.
A large percentage of dairy exports go to the Republic of Ireland. If there is a no deal the cheese industry would lose access to the Irish processing capacity.
Liquid milk from Northern Ireland could therefore enter Wales, England and Scotland leading to over supply. Leaving the EU could lead to tariffs on cheese exports.
Although we are a net importer of beef, we do export some beef with over 90% going to the EU. Tariffs on beef are between 48% and 84%. If tariffs are dropped, this will seriously damage domestic production.
There will also be an impact on vets and veterinary medicines. 60% of Government service vets and 90% of vets in meat hygiene are non-UK nationals. No deal could lead to a shortage of vets.
In addition, border controls will need to be sufficiently staffed with vets. We import over 90% of animal medicines and vaccines. It is difficult to stockpile such items as they have strict expiry dates and often require refrigeration.
Restrictions on freedom of movement will affect our food production including potatoes and soft fruit. Wales is not well placed, economically or geographically, to compete with English regions for scarce EU labour.
EU workers are critical in food processing and the abattoir section in Wales, as well as hospitality. Even an attempt to create a special dedicated EU worker scheme will be fraught with difficulty, due to obfuscation and lack of empathy from the Home Office.
Leaving the EU could destroy the livelihoods of many who work in farming in Wales. This will have a major knock-on effect on our rural communities including our Welsh language and culture.
Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign for a People’s Vote on EU Membership which gives us the chance to vote to remain. We want an Exit from Brexit.

Of course  he and the Lib Dems have a problem , that there are other parties , Remainers can vote for who don't still have the stain of collaboration with the Tories on them.

Clearly the SNP will be the first choice in Scotland and Plaid look far more likely to pick up one of the four seats (some are hoping for tw0) and even in England the Greens could be the party Remainers turn as Labour continues to be split over the issue.

The Comments on the Nation Cymru article by a Lib-Dem supporter  even a reason to vote Plaid.

Gareth Turner
Plaid Cymru is pro EU and pro people's vote yes, but only recently and reluctantly.

In 1975 Plaid's policy was to leave the EEC
In 2016 Plaid's policy was to remain in the EU, although the party did very little in terms of campaigning, Leanne attended one rally with Alex Salmond (remember him) in Cardiff and very little else, contrast that to Nicola Sturgeon or Ruth Davidson in Scotland.

Straight after the referendum Leanne said leavers need to be respected and that a second referendum shouldn't happen.

What's cahnged? Plaid have realised there's votes in it for them that's what's happend.

 This actually reflects that  Plaid as well as the Greens have a strong skepticism over the EU and,  wish to reform many of the aspects that Levers dislike.

Leanne argument that  as Mr Turner points out  the result needed " to be respected and that a second referendum shouldn't happen" was one the vast majority of Remainers felt after the vote, but over the three years since then we have proof that Leave lied and and broke electoral law.

As for the not campaigning who did?  Most politicians were still exhausted after an assembly election and the negotiations that followed

Above the "Brexit-means Brexit"  rubbish of Mrs May her complete inept handling, together with  a Tory cabal who are prepared to lead us down a path of isolation.

The Lib-Dems may have the longest record of support for European integration, but if we are to remain then the cry of Revoke, Remain, and Reform lies with others particularly the last part.

No comments: