AFTER four and a half years of torturous debate, the final deadline to leave the EU is fast approaching.
Today (Tuesday), yet more talks are going on between the two sides in Brussels, to see whether some form of agreement can be reached before the end of the transition period on December 31st, 2020.
With three major stumbling blocks still in the way – access to territorial waters, state aid and the ‘level playing field’ – right now, it looks odds-on that the UK will be leaving without a deal, thus adopting WTO trade rules.
However, the EU are past masters at brinkmanship in such discussions, often leaving compromises until the very last minute. So, who knows what they could whisk out of the hat at the very last minute.
Gwlad spokesperson Stephen Morris said that for all the hot air expended since 2016, the public vote to leave the EU was still the ultimate barometer that politicians would be judged by.
He said that Wales needed to prepare for the inevitable changes that would now occur, and position itself to take advantage of new possibilities.
‘With Brexit, every bit as much as Covid, the world is changing, and there’s no point in insisting it isn’t’ he said.
‘We can’t just continue to depend on subsidies and state directives – rather we need to unleash the power of the market to investigate new opportunities and allocate resources appropriately’.
He added that the main point was to ensure that Welsh farmers and businesses aren’t disadvantaged by people with capital coming in to Wales.
‘Individuals need to be properly supported and Welsh businesses able to access investment capital with minimal friction’ he said.
He added that the fantastic, international reputation of Welsh agricultural products must be safeguarded, and emphasis placed on producing food of the highest quality and welfare standards for the UK and International market.
‘There must be no rush to the bottom as regards price or quality, no paving over our farmland for windfarms or rewilding’.
With all the attention on coronavirus these past months, the historic process of leaving the EU has almost been an after thought of late.
But, it’s likely to bounce back with a vengeance as December 31st approaches.
Apart from the economic challenges, Wales will also face political challenges in its wake, with the UK’s new Internal Markets Bill threatening the very existence of the present devolution settlement in a sense.
But such over-reach by Westminster will only bolster the Independence cause.
As our party meme states:’ Every argument for Brexit, is also an argument for Independence’.