Derek Vaughan MEP

Working hard for Wales in Europe

Daily Post Article for July

MEP for Wales Derek Vaughan writes for the Daily Post

The demand for a vote on the final Brexit deal is growing and it is easy to see why.

The Leave campaign promised we would save money by leaving the EU. They said our economy would grow, and that the EU would simply roll over to our demands for access to markets without any conditions.

According to the Leave campaign we would have 350 million per week more for the NHS. This has not happened and is unlikely to happen. Here is why:

Our net contribution to the EU is around £9 to £10 billion a year—so, about £170 to £190 million a week (not £350 million!). With this we are guaranteed access to the Single Market, the benefits of EU trade deals and a say in how the EU functions.

So, what is Brexit really costing us?

In last year’s autumn budget the government set aside £3 billion to fund Brexit over the next 24 months. Then, another £1.5 billion for 2019/2020.

The new Department for Exiting the EU, which has been established to deal with the Brexit shambles, has been budgeted a £100 million annual running costs well into 2020.

The UK will be shut out of the EU satellite navigation system Galileo and could have to spend as much as £5bn on its own version, according to the chief executive of the UK Space Agency.

And what of the ‘divorce bill’? The Office for Budget Responsibility said the bill will continue to be paid for the next 40 + years. Initially it looks like the bill will be around 40 bn. But that is without considering payments to access markets. So, with 4.5 bn in the budget, around 5bn on a new Galileo and 40 bn divorce costs, we’re down 50 bn already.

And, May already admits UK will pay to access the EU’s nuclear agency Euratom post Brexit. It is likely to be a similar case for European Aviation Safety Agency and others.

With Brexit causing a gigantic fall in the pound, which is likely to dip more as we move towards the official leave date, the cost for the UK becomes higher as we compete with a stronger euro.

It must be noted now that Wales gets back well and truly more than we put in (more than £200m annually) because the EU recognises that many parts of Wales need extra support. That is why the EU has funded Venue Cymru in Llandudno, Parc Eirias Events Centre in Colwyn Bay, Hafod Eryri on the summit of Snowdon and the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre.

We’re just scratching the surface here. I do not have enough space in this column to go into the manufacturers who have threatened to leave due to Brexit (taking away thousands of Welsh jobs), what Brexit driven migration reduction might mean economically, what establishing customs borders will mean for Wales, including Holyhead which simply does not have the space for this type of infrastructure, or the costs of establishing new trade deals, without EU negotiating power.

What is clear is that as Brexit becomes a reality more people are questioning whether they made the right choice. That is why support a people’s vote on the final deal.

Please write to me with your concerns about the costs of Brexit or any other EU issue I can assist with.

Derek

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