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.
MEP for Wales Derek Vaughan writes for the Daily PostThe demand for a vote on the final Brexit deal is growing and it is easy to see why. The Leave...
Welsh Labour MEP Derek Vaughan has warned the feared job losses at Airbus will be the first of many in Wales as other big employers prepare for Brexit.
His warning follows an announcement from Airbus COO Tom Williams who said thousands of Welsh jobs are at risk at Airbus and suppliers in North Wales as the company prepares for a hard Brexit or worse, a no-deal Brexit.
Mr Vaughan said: “Airbus have given repeated warnings it would reconsider its presence in the UK due to Brexit and this should be a wakeup call for workers, trade unions and politicians. As Airbus makes clear, there is no good scenario outside the EU.
“Lots of big employers in Wales have voiced concerns including Ford, Tata Steel and Toyota. Also Vauxhall, which employs many Welsh people in is Cheshire plant.
“The Tory government is playing havoc with people’s livelihoods. It’s not just the thousands of jobs at these plants that will go, it’s also all the jobs in the supply chain. Thousands more lorry drivers, hospitality workers, local business owners and services depend on these factories to survive.
“The Leave campaign lied to voters, telling them they could reap the benefits of EU membership without respecting any of the rules and obligations.
“But the reality is becoming clearer as time passes. The pound has collapsed increasing inflation, the UK has gone from being the fastest growing to the slowest growing economy in Europe and we stand to lose our manufacturing bases.
“That’s why I support a public vote on the final deal.”
Welsh Labour MEP Derek Vaughan has warned the feared job losses at Airbus will be the first of many in Wales as other big employers prepare for Brexit. His warning...
A report passed by a European Parliament committee yesterday warned continued EU funding is key to the future success of the Northern Ireland peace process.
The report was written by Welsh Labour MEP, Derek Vaughan, on the impact of Cohesion Policy in Northern Ireland. It passed in the Parliament's Regional Development Committee by a huge majority of politicians from almost all political groupings and EU Member States.
Mr Vaughan said: “EU funding in Northern Ireland and the border region is essential, not only economically, but with regards to cross-community relations. That is why my report recommends that PEACE Programme funding and cross border Intereg funds should be maintained post Brexit. It would be unthinkable to let all of the hard work of the past two decades suffer and potentially come undone because of Brexit.
"The Tory Government must also commit to avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, which would absolutely contravene the Good Friday Agreement. Sadly, during a recent visit to the region I was told that attitudes in both communities have hardened since the Brexit decision."
A report passed by a European Parliament committee yesterday warned continued EU funding is key to the future success of the Northern Ireland peace process.The report was written by Welsh...
The UK government’s confirmation that British citizens may be hit by roaming and data charges when travelling in the EU after Brexit will mean holidaymakers once more being subjected to rip-off bills for using their phone abroad, Welsh Labour's MEP has warned.
Derek Vaughan MEP said:
“Bit by bit, day by day, the full horror of the looming disaster of a Tory Brexit drips out, and today brings us yet another assault on our consumer rights, with the UK government confirming roaming charges likely to be reintroduced in the event of no deal.
“Labour MEPs have been at the forefront of the drive to cut roaming charges, and it has been the European Parliament that has led to the capping of and ultimately the abolition of roaming costs. And we are currently working on legislation to enable consumers to stream their online subscribed content, like Netflix, while in another EU country, on their laptops and mobile phones, paying the same rate for this service as they would do at home.
“But in leaving the Digital Single Market, far from making peoples’ lives easier as the EU is doing, Theresa May risks driving up holiday bills for Welsh travellers, leaving our citizens poorer and less connected.”
“Labour MEPs have long campaigned for the end of exorbitant roaming charges, and it was great news when they were finally abolished across the EU. But now, thanks to Tory Brexit dogma, people going away on holiday from next April risk paying more to phone home, text their friends, surf the internet and upload pictures.
“If Theresa May and the Tories cannot deliver a deal we face the very real prospect of Welsh holidaymakers, business travellers and students once more being landed with exorbitant bills, and European visitors to the UK being similarly ripped off.
“With roaming costs, we’d send the telecoms companies £350 million a year - let’s let holidaymakers keep that money instead.”
The UK government’s confirmation that British citizens may be hit by roaming and data charges when travelling in the EU after Brexit will mean holidaymakers once more being subjected to...
Derek Vaughan MEP has criticised the UK Government’s lack of Brexit planning after three big employers this week said they are concerned about their future and the US proposal to put a 25% tariff on steel.
“This week has been alarming for Welsh workers, to say the least, with big manufacturers warning they may need to stop production or shut up shop.” he said.
“Airbus warned it fears future customs and paperwork delays will make UK plants uncompetitive, Vauxhall says it may need to stop production until the Brexit terms are clear and Ford has warned that any sort of border restrictions or customs friction would be an inhibitor to them continuing to conduct business here.
“These are big employers in Wales. Airbus Broughton employs over 6,500 people, the Ford factory in Bridgend employs close to 2000 and many people travel over to the Vauxhall factory in Cheshire for work.
“To make things even worse, Trump’s threat to impose tariffs of 25% on imports of steel could mean real trouble for Tata Steel which employs 3500 in Neath Port Talbot, 1250 in Llanwern and Newport, 600 in Trostre, 200 in Caerphilly.
“The Leave campaign lied to voters, telling them they could reap the benefits of EU membership without respecting any of the rules and obligations.
“But the reality is becoming clearer as time passes. The pound has collapsed increasing inflation, the UK has gone from being the fastest growing to the slowest growing economy in Europe and we stand to lose jobs at our manufacturing bases.
“This is hard evidence that at the very least we need to remain part of the Customs Union and Single Market.
“Nobody voted to be worse off and politicians need to be honest about what is at stake and what is achievable.”
For more information or to organise an interview with Mr Vaughan contact:
+32 475 749 134.
Derek Vaughan MEP has criticised the UK Government’s lack of Brexit planning after three big employers this week said they are concerned about their future and the US proposal to...
Theresa May’s latest surrender to the Brexit hardliners – ruling out any kind of customs union with the EU – will lead to even greater economic damage to Wales, and risks a hardening of the border with Ireland.
Welsh Labour MEP Derek Vaughan said:
“By ruling out any kind of customs union with the EU, the prime minister has swept yet more options off the table, leaving the UK Brexit negotiators with even less to work with as talks resume – and leaving our EU partners even more baffled.
“No to a UK-EU customs union means yes to a UK-Ireland customs border, and all the chaos and pain that would cause, and it also means the economic consequences of leaving the EU will be worse, leading to even more job losses and much lower GDP. With over 70% of Irish cargo currently passing through Wales a hard border would have a huge impact on Welsh ports.
“Theresa May has no mandate for such a reckless approach, either in parliament or in the country. In the referendum, people did not vote to lose their jobs and become worse off.
“That's why I believe there should be a public vote on the final deal."
Theresa May’s latest surrender to the Brexit hardliners – ruling out any kind of customs union with the EU – will lead to even greater economic damage to Wales, and...
Labour MEP Derek Vaughan is calling on the UK government to commission and publish economic assessments of how Brexit will impact Wales.
Mr Vaughan said: “The Welsh government has done a huge amount of work on the consequences of Brexit.
“However, the UK government is taking decisions about Brexit without assessing its impact on Wales. We are pushing ministers to put consideration of Welsh people and businesses at the heart of its decisions.
“Following the chaos and confusion of the sectoral impact assessments that weren’t, the Brexit department or, if it is incapable of doing so, the Treasury, must commission analysis on the consequences for each UK region and nation – and publish it. People and businesses throughout Wales have a right to know what government decisions will mean for their jobs, their livelihoods, their futures.
“The bottom line is we need to know what will happen to Wales outside the EU. It is now more than one-and-a-half years since the referendum, and ten months since the triggering of Article 50 – the government cannot allow the chaos, uncertainty and confusion around Brexit to continue. People and businesses in every part of our country need to know that the government is making decisions on the future with them in mind.”
In a letter to Brexit secretary David Davis, Labour MEPs write:
“Government ministers are in the process of taking decisions that will have long lasting and far reaching effects for our country – it is only right that those decisions are taken with an awareness of their likely impact.
“As regionally-elected representatives, we believe that it is imperative that an assessment is made of how the different possible paths open to the UK in the upcoming negotiations will affect families, businesses and communities in the British nations and regions - in particular the impact on jobs and the economy.
“Last year an impression was created that sectoral impact assessments of Brexit had been carried out by the Department for Exiting the EU. Based on reports by those who have seen the papers made available to parliament and subsequent clarifications, it would appear that this work has not been undertaken in sufficient detail. It was also recently revealed that the Treasury is refusing to publish documents relating to how a series of possible Brexit outcomes, including no deal, will impact the economy.
“We are therefore writing to you to request that the government produces a thorough impact assessment of the decisions that will need to be taken on Brexit, and crucially that these studies include an assessment of the impacts of Brexit on each nation and region of the UK. After the fiasco of the inadequate sectoral impact assessments, we insist on the need for full and comprehensive regional impact assessments – our constituents need to know the government is considering the impact of Brexit on their local area, and taking this into account in its negotiations.
“If the government is to be confident that it is taking the right decisions in implementing the outcome of the EU referendum, it must have an awareness of the likely impact of those decisions on all the nations and regions of the UK.
“What work has been undertaken across government on the regional economic impact of Brexit? And when will it be published? To date, we are not aware of any work of this nature having been undertaken by your department or the Treasury. If such work has been completed, we would invite you to share this work with the public to assist with the transparency of decision making. If no such work has been undertaken, we would ask you to commission and publish it as a matter of urgency.”
Labour MEP Derek Vaughan is calling on the UK government to commission and publish economic assessments of how Brexit will impact Wales. Mr Vaughan said: “The Welsh government has done...
Today the European Parliament voted in favour of progressing Brexit negotiations to phase two.
Welsh MEP Derek Vaughan said he accepts progress made but there is still a lot of work to be done.
"This preliminary deal leaves many details and questions unresolved, for example on how citizens' rights are to be enforced, whether their rights are protected if they move to another member state after the withdrawal date or their ability to work cross-border in the EU.
"It is also unclear how the UK with resolve the issue of a border with Northern Ireland. At present the UK has committed to an open border but also says the UK is leaving the EU's single market and customs union. These two positions appear to be in contradiction.
" David Davis has again proved himself a liability. Just days after the PM reached a stage one agreement with the EU he very nearly undermined negotiations by claiming that the UK Government may not even stand by the deal. This has not gone down well in the EU and therefore the European Parliament is demanding a quick withdrawal agreement that puts the UK's commitments on a legal basis.
"It has always been clear that the UK could not maintain all the benefits of EU membership after leaving the EU. Sadly the leave campaign made false promises and lied to voters. That's why I believe that there should be a public vote on the final deal."
Today the European Parliament voted in favour of progressing Brexit negotiations to phase two. Welsh MEP Derek Vaughan said he accepts progress made but there is still a lot of...
Welsh MEP says devastating impact of Brexit on poorer people gives cause for a public vote on the final deal
Labour MEP, Derek Vaughan’s message comes as think tank ‘The Resolution Foundation’ warns inflation and Brexit could see the poorest families £300 worse off in 2018.
“It is now clearer than ever that voters were fed lies by the Leave campaign. Brexit isn’t solving any of our problems, its exacerbating them,” said Mr Vaughan
“The pound is falling leading to higher prices in the shops, and we will lose vital EU funding for Wales which helps thousands of people into training and jobs.
“As our economy falters and public finances worsen, the Chancellor has admitted a Brexit 'no deal' will mean less money for NHS and social care, and now we hear our poorest families will be worse off financially.
“It is especially hard to stomach this news when the Tories have frozen pensions and we hear the PM is spending £250m on preparations for a possible ‘no deal’ EU result.
“Voters were promised there would be an easy deal, with all the benefits of EU membership, without any of the responsibilities. It’s clear to everyone now that this was never going to be the case. We need a public vote on any deal that is reached, a vote with all the facts on the table.”
Welsh MEP says devastating impact of Brexit on poorer people gives cause for a public vote on the final deal Labour MEP, Derek Vaughan’s message comes as think tank...
Brexit threatens to quash plans to bring high-quality internet to public spaces across Wales
The European Parliament today backed a scheme to bring WiFi connectivity to public spaces such as parks, squares and public buildings across Europe. The agreement, dubbed WiFi4EU, will bring high-quality internet to 6000-8000 communities across Europe.
Labour MEP for Wales Derek Vaughan said he was pleased to see the Parliament vote in favour of the initiative, but is worried that Brexit will mean Wales misses out.
“All Welsh people should have access to good-quality WiFi connections, no matter where they live or how much they earn.
“This project would allow local communities to set up in state-of-the-art infrastructure in train stations, parks, libraries, hospitals or any other public spaces and would benefit both residents of and visitors to local communities across Wales.
“Wales would benefit hugely from this initiative, but Brexit may render us ineligible.
“This is just one example of what we stand to lose due to Brexit. Farmers stand to lose millions in CAP funds, universities stand to lose millions in research funding, Wales will lose EU funding for infrastructure, not to mention EU protections for workers’ rights and women’s rights.
“That’s why the Tory Government has been stalling on providing details about the negotiations and exactly what they expect from any deal with the EU post Brexit. They know any deal will be worse than what we have now.”
The first call for projects is expected to be launched towards the end of 2017 or early 2018.
Brexit threatens to quash plans to bring high-quality internet to public spaces across Wales The European Parliament today backed a scheme to bring WiFi connectivity to public spaces such as...