Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Peter Black says First Minister should not rush to give formal notification of EU withdrawal

A senior Welsh Liberal Democrat and former Assembly Member has criticised the First Minister’s call for official notification of the UK's intention to leave the EU under Article 50 to be sent as early as possible.

Councillor Peter Black has called on his former colleague Kirsty Williams, the Welsh Liberal Democrats Education Secretary to distance herself from the proposal, arguing that giving formal notification before proper arrangements are in place could leave Wales worse off.

“I understand that the First Minister wants to limit the amount of uncertainty faced by Welsh businesses,” said Mr. Black, “but if we go too early then negotiators could find themselves battling against an immoveable deadline to put in place new agreements on trade and free movement of labour. It would significantly weaken our negotiating position and potentially leave Welsh businesses struggling to compete.

“This is not a position that the Welsh Liberal Democrats support. It is important therefore that our only AM, who sits in the government, distances herself from Carwyn Jones’ statement.

“The vote last Thursday is a potential disaster for communities in Wales. It puts jobs under threat, it places key funding for agriculture and deprived areas in jeopardy and it undermines Welsh businesses. That is why Tim Farron and the Liberal Democrats are right to say they will put a pledge in their next manifesto to seek to re-join the EU.”

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