January 21, 2021

Wales News Online

Local and National news for Wales

Thin deal is better than no-deal says First Minister

RESPONDING to news that a deal has been reached between the UK Government and the European about trading terms post-Brexit, the Welsh Government has re-confirmed its long-standing position that any deal would be better than no deal.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“Clearly, we need to receive a copy of the draft Treaty and analyse its terms before commenting in detail.

“But at every stage of the negotiations we have argued for a deal which would allow us to maintain the closest possible relationship with the EU. The evidence tells us this is the way to protect the economy and jobs.

“Faced with a binary choice between no deal and this – indeed any deal – we would prefer a deal.

“However it is appalling that it has taken until a week before we leave the transition period to give the first indication of the terms on which we will trade with our most important trading partner. This will only add to the enormous challenges facing our businesses.

“And while we don’t have any of the detail we know this deal is not the one we would have negotiated – after 31 December, Welsh businesses will still face major new barriers to trade; Welsh citizens will no longer be able to travel freely in Europe; and there will be little in it for service sector businesses.

“Even so, this deal is better than the catastrophe which would have been a no-deal. It means we have preserved our relationship with our nearest and most important trading partners. It provides a platform from which better arrangements can be negotiated in the future.

“The Welsh Government will continue to work with all partners, businesses, communities and people across Wales to prepare for and help navigate the end of the transition period and the new relationship with the EU.”

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