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A bad deal for Islwyn

This article originally appeared in the South Wales Argus  2.11.18

There can be little doubt there is one issue which has dominated the headlines in the past few weeks – Brexit. After two years of dithering, fall-outs and rows, Theresa May has finally come up with a ‘deal’. Amazingly, she has managed to pull off the political trick of the century, uniting both remainers and brexiters in their opposition to it.

This deal is bad for Britain and, more importantly, bad for Islwyn.

The truth is we should stop calling it a ‘deal’ as it is nothing more than a series of ambiguous hopes and aspirations by a struggling Prime Minister. There is absolutely no clarity about what our future trading relationship with the European Union will look like.

Like the emperor’s new clothes, the European Union is demanding £39 billion from us for this sticking plaster. It is funny how the Tories can find this obscene amount of money to pay the EU while at the same time overseeing swingeing cuts everywhere else. Surely, this money would be better spent on our essential public services?

There are no guarantees on jobs. Here in Islwyn we are lucky to have many well paid manufacturing jobs and last week I visited a few of these factories. The goods made here are sold all around Europe and the money earned by workers is ploughed back into our local economy. This deal will limit access to the European market, potentially reducing the goods these factories produce.

Perhaps most concerning is that during the transition period the UK will have no say over the rules that govern large parts of our economy. This means the other 27 member states will be able to tell us how to conduct our affairs. All this makes a mockery of the claim of ‘taking back control.’

The Tories have had two years to negotiate this. I will not be forced into voting for a bad deal for the people of this country because we are being threatened by a last minute ‘No Deal’ Brexit. This deal is not what the people of Islwyn voted for. Therefore I will not support it. Rather than waste a moment longer, the government should go back to the European Union and demand better terms or accept they have failed and call a General Election.

Christopher Evans, Member of Parliament for Islwyn