But what about Wales, Paul?

I thought this snippet from WalesOnline yesterday was particularly enlightening:

Asked if he believed that Wales would be worse off if the UK voted to withdraw [from the EU], Mr Davies said:

"No, I don’t. I don’t believe that. Quite clearly if you look at the EU, at the moment we have a trade deficit of some 50bn euros, that's not to our advantage. And of course we pay £8-9bn a year into the European Union, and there are arguments against leaving the European Union as well, in its current form."

Wales Online, 14 May 2013

Those who are more financially astute will of course realize that Wales doesn't have a trade deficit of some €50bn, nor do we pay £8-9bn a year into the EU.

So why did Daul Davies answer the question in the way he did? I think he simply had no idea about whether Wales would be better or worse off ... even though he is, believe it or not, meant to be the Shadow Finance Minister in our National Assembly.

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In case anybody is in any doubt, the answer is that Wales would be financially worse off outside the EU, as Jill Evans conclusively demonstrated last November in the two documents that can be downloaded from this page.

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2 comments:

justin davies said...

Hold on... This should be UK news! The conservatives want to withdraw from the EU because we are running a trade deficit? Which means that if we withdraw from the EU, the government will then slap extra taxes and restrictions on EU imports to bring the deficit under control? Thus anyone who buys anything European will be penalised and, lets face it, anyone who sells anyhting in Europe, or works for a company that selss stuff in Europe, will be penalised by the reciprocal tariffs.

Or is it possible that the Shadow Finance Minister has a rather slack grasps on the baics of the numbers he has to work with.

Its worth asking him publicly. If only we had some medai that would do it...

MH said...

I don't think the Tories have a clue, Justin. They're running around like headless chickens. But the old brigade who think that the UK is still a major world force will be surprised to discover just how much harder it has become to negotiate trade agreements with every country in the world individually. That's what Switzerland does, including a host of individual agreements with EU members. The Norwegians do it differently, but the lump sum they have to pay to access the EU single market is all but equivalent to the amount they would pay if they were a full member.

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On a separate note, Betsan Powys' latest post claims that opinion in Wales (nearly three months ago) is that 49% think "we'd be better off" outside the EU, and 45% think we should stay in.

She's doing exactly the same thing as Paul Davies. For the actual wording of the question was whether the UK would be better off outside the EU, or whether the UK benefits.

We can only guess at what the answer would have been if they'd asked whether Wales would be better off, but I'm sure it would have been rather different.

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