At today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Plaid Cymru’s Westminster Leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, asked whether the Westminster Government would prioritise a UK or EU trade deal.
Figures show that over two-thirds of Welsh exports go to the EU, whilst less than a fifth going to the United States of America.
The prospect of a US-UK trade deal including the opening up of the NHS to private American companies has been a significant feature of the US President’s visit over the past week. Concerns have also been raised about the prospect of UK markets being opened up to US agricultural produce, which has lower standards than those currently applied.
David Lidington MP, the de-facto Deputy Prime Minister, stood in for Theresa May, who was at the D-Day remembrance event in Portsmouth. Plaid Cymru Leader, Adam Price AM, attended the event on behalf of the Party of Wales.
Speaking during PMQs, Liz Saville Roberts MP said:
“I guess when President Trump’s visit was thought up six months ago, the plan was for the UK to have left the EU.
“You’ll take back control, they said, but what we saw this week was a vision of things to come, of razzle dazzle concealing the reality of sovereignty reduced to sycophancy.
“68% of Welsh exports go to the EU. Only 14% go to the US. Post-Brexit, the British Government will have to choose which deal to strike. Which will he prioritise?”
Commenting after PMQs, Liz Saville Roberts said:
“Brexit has forced the British state to go cap-in-hand to Donald Trump in search of a band-aid trade deal to cover the deep economic wound created by ripping the UK out of Europe.
“As members of the EU two-thirds of Welsh exports head to Europe free of tariffs or any other barriers. To sacrifice that for a deal with Trump’s America, where less than a fifth of our exports go, would be economic illiteracy.
“The immediate economic consequences aside, prioritising a trade deal with Trump would mean opening up our market to American food products, such as chlorinated chicken, which would do our agricultural industry significant harm. That is before we get to the prospect of the NHS being opened up to private American healthcare companies.
“We simply cannot afford to turn our back on our European neighbours, in the hope of selling off our public services for the sake of an inadequate trade deal with America.”