Brexit crunch time is coming. The Brexit deal being put forward by the government is an imperfect compromise. It takes us out of the EU but keeps us in the Customs Union for at least another two years. It doesn’t please Brexiteers like myself who want a complete exit, and it doesn’t please EU supporters who want to ignore the referendum result.
Sometimes though you have to compromise. If the deal is voted down then the law states that we will leave anyway on 29th March 2019. We would then be trading with the EU on exactly the same terms as we trade with most of the world - World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
Some MPs are determined to stop Brexit and will try to halt the process or re-run the referendum. At present hardline Brexiteers and hardline Remainers are planning to join each other to vote down the deal in Parliament. Both sides believe they can have their way, getting either a “hard Brexit” or no Brexit at all.
They cannot both be right.
So MPs on all sides have to decide if they are willing to accept a compromise or if they would prefer to gamble.
I would prefer to take the compromise but if compromise is rejected then let's keep our £39billion and offer to trade with the EU on the same basis as we do with the rest of the world. We could even call it a “People’s Brexit”.
In a welcome Christmas present for all of us, Father Christmas, or rather Alun Cairns MP, has delivered us toll free Severn Crossings. The Santa in charge of the much needed M4 relief road is our new First Minister Mark Drakeford. He has sounded less than enthusiastic. A vote is due later in 2019 after much delay and it remains to be seen if Mr Drakeford will give the thumbs down or whether his “little helpers” in the form of fellow Welsh Ministers will persuade him that the economy of South Wales will benefit enormously from this project.
The Skill set required for making high risk financial investments is rather different from the skill set needed to make high quality Welsh language TV programmes. S4C are excellent at the latter but their accounts, which were examined by the Welsh Affairs Committee this week, would suggest that they have been less successful at the former having poured hundreds of thousands of pounds into companies which have failed. S4C's work is protecting our heritage for future generations. With respect, I hope that they will stick to what they are very good at.
*Published in the South Wales Argus on 24 December 2018*