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What now?


Whatever side you were on it is clear last week’s referendum result will cause a significant period of economic and political uncertainty.

The outcome was as much an anti-politics vote as a vote against immigration, further austerity and the European project itself.

Unravelling forty years of being tied to Europe culturally, legally and economically will not be easy. There are clear dangers.

Many of the measures to protect workers’ rights and to stop discrimination against the disabled introduced by the EU, for example are not instinctively supported by the Conservatives, least of all by those right wing members of that party likely to succeed Cameron.

And what about the jobs which are dependent on EU membership? This is not just about trade, but how viable will Port Talbot’s steel works be if exports to Europe now have to surmount a tariff barrier?

What about the companies who relocated here because we were in the free trade area? Will they now move onto the continent?

And will the UK Government really replace the structural funds and other support we get from Europe on a like-for-like basis?

In many ways, I am just re-treading arguments that the British people have already rejected. But the transition needs to address them all and we need to ensure that Wales’ politicians are at the table fighting for our best interests.

‘May you live in interesting times’ is an apocryphal Chinese curse. It seems that we are now living in those times. How we take on the challenges now presented to us will determine all our future.


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