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Why we need a vote on the final deal

This is an article for the South Wales Evening Post

On 5th June 1975 an advisory referendum took place in which 67% of those voting confirmed our membership of the European Economic Community on the basis of clearly set out terms of membership.

That clarity was not available when we voted to leave the EU by a 52% to 48% margin. Indeed, neither the question of our continuing membership of the single market nor the terms for withdrawal were put before us.

We have seen the problems concerning the Irish border and the future of the Good Friday Agreement, the future of Gibraltar, estimates that Wales would see a reduction of £1.1 billion in GVA from a hard Brexit, the impact on Higher Education and scientific research from lost grants, a possible loss of manufacturing and financial sector jobs to continental Europe and the impact on aviation and nuclear medicine as a result of abandoning international agreements.

Progress in securing alternative trade deals outside of the European Community is non-existent and there is a real worry that once we leave the EU we will be isolated and be at the mercy of bigger trading partners such as the USA, who will want to impose unacceptable terms on any deals we do with them.

Given these uncertainties I believe that voters should have the final say in a referendum on any deal struck between the UK Government and the EU, with an option to stay in the EU if they consider that to be the best course for the UK.

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