Wednesday 17 July 2013

Carwyn doesn't trust Ed

One of the problems in basing support for keeping Wales in the EU solely on the economic arguments is that those taking that view inevitably have to argue against the Euro-sceptic claim that the UK Government could give us the same money directly.  The Euro-sceptic claim that the money really doesn’t have to go through Brussels at all has an inescapable logic to it.
But economics is indeed the basis of the position taken by Carwyn Jones.  This is what he said earlier this week about a vote to leave the EU:
“Welsh farming would end, basically – £300m of support would disappear.  It wouldn’t come from London, not a hope”.
“That money would certainly be pocketed by Defra [the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs], it wouldn’t come to Wales.  It would mean the end of a substantial market for Welsh farming, and the end of support for Welsh farming.  That worries me tremendously.”
I think that he’s probably right to be sceptical about whether any UK Government would, rather than could, treat Wales as generously.  It’s interesting, though, that he placed no caveat at all on the colour of the UK Government in this context.  He didn’t argue that those wicked evil Tories would simply pocket the cash; he argued that any London Government would do so.
In short, he clearly has no more faith that Ed Miliband would stand up for Wales than that David Cameron would.  Again, I think he’s probably right.  But if he doesn’t trust UK Labour, why should the rest of us?

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