Putting on his most grim and determined face, the First Minister yesterday declared that Wales must have tariff-free access to the single market post-Brexit and that this is a ‘red line’ issue for him. Indeed, he went so far as to say that if we don’t get that, then he will not support any deal which emerges from the eventual negotiations.
So, when it becomes even clearer than it already is that the UK will not be allowed to opt in to the single market whilst opting out of freedom of movement (and he also said in his latest utterance that he too wants to limit freedom of movement), what exactly will he do? Put on an even more serious face and stomp his feet? Tour the television studios saying how awful the Tories are? But he already does both of those – would we notice any difference?Despite the Prime Minister’s statement that Carwyn Jones will have a direct line to David Davis to express his views, ‘expressing his views’ is all he will be allowed to do – and, of course, take his fair share of the blame for having been party to a process which will not deliver what he wants. Of course, if Wales were an independent country, then he really would have a veto over deals affecting us. But he doesn’t want that – he just wants to be able to stamp his feet and have an occasional tantrum. And then wonder why Wales’ voice is being ignored.