Wales and the RoI November 29, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
The Welsh government is being urged to open talks with Ireland in an attempt to secure continued access to European funding after Brexit, under a plan by Plaid Cymru.
The party believes it can take a leaf out of Norway’s book. The country gets EU funding despite not being a member, thanks to a partnership with Sweden.
“The Welsh government cannot afford to play ‘wait and see’ with Wales’s future relations with our nearest neighbours and must think creatively in order to further Wales’s interests post-Brexit,” said the party’s external affairs spokesman, Steffan Lewis.
He made his call for a new Celtic Sea alliance on the first of two days of biannual talks at the British-Irish parliamentary assembly in Cardiff.
It says that the Belfast agreement provides for bilateral deals even if the UK quits the EU. Lewis believes such an alliance could mitigate the economic impact of Brexit on Wales and Ireland, which is already being hit by the fall of the pound.
The exit from the EU could have devastating consequences on the economy of Wales, where the vast majority voted for Brexit.
As SoS noted, the vast majority did not vote for Brexit in Wales. It was just about 52%. But beyond that isn’t it fascinating to see the devolved governments beginning to flex their muscles?
And this is just remarkable:
There may also be an opportunity for Ireland and Wales to dip into EU inter-region funds, known as Interreg.
Norway and Sweden share €73m (£62m) from Interreg funds for programmes designed to protect vulnerable border regions, in terms of environment, employment and social cohesion.
The notion that Wales could continue to benefit from EU funds comes as similar attempts are made in sectors such as education and science, which are heavily dependent on EU funds.
British universities are considering plans to open branches inside the European Union to soften the blow of Britain’s exit.
I wonder if such side deals are possible, and yet, there’s a certain logic to using the pre-existing links between Dublin and Cardiff and indeed Dublin and Scotland to assist.