The man negotiating Brexit for the EU has warned that British politicians still don’t seem to understand what is possible in future.
EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that the leading politicians calling for “frictionless trade” after we leave the Single Market were deluded.
And he singled out major Welsh employer Airbus, which employs more than 5,000 people, as an organisation that will be one of the biggest victims.
In a speech in Brussels, he spelled out the frictionless trade was only made possible by the Single Market and the Customs Union.
He said: “Only the combination of the internal market and the customs union guarantees the free movement of goods.”
If we leave these arrangements, as Prime Minister Theresa May has set out, he said there will have to be borders to protect the EU.
“A trading relationship with a country that does not belong to the European Union,” he warned, “obviously involves friction”.
Mr Barnier, a longstanding European Commission civil servant, said the Airbus’s operation in Wales – which depends on shipping huge parts like aircraft wings directly to other Airbus operations in Europe – would be particularly hard hit.