- By Emily TamkinEmily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. She writes for FP’s The Cable, a real-time take on the news in Washington and the wider world. She has been at FP since the fall of 2016, before which she was an associate editor at New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington. She has a B.A. in Russian literature from Columbia University, an M.Phil. in Russian and East European studies from the University of Oxford, and studied Soviet dissidence in archival centers in Moscow, Tbilisi, and, on a Fulbright, in Bremen — all of which means that at FP, she writes when she can on Russia and Central and Eastern Europe.
In life, decisions occasionally have consequences. If you speed, you may well get a ticket. If you leave your meal on the stove for too long, it will burn. And if you vote for Brexit, you’ll of course find yourself cap-in-hand trying to snag money from the European Union.
That, at least, is what happened Tuesday in Wales. David Rowlands, a UKIP Welsh National Assembly member, wondered whether the Welsh government might ask Ireland to pay for refurbishments to the M4 highway, as many Irish exports to the European Union must pass through Wales.
No, responded Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones. That’s “for the Welsh government to maintain.” Yes, Rowlands said, but Ireland still has access to “trans-European highways fund.”
— BBC Wales Politics (@WalesPolitics) November 29, 2016
In response, the first minister noted that Rowlands “campaigned in June to end European funding for Welsh roads — he cannot, I suggest, now go to … an EU member state and ask them to make up the shortfall that he himself campaigned to engineer in the first place.”
In Rowlands’s defense, he was not alone. Also on Tuesday, Steffan Lewis of the Welsh independence party Plaid Cymru said to the Assembly, “Will the First Minister consider a formal arrangement with the Irish state so we can have future joint working on infrastructure projects — even tapping, dare I say it, into the EU funds?”
He dared say it. But Jones did not seem amenable to this suggestion. Because he realizes that, in this life, decisions do occasionally have consequences.
Photo credit: Yui Mok-WPA Pool/Getty Images