A PLEA to central government not to impose petrol tariffs in the event of a no-deal Brexit has been made by Pembrokeshire County Council.

Fears have been expressed that such a move could jeopardise the future of the Valero refinery near Pembroke.

Oil giant Valero recently expressed major concerns about plans for petrol tariffs in the event of a No Deal Brexit, following publication of leaked documents that suggested two oil refineries could be forced to close.

Valero Pembroke Refinery General Manager Ed Tomp recently spoke out after The Sunday Times published details of Operation Yellowhammer, which stated that Government plans to set petrol import tariffs at 0 per cent could seriously damage the oil industry in the UK.

While fuel imports would not be subject to tariffs, exports would be, removing the level playing field.

In a letter to the Chancellor, Council Leader David Simpson wrote: “On behalf of Pembrokeshire County Council, I call on the ‘new’ UK government to urgently adopt a level playing field on fuel tariffs; this is a critical issue for both the UK petroleum industry and the future economic prosperity of Pembrokeshire.

“For over 50 years Pembrokeshire has played a key role in the UK’s energy and refining infrastructure and security.

“The Valero Pembrokeshire refinery is one of the leading employers in south Wales, and one of Europe’s largest and most complex refineries.

“In 2018/19 the refinery contributed over £5 million a week to the Welsh economy – excluding capital investments and duties – as well as employing and supporting over a thousand jobs, making it the largest private sector employer in the county/west Wales.

“Pembrokeshire has one of the weakest economies in Western Europe.

“With potential ‘no-deal’ threats to the agricultural sector, uncertainty over the future of MOD sites and international ports at Fishguard and Pembroke Dock, the county is bracing itself for a very difficult economic climate in the next decade.

“All of this follows a decade of austerity which has impacted on public sector employment and significant job losses following the closure of the Murco refinery in November 2014.”

Along with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government has also written to the Chancellor expressing its concern over the impact no-deal tariffs might have on the domestic refining industry.