Plaid Cymru’s Brexit spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards, responds to the Article 50 Bill passing its third reading in the House of Commons.
Commenting after the vote, Jonathan Edwards said:
“Throughout this process, Plaid Cymru has worked constructively in the interest of getting the best possible deal for Wales following the vote to leave the European Union.
“We have worked alongside the Welsh Government as the official opposition in the National Assembly and we have worked alongside all parties in Westminster, offering amendments at every stage of the Article 50 Bill to ensure that Wales is treated with respect and that the people of Wales are given what they voted for in June.
“I have sat on the Brexit Select Committee questioning the Secretary of State and my colleagues and I have all questioned the Welsh Secretary and the Prime Minister on how the unique needs of Wales can be reflected in the UK Government’s negotiations on Brexit.
“Unfortunately the UK Government has been unwilling to listen to any voices outside Whitehall. It has blocked every single amendment tabled by all of the opposition parties and even voted against our amendment on an explicit promise made by the Vote Leave campaign that Wales will continue to receive existing levels of EU funding after we leave the EU.
“I have sat in the House of Commons chamber listening to English MPs try to use up all of the time allocated to debating devolved issues, to ensure voices from Wales are not heard. I have sat and listened to Tory MPs argue explicitly that we should sacrifice Welsh exports, Welsh farming and manufacturing, in order to protect the financial services sector in London.
“The votes on this Bill were not about whether the referendum should be accepted. They were about accepting the Tories’ extreme form of Brexit.
“It is quite clear that Westminster does not represent Wales. Westminster has no intention of acting as a Parliament for four nations. The only intention that this place has is to revert to a unilateral state, under Westminster rule.
“There is simply no other option for Plaid Cymru than to oppose this callous, needlessly extreme Brexit and we will continue to fight tooth and nail for Wales’ interests as the Bill moves through the House of Lords.”