In the first of its kind, Plaid Cymru will launch a cross-parliamentary campaign today taking the Welsh and Westminster governments to task over their position on Brexit.
A unique and original approach to opposition which spans across Westminster and Cardiff Bay, Plaid Cymru’s cross-parliamentary Brexit campaign will simultaneously hold both the Welsh and UK Governments to account as we continue on the path towards the UK’s exit from the EU.
Questions tabled in Cardiff Bay and Westminster will press both governments to outline how they expect to manage Wales’ exit from the EU.
Both the Tories in Westminster and the Labour Welsh Government in Cardiff have been criticised for their contradictory, confused statements on Brexit and the people of Wales remain in the dark as to what kind of Brexit will take place.
Commenting, Wales’ member of the Brexit Committee and Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, Jonathan Edwards MP, said:
“Incoherent flip-flopping from the Welsh Government and confused waffling from the Tories in Westminster means that the people of Wales are still in the dark on what Brexit will mean, more than four months since the referendum.
“So far we are faced with more questions than we have answers. What was promised to Nissan? Will the bankers get a sweetheart deal? What will happen to subsidies for farmers? How will workers’ rights be affected?
“We cannot rely on a rudderless Labour Party in Westminster to hold the government to account and the Labour Welsh Government has consistently shown that they do not understand the difference between ‘access to’ and ‘membership of’ the single market - a matter that is central to the future prosperity of our nation.
“The referendum result was conclusive – we must leave the European Union, but the terms of that exit is still undecided.
“Nobody voted for a ‘hard Brexit’ and we will be using the recent High Court ruling that the UK Government must gain Parliamentary approval before triggering Article 50 as a platform to call for our favoured negotiating position.
“It is our role as elected politicians to ensure the best possible Brexit deal for Wales and the UK and Plaid Cymru has been consistent and united in its calls to maintain our membership of the Single Market as the best Brexit option for Wales. Firstly, because of the wide-reaching benefits being a Single Market and Customs Union member will have for trade in Wales due to our £5bn surplus in goods trade and secondly, because it will enable Wales to qualify for certain cross-border programmes and research and innovation funding.
“More important than the vote on triggering Article 50 however, is what happens afterwards – the negotiations themselves. At a time when the public narrative is driven by the notion of ‘taking back control’, it is essential that not only the UK Parliament, but the national Parliaments of the UK have a say, including the National Assembly for Wales.
“By asking a question a day in both parliaments, keeping the wording as similar as possible, we want to elicit what both governments plan to do for Welsh communities. The answers obtained from both governments will create the best outline we have thus far of what Wales can expect from the Brexit negotiations.
“Fundamentally, we will be making sure the people of Wales get the answers they deserve.”
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for External Affairs in the National Assembly for Wales, Steffan Lewis AM, added:
“Wales is facing its biggest challenge in recent decades. We will need to draw on all our reserves of resilience and creativity to take advantage of the opportunities that Brexit will present and mitigate against the damage it could cause to our economy. At a time when we need strength and clarity from our leadership, instead we have heard nothing but empty rhetoric and confusion.
“Plaid Cymru is the only party that is working to give people in Wales a voice in the wake of the Brexit vote. We are uniquely placed to hold the Governments, both in Westminster and Cardiff to account.”