Immediately after the European election I wrote to the leaders of other pro-Remain parties with the aim of working together, beyond party politics, to avoid the destruction that Brexit would wreak on Wales. I believe it is our duty as avowedly pro-Remain parties to work together to protect the Welsh national interest.
Plaid Cymru has therefore decided as a matter of principle not to field a candidate in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election and will instead endorse the Liberal Democrat candidate. This decision follows detailed and high-level discussions with the Liberal Democrats, our local constituency party in Brecon and Radnorshire, and the Plaid Cymru National Executive Committee.
We live in desperately serious times and the political circumstances in which we find ourselves require us to be prepared to reach across party boundaries. Our decision is a principled one – driven by our commitment to the Welsh national interest, and in the interests of the Remain cause.
It is imperative that pro-Remain parties work together to avoid a disastrous Brexit. That includes co-operating in elections to argue the Remain case and to stop the pro-Brexit parties from foisting their deeply damaging policies on the people of Wales.
Our two parties have agreed that we must now continue ongoing conversations with a view to exploring further cooperation in Parliament and beyond. As pro-Brexit parties begin to coalesce, those of us on the pro-European side of the argument must build new alliances. Plaid Cymru has acted in the national interest in this case, and we would expect the Liberal Democrats and other parties to act in the same spirit when the time comes.
By reaching out to other pro-Remain parties, Plaid Cymru has lead the way in creating the conditions for future co-operation between our parties. Not fielding a candidate in an election is never an easy decision for any political party to make, but I firmly believe Plaid Cymru has acted in the Welsh national interest and in the interests of Remain – which is always our priority.