Plaid Cymru issues statement ahead of Prime Minister's Brexit speech
Ahead of a speech by the Prime Minister, in which she is expected to give her most detailed report on the UK Government’s position since the referendum, Plaid Cymru’s Brexit spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards, called on the Prime Minister to commit to maintaining Wales’ membership of the Single Market and Customs Union.
Unlike the UK as a whole, Wales exports more than it imports and some 200,000 jobs in Wales are sustained by the country’s trade with Europe.
Mr Edwards argues that while the people of Wales voted to leave the European Union, they did not vote to leave the Single Market or the Customs Union. He says that if the Prime Minster commits to maintaining these links, he will have no reason to vote against the triggering of Article 50.
Commenting ahead of the Prime Minister’s speech, Plaid Cymru’s Brexit spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards, said:
“The Prime Minister has a mandate to leave the EU, but she does not have a mandate to tear the country’s economic links with the continent apart.
“I accept that the people of Wales voted to leave the European Union but you can leave the EU without leaving the Single Market. Norway for example is a member of the Single Market but not of the European Union.
“As somebody whose job it is to represent the interests of my constituents and compatriots, I would be doing them a huge disservice if I were to vote against their interests, and allow Westminster to tear up one of the most important aspects of our economy.
“200,000 Welsh jobs are sustained by our trade with Europe. The greater the impediments put in place to trade between Wales and the European bloc the greater the impact on jobs and wages. If the Prime Minister decides on the most extreme Brexit option and opts out of membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union it is inevitible that Welsh companies will find themselves operating in less favourable trading conditions with our most important trading partners and the world's wealthiest trade bloc."
“If Theresa May makes it clear today that she will pursue a sensible Brexit, outside the European Union but maintaining our membership of the Single Market and Customs Union, then I will have no reason to vote against triggering Article 50.
“A hard Brexit will pave the way for the most right wing government the UK has seen for decades, to sell off our public services to vested interests; to destroy Wales’ export surplus and to turn the British State into a tax haven at the expense of ordinary people.
“Living through a Tory dismantling of Welsh communities was a motivation for me to enter politics and I am not prepared to sit back and let it happen again.”