Plaid Leader urges Prime Minister not to take Wales for granted


Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood has today warned Prime Minister Theresa May against taking Wales for granted in what will be "a crucial year" of decisions and negotiations for the nation's future.

Leanne Wood said that a 'new dynamic' was needed between Westminster and Wales in which Wales was not lagging behind in crucial areas such as infrastructure investment and economic development.

The Plaid Cymru Leader cited examples such as the recent confirmation that it will take 28 years to bring rail infrastructure in Wales up to date to warn the UK Government that it can expect a backlash against Westminster if politicians there continue to treat Wales as an after-thought.

Leanne Wood said:

"As we approach the new year this is a good opportunity to take stock of the challenges that lie ahead for our country.

"2017 will be a crucial year of decision-making and negotiations for Wales's future - many of which are in the hands of the Westminster government.

"At present, the way Westminster treats Wales suggests that the best interests of our economy and communities will not be well served while Tories in London do our bidding.

"We are now seeing the results of decades of under-investment and deliberate deindustrialisation under successive Westminster governments. Some communities are depopulating due to a lack of opportunities and at the same time they are losing key services and facilities such as libraries and banks. People's patience is running thin.

"The recent example of Network Rail confirming that it will take 28 years to get the Welsh rail system up to standard shows the extent to which our country has faced historic neglect.

"At the beginning of a new year, the Prime Minister has an opportunity to introduce a new dynamic in which Wales is no longer taken for granted. If she fails, anti-Westminster sentiments will grow with more and more people favouring self-rule over London rule.

"There is nothing inevitable about Wales's economic situation. I have no doubt that we have the talent and resources required to prosper. We are being held back by a Tory government in Westminster indifferent to our nation's fate and a Labour Welsh government too weak to stop them.

"2016 saw people use their voice and vote to take more control over their lives. As the only political force to believe that decisions about Wales should be made in Wales and that our nation should have real control over its own affairs, Plaid Cymru sees 2017 as an opportunity to act on that sentiment."

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