The leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price AM, and the party’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, have today written to First Minister Mark Drakeford and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to request an immediate recall of the Senedd and the Westminster Parliament.
In their letter, Mr Price and Ms Saville Roberts said that the Prime Minister’s refusal to renegotiate a withdrawal deal unless the so-called backstop is removed, despite the EU having repeatedly said that the backstop is not up for negotiation, meant that a crash out Brexit on Hallowe’en was ‘increasingly likely’.
They wrote that a vote of no confidence in the UK government could be held, but warned that Mr Johnson could ignore such a vote. They said that such a scenario would be a ‘fundamental abuse of parliament: effectively a dictatorial seizure of power by the executive.’
Mr Price and Ms Saville Roberts also said that MPs who oppose Brexit could attempt to take control of the legislative process in order to stop a crash out Brexit, but that the practical difficulties of doing so, including a range of amendments and possible filibustering by Brexiteers, would be ‘formidable’.
In any case, they said, both the Senedd and the House of Commons should be immediately be recalled so that members of both parliaments can ‘properly reflect the democratic will of its members in deciding whether the UK should leave without a deal on 31 October.’
In their letter, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price AM and Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts MP said:
“There is a growing likelihood that the UK will leave the EU without a deal on 31 October. If that were to happen there would be serious adverse consequences for Welsh jobs and the economy more widely, especially for our manufacturing industry and for our farmers. There would also be the threat of food and medicine shortages, and disruption at our ports.
“Nevertheless, evidence of a no deal Brexit on 31 October, a matter of weeks away, is growing by the day. Since his election as leader of the Conservative Party and subsequent appointment as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has made it clear that he is unprepared to negotiate a new deal with the other 27 member states of the EU unless what he terms the ‘undemocratic’ Irish backstop, included in his predecessor’s deal at her request and for which Mr Johnson himself voted in the House of Commons, has been removed.
“Equally, the EU negotiators have repeatedly said that the backstop is not up for negotiation. This, of course, is the mechanism that would keep the UK inside the EU customs union in order to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.
“It is imperative that the Westminster Parliament be recalled before 3 September to give it the opportunity to properly reflect the democratic will of its members in deciding whether the UK should leave without a deal on 31 October.
“In turn, it is imperative that the democratic will of the people of Wales, as represented by the Senedd, be given an opportunity to express itself before September.
“That is why we are writing to you to ask you to join with us in calling for an immediate recall of the Senedd, to debate what is undoubtedly the greatest peacetime crisis that Wales and the UK have faced in modern times.”