Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards MP has called on the Prime Minister to take a step back and take time to negotiate the second phase of Brexit.
On the day of the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the House of Commons,Edwards warned the British Government against setting an ‘elephant trap for themselves’ by legislating against allowing an extension to the transition. Mr Edwards has also pledged to ‘scrutinise Johnson’s every step’ to ensure that workers’ rights and environmental standards are upheld.
Writing in the Western Mail, Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards MP said:
“It was that slogan – ‘Get Brexit Done’ – that won the Tories this election. They tapped into a wave of Brexit fatigue as many people understandably wanted to move on from the parliamentary logjam in order to talk about something – anything – else.
“However, Johnson knew just as well as we did that rather than being ‘done’, Brexit will only start in 2020. The last four years were only the preface, which closes today when we will vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, opening the second phase of the Brexit saga, which will dominate our politics for years to come whether we like it or not.
“Now that he has a comfortable majority, Johnson could take a step back and take time to negotiate the second phase. Instead, true to his reckless nature, he is now again threatening the EU with no-deal, by amending the Bill to make it illegal to request an extension to the transition.”
Mr Edwards also said:
“Things will change now that the Tories have a comfortable majority. But a comfortable majority doesn’t change the basic fact that a lack of a trade deal will hurt the UK more than it will hurt the EU, making the threat of no-deal completely counter-intuitive.
“Indeed, the British Government have set an elephant trap for themselves, as EU negotiators will be able to use time pressures to force the British State into a weakened position – if it decides to diverge on regulatory standards. Let’s not forget that the Withdrawal Agreement secured by the Prime Minister was only secured by his capitulation into accepting the original offer ensuring a soft Brexit for Northern Ireland while Wales is thrown to the wolves.”