Plaid Cymru joins cross-party Brexit Summit to keep the UK in the Single Market

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Plaid Cymru has joined with the SNP, the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats in calling for the UK to stay in the Single Market and the Customs Union after leaving the EU.

The party’s leader in Westminster, Liz Saville Roberts MP, met with the other opposition leaders today at a cross-party summit in the UK’s Parliament, called to coordinate efforts to protect the UK’s place in the Single Market and the Customs Union after it leaves the EU.

Ms Saville Roberts released a joint statement with the leaders of the SNP, the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats, pledging to work together to prevent the unprecedented threat of leaving the Single Market, to safeguard jobs, incomes, and living standards from the devastation it would cause.

The Labour leader was left empty-chaired at the summit after refusing to engage in cross-party talks on the biggest issue facing the UK, despite 87% of Labour members backing single market membership. 

The statement signals an intention to call on the devolved Parliaments and Assemblies to work with the group, and Plaid Cymru’s leader in Westminster, Liz Saville Roberts MP has called on the Welsh First Minister – Labour’s Carwyn Jones, to work with the cross-party group in his leader’s absence.

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The parties pledged to act as a united and effective opposition to a hard Brexit in the months ahead - with just ten months to go before a deal is to be in place between the UK and EU. With speculation over a devastating ‘no deal’ scenario the parties urged Theresa May to take the option “firmly off the table”.

Joint statement from Liz Saville Roberts MP, Ian Blackford MP, Caroline Lucas MP and Vince Cable MP:

"Tory plans for an extreme Brexit represent an unprecedented threat to our economy that would destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs, and damage the incomes, livelihoods, and living standards of millions of people across the UK.

"Time is running out to avoid this economic catastrophe. There are now just ten months before a deal is to be in place between the UK and EU. Ten months to put the brakes on plans to drag us out of the single market and customs union and to avoid the lasting harm this would cause.

"Analysis from the Bank of England, Fraser of Allander Institute, the London School of Economics and many others, have revealed the devastating extent of a hard Brexit or ‘no deal’ scenario for Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. 

"Leaving the single market will cost jobs. Over three million UK jobs are linked to trade with the EU - one in every ten jobs. There is no such thing as a “jobs-first” Brexit that includes terminating our single market membership – these outcomes are incompatible.

"Protecting jobs, incomes, workers’ rights and the environment is central to our efforts in keeping the UK in the single market. We warmly welcome the Trade Union Congress’ position which echoes these sentiments and hope to work with them in the months ahead. 

"The UK government’s lack of preparation represents the chaos at the heart of the Brexit process. It is a disgrace more than 18 months after the UK voted to leave the EU, the government has not yet published an analysis of the economic impact. 

"It is families, workers, businesses and farmers that will ultimately pay the price with a drastically restricted international market, lower wages, higher food and fuel prices and a poorer standard of living.

"With the clock ticking, it is now more important than ever that we have a united and effective opposition holding the UK government to account, and working together in the national interest to prevent the most damaging excesses of a hard Brexit or no deal scenario. 

"We are jointly committed to providing that opposition, and call on Labour to join with us - to fail to do so would be an abdication of responsibility, and would make Labour just as culpable for the lasting damage a hard Brexit would do to UK jobs and prosperity.

"Today, we call on the Prime Minister to dismiss any chance of a ‘no deal’ scenario. The possibility must be firmly off the table.

"We will work together in the Commons alongside Members from all political parties to protect the UK economy and prevent any attempts to drag Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland out the single market.

"Moving forward together, we will seek to meet with key stakeholders, such as the TUC and business groups, and the devolved administrations including the London Assembly, to express Parliament’s cross-party desire to avoid the damage that Brexit will cause, and encourage all efforts to avoid such an outcome."

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