Plaid Cymru will demand a formal role for the UK nations in the Brexit negotiations, the party’s External Affairs spokesperson, Steffan Lewis, has said.
The Party of Wales’ AM for South Wales East has called for a “four nations approach” to Brexit, giving each of the UK’s Parliaments, including Wales’s National Assembly a formal role.
It would give those elected to govern in the Welsh Assembly, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Scottish Parliament a right to negotiate on behalf of each of the respective countries, with the UK Government negotiating on behalf of England. The party would also require each of the respective Parliaments to endorse the final deal.
Mr Lewis, who is the party’s spokesperson on External Affairs, said that this would ensure the interests of all nations are protected as the British State leaves the European Union, not just England’s.
A report by leading cross-party think tank, Demos, concluded that Wales is most at risk from the Tories’s plan for a hard Brexit due to its economy being driven by exports to the EU and its relatively heavy reliance on EU nationals to offset the country’s low working age population.
Commenting, Plaid Cymru’s External Affairs spokesperson, Steffan Lewis, said:
“Wales faces an immediate threat as the Tories continue to push our economy towards the edge of a cliff. Our economic links with Europe are critical to preserving our strong export performance and the 200,000 jobs across Wales that are sustained by that trade.
“Other UK countries are less focussed on the EU and the risk is that without a strong, united and determined voice in Westminster putting these issues on the agenda, Wales will be left to rot on the sidelines.
“Plaid Cymru MPs will work in Westminster to make sure the UK Government takes a four nations approach to its Brexit negotiations, taking pressure off the ill-equipped and under-prepared trade department and give the nations of the UK a formal role in representing their respective countries’s interests in the negotiations.
“The Welsh Government and National Assembly are far better placed to understand the trading needs of Welsh businesses and the Welsh economy and they should be at the table making sure those needs are met.
“With an unchecked Tory government in Westminster, being given free reign to do as they please by a weak and divided Labour opposition, Wales will simply be ignored and our economy will soon turn to decline, with serious implications for people’s jobs, wages and mortgages.
“Only Plaid Cymru MPs will stand up for Wales in Westminster and it is crucial that Wales sends our strongest advocates to fight for us in the House of Commons.”