Plaid Cymru urges divided Labour to “get their act together”

 

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Plaid Cymru has urged the Labour Party to “get their act together” ahead of the Committee Stage of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, as 7 Labour MPs voted in favour with a further 13 abstained on the second reading of the Bill.

The party tabled its amendments immediately following the vote in the Commons which include making the repeal of the European Communities Act conditional on reaching an agreement to maintain the UK's membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union.

All four Plaid Cymru MPs voted against the second reading of the Bill, calling the Bill an “affront to democracy” as it claws back powers from the devolved countries, reversing multiple devolution referenda.

Speaking after the vote, Plaid Cymru’s Brexit spokesperson, Hywel Williams MP said:

“There are plenty of Tories who are deeply unhappy with what this Bill does and many of them are prepared to vote against the Government. We have an opportunity to make meaningful changes to this Bill if the Labour Party can get their act together and start doing their duty as the official opposition.

“We have already tabled our amendments to secure Wales’s future. They will secure our economic future by making the Bill conditional upon the UK Government reaching an agreement to maintain our economic links with the continent as members of the Single Market and Customs Union.

“They will also secure our constitutional future by making the Bill conditional upon the Government gaining the consent of the devolved Parliaments, forcing the British Government to drop its attempt to claw back powers from the devolved countries.

“The divisions within the Labour Party risk letting the Tories off the hook. That seven Labour MPs voted with the Tories and a further 13 abstained on the second reading has given the Tories breathing space that we cannot afford to give them.

“The Labour Party needs to recognise the severity of the situation and start doing their duty to stand up to the Tories, rather than sitting on their hands and abstaining. If we work together we can force the UK Government’s hand.”

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