Monday, 13 March 2017

Brexit: Have Labour handed defending Wales's interest to Plaid?

There something rather peculiar about today's Wasting Mule article which says

The Welsh Government has demanded it is consulted before Theresa May writes to the European Council to trigger the two-year Brexit process.

Because nowhere in the article is there a mention that it is a Labour Government

A Welsh Government spokesman  may have said:
 “We want an Article 50 process which reflects the interests of Wales within the wider United Kingdom negotiating framework.
"The Welsh Government position is set out comprehensively in our white paper, Securing Wales’ Future, around six key points including continued participation in the Single Market, linking migration to jobs and ensuring Wales does not lose out on a penny of funding as a result of leaving the EU.
“We certainly want and expect to be consulted on any Article 50 letter before it [is issued] and the First Minister has made it clear to the UK Government that anything less would be totally incompatible with the approach they agreed at the Joint Ministerial Committee after the referendum result.
“We have already sent a copy of our White Paper to the European Commission.”

But it seems that it is Plaid who are making the running and no one from the Labour Party was available to comment in person.
Plaid leader Leanne Wood insisted that the contents of the letter (triggering Article 50) should be made public – and that it should include a reference to the White Paper her party produced with the Welsh Government.
She said:

“Plaid Cymru wants the UK Government’s Article 50 letter to represent the demands of the nations, rather than a made in London approach. The key Welsh demands have been made clear: Single market participation without tariffs; the retention of environmental protections which have made our country a better place to live; and a guarantee of ongoing support for Welsh agriculture, the lifeblood of so much of our nation.“We don’t want tariffs on Welsh manufactured goods like car engines and aviation parts. We don’t want to go backwards on clean seas and clean beaches.“We don’t want to open up the Welsh lamb market to unfair competition which ignores the cultural and social role of farming. A reference to the joint Welsh White Paper, which we worked hard to secure, is essential for this negotiation to be acceptable to Plaid Cymru.” “The Prime Minister must make her letter public, and it should include mention of the Welsh and Scottish positions, both of which have the buy-in of large majorities in our parliaments. Northern Ireland doesn’t have an executive at this stage, but the need for a reference to that territory’s peace process and Good Friday Agreement is obvious...
“If the UK Government’s Article 50 letter contains only a simple reference to its own White Paper, it will likely not be sufficient to secure the buy-in of the devolved governments. A recognition from the UK that we are a multi-national state is long overdue.
“There must be a four countries approach. We are in an evolving situation, and Plaid Cymru will continue to advocate and uphold the Welsh national interest as the debate continues.
“People in Wales should not tolerate a Westminster-knows-best mentality. All of us should demand that Wales is neither ignored nor left behind.”

A spokesman for the Welsh Conservatives also struck an optimistic note, saying: 

“Article 50 is the bold first step on the path towards establishing a new and equal relationship – between an independent self-governing, global Britain and our friends and allies in the EU – and Wales will have its say in those negotiations. The Prime Minister has made it clear that the UK Government will be guided by a simple set of principles: to provide as much certainty and clarity as possible at every stage, and to take this opportunity to make the whole of the UK stronger and fairer.”

As I said its very odd to see the Labour Party which is the governing Party in Wales and which  published the jjoint white paper with Plaid it beginning  to seem having done s so, Labour seem happy to let Plaid take the lead on this.

It may be that Plaid got their press release in early, but it may well be indicative of Carwyn Jones lethargic form of Government that admittedly they realise unlike Scotland they have no cards to play seem to have surrender  their role as defenders of our Nations interest.

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