Hywel Williams, MP for Arfon and Plaid Cymru Brexit spokesperson, has called to extend Article 50 and take the Brexit withdrawal agreement to a people’s vote.
Mr Williams said: “Since news of the EU referendum result broke, my party has spoken up for a deal to protect future generations from being stripped of their European freedoms. We have advocated for a deal to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK. We have made the case for continued membership of the EU Single Market and Customs Union.
“The British Government refuses to adopt that position but still has no plan to break the Brexit mess. It has been left to Plaid Cymru, alongside the SNP, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens, to be the sensible alternative voice to the hard line Brexiteer minority.
“The Prime Minister has managed to box herself in with irresponsible red lines, favouring political fixes over practical solutions. All the Prime Minister has done is strengthen the hand of the extremists in the Tory European Research Group and fan the flames of her party’s Brexit-obsession.
“The Labour frontbench’s position is equally as wrong-headed. A Westminster Government on life-support is being given the space to recover by a Labour party heading in no direction. Their own policy does not meet their own six tests for leaving. Cynically manoeuvring for a General Election cannot offer a solution to the stalemate when Mr Corbyn’s customs compromise is identical to Chequers, and the tragedy is that Labour knows it.
“If the British Government, along with their collaborators in the Labour party, insist on dragging us out of the EU Single Market and Customs Union then the best option available to us is to extend Article 50 and take the Withdrawal Agreement to a People’s Vote.
“As well as being the best possible outcome from a remainer’s point of view, a People’s Vote is the only way the Prime Minister can even possibly win.
Unless a Single Market and Customs Union shaped rabbit is pulled out of a very small and scruffy hat, Parliament will not approve the deal that comes before it. Let’s take the Prime Minister at her word and assume she does not want a No Deal. If that is the case, and a majority of MPs cannot support the second rate deal she brings before them. The least bad option available to the Prime Minister is to take the deal to the people in the form of a People’s Vote. This is the only way she can avoid humiliating losses and worst of all a ‘no deal’.
“The only remaining roadblock is Jeremy Corbyn. His squirming over Brexit is failing. Without a clear Brexit policy, he is letting the Prime Minister off the hook. Rather than campaign for a General Election where he stands on the same Brexit platform as the Tories, it is high time that Jeremy Corbyn pushed what Plaid Cymru has said from the word go – that a European future is still possible.
“With billions set to be wiped of the UK economy, austerity is only set to be made worse by Mrs May’s policy. Let’s spell this out for Jeremy Corbyn – Brexit and austerity are twins. For a party who stands for social justice – a party which claims to be anti-austerity – it shouldn’t be hard to justify switching positions.
“And here comes the good news. With a bit of luck, a fair wind and a Labour u-turn, we just might be able to salvage European freedoms for future generations yet.”