Brexit Q & A

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1. What happens now?

Wales is still currently a member of the European Union. The Prime Minister has announced her intention to invoke Article 50 before March. As soon as she does so negotiations between the EU and the UK about the terms of leaving will begin.

2. Does Plaid Cymru respect the referendum outcome?

Plaid Cymru accepts that the people of Wales voted to leave the EU. That is why we will be working to ensure that Wales gets the best deal possible when it comes to leaving the EU.

3. Does Plaid Cymru want a second referendum on EU membership?

No. Plaid Cymru will continue to work towards its long term ambition of an independent Wales in Europe, however we accept that the EU referendum result represents the current will of the people of Wales.

4. How does the vote to leave the EU relate to Wales?

Manufacturing and exports play a larger role in the Welsh economy compared to the UK as a whole. This means that Wales has, in effect, different needs in terms of the kind of EU departure that would suit us best.

5. Who should negotiate our exit from the EU?

It’s quite clear that the incompetent Westminster Government, which is led by a Prime Minister who was not even elected by the members her own party, has no democratic mandate to negotiate on behalf of the Welsh people.

Plaid Cymru are calling for a four-nation approach, with full involvement for each of the devolved Parliaments, as well as Westminster where appropriate. This would ensure that the unique needs of each of the devolved nations, as well as England, are fairly represented.

6. So what kind of departure would suit us best?

Plaid Cymru’s view is that Wales needs to stay within the Single Market in order to defend our economic interests.

Around 200,000 Welsh jobs are linked the Single Market, and protecting these is our first priority. Click here for more information about the Single Market.

Exports is another big issue. Wales is an exporting country, in that we export more goods than we import. Having to pay expensive tariffs in order to be allowed to trade with other countries within the Single Market would be a significant blow to Welsh businesses who rely on trade with Europe.

7. What is the Welsh Government doing?

Plaid Cymru is critical of the Hard Brexit stance favoured by the Labour-Lib Dem coalition government in Wales. This would see Wales removed from the Single Market and a whole host of other key agreements that underpin jobs, public services and the economy of Wales as a whole.

8. How can we stay in the Single Market if we voted to leave the EU?

The European Union is not the Single Market.

The UK Tory Government has never asked people whether they wanted to stay in the Single Market or not. Staying in the Single Market was even in their General Election Manifesto. Theresa May and her colleagues have no mandate to endanger Welsh Jobs by dragging us out of the Single Market.

We could retain membership of the Single Market through the European Economic Area or European Free Trade Association.

It is simply economic common sense that Wales must stay in the Single Market.

9. Doesn’t staying in the Single Market mean we have to accept freedom of movement?

Unlike every other political party active in Wales, Plaid Cymru is not opposed to inward migration from the European Union.

EU migrants make a positive contribution to the Welsh economy and its public services. Whether it is doctors and nurses in our NHS or lecturers and scientists in our universities, the fact is European migration works for Wales.

Leaving the Single Market in order to end freedom of movement would not only mean that our economy suffers at home, we would be endangering the opportunities of generations of Welsh people to live, travel and work all over Europe.

10. What does this mean for devolution?

Plaid Cymru are the only party which has consistently supported devolution – making sure that decisions are made closest to the people they effect. We will be working to ensure that the UK Government transfers any powers to Wales that are rightfully ours after we have left the EU.

Want to learn more?

The Single Market Brexit Briefing

 

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