FORMER Secretary of State for Wales and Leader of Vote Leave Cymru – David Jones MP – has called on the First Minister to establish a new committee of Assembly Members to drive forward Wales’ response to the EU referendum.
Earlier today (Jun 27) Mr Jones said the committee should not seek to “usurp” the Welsh Government, or to undermine the First Minister – but insisted that would need to be chaired by a prominent Leave-supporting AM, and reflective in its make-up of Welsh public opinion.
He said that the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, and the Leader of the Opposition, Leanne Wood, had proven themselves and their parties to be “out of step with the communities they represent” on the issue, and called on the First Minister in particular to be gracious in creating a prominent role for a Leave supporting figure from Wales.
In Bridgend, the First Minister’s constituency and home town, 54.6% of voters backed a Vote to Leave the EU on Friday. In Rhondda Cynon Taf, where Leanne Wood was elected as an AM in May, 53.7% backed a Brexit vote.
David Jones said: told The Herald: “Britain’s vote to leave the EU presents us with a huge opportunity to carve out a prosperous future as an independent nation, but it is not without its challenges and Welsh politicians must ensure that our voice is heard in the negotiations which must now take place with EU leaders.
“That said, the result of the referendum highlighted just how out of step the First Minister and Leader of the opposition were with the people they represent on this issue.
“That’s why I would urge the First Minister to be gracious in defeat, and establish an advisory committee of AMs to drive forward Wales’ response to the referendum result.
“Rather than seeking to usurp the Welsh Government, such a committee would need to complement their work – but it is clear that its make-up would need to be reflective of public opinion in Wales on this issue.”
Mr Jones suggested the role of chairing an advisory committee would need to be taken by a prominent leave-supporting AM, and suggested that it was a role which could be offered to Andrew RT Davies who played a key role in the Vote Leave campaign in Wales.
“What is clear from the result is that both the Labour Government and their Plaid colleagues were out of touch with the Welsh public on this issue, and Wales’ response must be reflective of the post-referendum reality that we voted to leave the EU.
“As such, there must now be a significant role for a leave-supporting AM in driving forward the country’s response to this result.
“Andrew RT Davies could potentially be an ideal candidate to chair such a committee, having taking the brave step of backing the campaign to leave the EU, and I’m sure that he would have the support of other leave campaigners here in Wales – including those in UKIP who also played such an influential role in the campaign.”