Politics

Plaid Leader: Prove UK is ‘partnership of equals’

PLAID CYMRU Leader Leanne Wood has urged Prime Minister Theresa May to demonstrate that the UK is a ‘partnership of equals’, as her party has repeatedly claimed.

Leanne Wood’s call comes following her meeting with the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis, where she introduced her party’s joint White Paper on the EU with the Welsh Government.

The meeting also included the First Minister and the Secretary of State for Wales, Mark Drakeford AM and Steffan Lewis AM.

Ahead of the Joint Ministerial Committee, the Party of Wales Leader said that the voices and views of each constituent part of the United Kingdom must be heeded and honoured during the negotiations to leave the EU, and that failure to do so would have ‘major constitutional consequences’.

Ms Wood said: “This morning, a healthy exchange of views took place between representatives of the UK Government, Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.

“The Secretary of State for Exiting the EU was left in no doubt over the importance of single market participation. I also raised agricultural exports and subsidies, and the need for freedom of movement to avoid skills shortages.

“Focus must shift now to the Joint Ministerial Committee, whose agenda will naturally be dominated by the vote to leave the EU.

“The Prime Minister would do wise to grasp the potential impact of these negotiations on the future constitutional landscape of the United Kingdom.

“Different views were expressed in different parts of these islands during the referendum on June 23. If the UK is truly a partnership of equal nations then Theresa May will take heed of these differences and shape her negotiating strategy accordingly.

“While Wales may have voted to leave, no one voted to give the Tories a blank cheque to wreck the Welsh economy by dragging us out of the Single Market and jeopardising 200,000 jobs.

“At the same time, the wishes of the majority who voted in favour of Remain in Scotland and Northern Ireland must also be respected.

“Last week, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government united for the sake of the national interest to publish a set of comprehensive proposals designed to protect Wales as we prepare to leave the EU.

“I hope the Prime Minister gives careful consideration to those proposals or risk confirming Wales’ status as a second-class nation within the UK.”

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Dayne Stone

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