Wales’ former First Minister Carwyn Jones has branded the Brexit Party “English nationalists” after they announced that they would campaign in the Senedd election to abolish the institution.
He called on them to respect the results of the 1997 and 2011 referendums to set up and give the Welsh Parliament more powers, just as they were calling on others to respect the Brexit referendum.
The Brexit Party is now one of three parties – UKIP and the Abolish the Assembly Party being the two others – who say they will stand on a platform of getting rid of Wales’ parliament.
The last Welsh barometer poll projected that none of the three parties would win any seats at the next Senedd election.
“Well, they always were English nats,” Carwyn Jones said in responding to the Brexit Party’s announcement.
“Scotland gets a Parliament, England gets a Parliament, NI gets a Parliament while Wales gets a Mayor. They just cannot stand the idea of Wales as a nation.
“So much for respecting the result of referendums, but let’s not forget that this is really a play to get re-elected to the Senedd by appealing to a minority in the hope of getting above 5% in his region.”
Announcing the Brexit Party’s new policy on the BBC Politics Wales programme, Mark Reckless – formerly a Conservative MP and UKIP MS – said that he would keep the First Minister of Wales.
“A lot of people who haven’t engaged with devolved politics now see the powers this place has, and many of those people would prefer to be governed on a UK basis rather than having things done differently in Wales just for the sake of it, as so often has been the case under Mark Drakeford,” he said.
He added that he was critical of Wales’ stricter lockdown rules under the Welsh Government, which is in charge of health.
He said that he did not rule out a rebrand for the Brexit Party. There have been reports that leader Nigel Farage will rebrand his Brexit Party as the ‘Reform Party’ after the transition period ends.