General Election 2019: Where do Wales’ political parties stand on Brexit?
The issue of resolving Brexit is likely to dominate the General Election which will take place on December 12.
This is despite some parties, notably Labour, perhaps rightly arguing that there are a whole host of other issues that need discussing.
But where do the different parties in Wales stand on this central issue?
Welsh Labour: Renegotiate the withdrawal agreement, hold a referndum and then campaign for Remain
UK Labour’s official policy is to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement with the EU, and then hold a referendum with Remain among the options.
It wants to go back to Brussels to strike a new deal – within three months of a Labour government being elected – based on different criteria from the Conservatives, to negotiate something that would include Britain remaining in a customs union with the EU.
Then the plan would be to call another referendum within six months of Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister.
“Labour will get Brexit sorted by giving the people the final say within six months with the choice of a credible leave deal or remain,” Jeremy Corbyn said. “And we’ll carry out what you decide.”
However Welsh Labour is slightly less ambivalent on Brexit than the UK party, making it clear that they would campaign strongly for Remain.
Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has said that Brexit will be “catastrophic for Wales – it will decimate our agricultural and manufacturing sectors & risks ripping the Union apart”.
Plaid Cymru: Back a second referendum then campaign for Remain
The Leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price has confirmed his party will stand on policy of stopping Brexit by supporting a second referendum with ‘Remain’ on the ballot.
Adam Price said that Plaid Cymru, as Wales’ leading party of Remain, is “united” in its aim to ensure Wales remains a member of the European Union and that the best way to do that is to campaign to give the decision back to the people in a referendum.
The Plaid Cymru Leader said he did not believe any form of Brexit would be good for Wales as it would ‘devastate’ the livelihoods of ‘thousands of people’ in Wales and see a dramatic 5.5% fall in Wales’ economic growth as a consequence of being taken out of the Single Market and Customs Union.
He added that the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, which would create a hard border in the Irish Sea, would be a ‘disaster’ for Welsh port towns such as Holyhead and Fishguard.
Welsh Conservatives: Vote through Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal
The Welsh Conservatives oppose another referendum and want to see Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal with the EU passing through the House of Commons.
The Conservatives are holding this election in the hope of getting a majority of MPs to be able to do it.
“If you vote for us and we get our programme through – which we will because it’s oven ready, it’s there to go – then we can be out at the absolute latest by January next year,” Boris Johnson said.
The Welsh Conservative leader, Paul Davies’ message will be oft-repeated: “The public will have a stark choice to make. Vote Conservative and see both Brexit delivered and the country move forward, or experience total chaos with Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn.”
Welsh Liberal Democrats: Revoke article 50
The Liberal Democrats are promising to simply cancel Brexit altogether and not hold a second referendum at all if they win a majority of seats.
If they do not win a majority, they will continue to campaign for a second EU referendum.
“The Liberal Democrats will always believe our best place is in the EU and we will always campaign to Remain,” leader Jo Swinson said.
Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Jane Dodds has stuck firmly to the party line, saying that they stand for “stopping Brexit and building a brighter future”.
Brexit Party: No deal is better than any deal
Nigel Farage’s new party wants Boris Johnson to abandon his deal with Brussels and instead leave with no deal at all.
“We need a clean break now, not a new EU treaty,” Nigel Farage said.
Leader of The Brexit Party in the Welsh Assembly, Mark Reckless, agrees, saying that we should already have left the EU on Oct 31st.