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Plaid Cymru leader calls for closer ties between Wales and Ireland

22 Feb 2024 3 minute read
Rhun ap Iorwerth

Rhun ap Iorwerth will makes the case for closer links between Wales and Ireland and for Wales to rejoin the European single market as a matter of urgency, in a keynote speech.

The Plaid Cymru leader will deliver the speech at University College Cork today (22 February) and will also argue that Brexit has been “deeply damaging for Wales, creating new challenges for negotiating the kind of relationship I and my party believe we can and should look to have with Ireland.”

However, Mr ap Iorwerth maintains that that these are challenges which can be overcome and that “renewing and deepening Wales’ relationship with Ireland is a key part of “reforging our relationships with our friends and neighbours throughout Europe”.

Closer links

He will also argue that developing closer links with Ireland is of strategic importance to Wales, adding that, “Those closer links can be broad-ranging, but should certainly include economic cooperation, for example around developments either side of the Irish sea in renewables and hydrogen.”

Pressing the case for a closer alignment with the Europe Union, Mr ap Iorwerth will say: “There is one immediate step which must be taken not only to safeguard Welsh jobs and trade, but also as a statement of intent about our nation’s constitutional future.

“The UK Government should commence urgent discussions with Brussels to negotiate rejoining the single market and customs union.”

Taking back control

In his address, he will also say: It gives me no pleasure for Plaid Cymru to have been proven right when we warned that what “taking back control” meant in reality was the UK establishment “taking back control” from Brussels and clinging onto it in Westminster.

“If Boris Johnson’s bungled effort at “getting Brexit done” wasn’t bad enough, the disaster that was Trussonomics only compounded the United Kingdom’s economic volatility and the social erosion which ensued.

“Plaid Cymru’s own constitution couldn’t be clearer. It states that – and I quote – ‘As the National Party of Wales, the Party’s aims shall be to secure independence for Wales in Europe.

“Brexit has failed to hamper this ultimate goal for our movement – far from it.

“We haven’t forgotten the social and economic benefits of being part of the world’s largest and most lucrative trading area and economic community. And as we cling to those memories, the full extent of the damage that cutting ties with our closest trading partners has reaped becomes ever clearer.”


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Richard E
Richard E
1 month ago

Plaid under Gwynfor’s leadership had top level links to Ireland 🇮🇪 for many years which sadly were dropped by the post independence generation. Good to see it back and Rh.ap.I is on the mark with this initiative.

My own experience running an Interrg Board between west coast Wales and east coast Wales in the 1990s just showed how joint projects can work and gain benefits for for both nations.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard E

100% correct. We should have primary partnerships with Europe including full membership of the EU with EFTA/EEA and plan to accept the Euro as legal tender in Wales. Independence is more urgent than ever. The UK economy is declining as it is seperating from the main market in Europe. We are losing investment. Most of England’s local councils are facing bankruptcy. The UK is certainly not an insurance policy as the outgoing Mr Drakeford insists. Nether is a change of party at the top of UK going to improve much for Wales. We must separate from the UK. It will… Read more »

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
1 month ago

We can’t use Irish hospitals and airports and other facilities we lack in Wales.

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Rhddwen y Sais

The money for building new hospitals, roads airport infrastructure and tax duties etc is controlled by Westminster. 

Labour or Tory both always prioritise England’s needs over those of the people who live in Wales. 

Unless and until people here wake up to that, wake up to the failed myth of “Welsh” labour ,who have done as much damage through neglect and incompetence as any Tory government, then things won’t change.

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

I agree ‘Welsh’ Labour is merely a marketing ploy (unfortunately a very effective one). Many people have been conned into thinking there is a ‘Welsh’ Labour party – it is really the British Labour party, always was and always will be!

Iago Traferth
Iago Traferth
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

I thought the amount of money per patient in Wales was more generous than England but then everything is Westminster’s fault.

Doctor Trousers
1 month ago

Absolutely agree. We have an opportunity to demonstrate that we can form better, healthier, more equal and collaborative relationships with our neighbours outside of the union than we have within it.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
1 month ago

Plaid doubling down on policies that have cost them votes in the last 8 years. RAI is a thickie!!

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
1 month ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

It can be proven Dai, that the UK is going down fast fast compared with Europe and most of the world.
That is why most pension funds and institution investors have moved their funds out of the UK.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Another Barmouth yacht race with a 6th century feel to it via St Davids, Skellig Michael, Rathlin Island, Aberfraw once round Ynys Enlli and back to Y Bermo…add to taste…

Don’t forget to follow this years 3 Peaks Yacht Race…July 14th

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion

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