Plaid Cymru leader challenges Theresa May to Brexit debate as she visits Royal Welsh
The leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price, has written to Theresa May challenging her to a TV debate as she visits Wales to sell her Brexit deal.
The UK Prime Minister will today embark on a whistle-stop of Wales and Northern Ireland – part of a ‘mini election campaign’ to try and drum up support for the deal amongst the public.
The prime minister will tour the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells to speak to farmers as she hopes to highlight how products such as Welsh lamb and Caerphilly cheese are protected under the terms of the UK’s withdrawal agreement.
She will then meet Welsh Conservatives before travelling to Northern Ireland at Queen’s University Belfast.
Adam Price said that she should debate with him so that he could highlight how “trade and funding fears, in rural and industrial communities alike, means thousands of jobs and livelihoods are in danger.”
In the letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Price highlights his support for a People’s Vote, noting that he called for a referendum on the terms of any exit ‘deal’ the day after the result in 2016.
“As you visit Wales to sell your Brexit deal, I ask that you do not simply come to our nation as a matter of courtesy, but recognise our concerns and the need for proper democratic scrutiny and debate,” he said.
“As the Leader of the Party of Wales – Plaid Cymru, I would welcome the opportunity to debate the effect of your proposed exit from the EU on our nation – Wales – and the UK as a whole.
“The Royal Welsh Showground, where you will visit today, is the home of Welsh agriculture – a sector that faces uncertainty on an unprecedented scale as a result of your proposed exit from the EU.
“A brief visit cannot allay concerns about the future of the Welsh rural economy. We deserve more than a day-trip.
“Televised debates are rightly now part of the course of UK and Welsh general elections. Our relationship with the EU will span generations; much more than the five-year cycle of a general election. It is only right, therefore, that people are given every opportunity to hear the diversity of options that they face.
“This means a televised debate – with a plurality of voices – and a People’s Vote. Democracy is based on diversity, discussion and debate. Regardless of your political ambition, this must be honoured.”
Theresa May emphasised that her Brexit deal meant that Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England were leaving the EU “as one United Kingdom”.
“My deal delivers for every corner of the UK and I will work hard to strengthen the bonds that unite us as we look ahead to our future outside of the EU,” she said.
“Throughout negotiations, I have fought to ensure that powers returning from the EU will be restored to the National Assembly for Wales, the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly.
“This deal delivers for farmers in Wales, who deserve better than the Common Agricultural Policy. After we leave the CAP, we will be free to design a new policy that works for agricultural producers in all four nations and we are taking that work forward.
“This deal avoids a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. This has been at the forefront of my mind throughout the negotiations. It has been especially clear to me when I have visited communities along the border in Northern Ireland and seen first-hand how important it is that the unique circumstances local employers face are recognised in any agreement.
“They need to be able to trade freely across the border with Ireland and have unfettered access to the rest of the United Kingdom’s market. This deal makes that possible and that’s why, across Northern Ireland, employers large and small have been getting behind it.”