Adam Price AM, Leader of Plaid Cymru
Politicians always say that this election is the most important one ever. That now, more than ever, we all need to use our votes wisely.
And of course, it’s true that every single election is important, and we should all use our votes. But today’s election is different.
What hangs in the balance today is not just the central question at the heart of this election about our future in Europe, but so much more: what kind of country do we want to be?
What brought about this election was, of course, the most pressing political issue of the day: Brexit. So let’s recap on that briefly.
For three and a half years, the Westminster parties have gone around and around in circles, arguing amongst themselves about which kind of Brexit they would prefer.
Meanwhile Plaid Cymru has consistently stood firm in saying that there is no such thing as a good Brexit for Wales, and the only way to resolve this crisis is a People’s Vote.
Ahead of the election, Boris Johnson unlawfully tried to prorogue parliament – misleading the Head of the State in the process – to stop MPs having their say, and to attempt to force through a disastrous Hallowe’en exit.
Plaid Cymru, meanwhile, was part of the court action at the Scottish Court of Session which eventually led to the Supreme Court’s ruling that Johnson’s attempt to prorogue parliament was unlawful.
Boris Johnson then brought forward his botched deal, having promised the DUP there wouldn’t be a hard border in the Irish Sea, but that’s exactly what it would do.
We in Plaid Cymru have been clear: a hard border in the Irish Sea would be a disaster for the port of Holyhead and would risk turning Ynys Môn into a car park for queuing lorries. That is intolerable.
And of course, all through this election, Jeremy Corbyn has declined to take a firm pro-Remain position. First, he avoided the question. And then, he confirmed his shocking neutrality.
Plaid Cymru, meanwhile, is showing the leadership our nation requires of us. We will never accept anything that would damage Wales, and that’s why we stand against Brexit.
Throughout this election, what we in Plaid Cymru have done is what we always do: we’ve put the Welsh national interest first.
We’ve demonstrated the kind of ambition that is needed to transform our country. We’ve conducted a campaign of hope based on what we want to accomplish for our nation.
And we’ve shown beyond all doubt that neither Labour nor the Tories are fit to govern Wales – either in Westminster or the Senedd.
Our manifesto has set out a number of policies, such as the Welsh Child Payment of £35 a week for every child in a low-income family, that would help end the scourge of poverty in our nation.
So too, we’ve set out what we would do to make Wales a zero-carbon, zero-waste country by 2030, and tackle the climate crisis, which is the defining challenge of our times.
And we have set out how we would build safe, strong and sustainable communities, where each and every one of us can thrive, no matter who we are or what our background.
Yes, the blueprint we’ve set out is ambitious. And yes, it’s going to take a lot of hard work. But let no one be in any doubt about the need for that work to start immediately.
Plaid Cymru has never been in the business of accepting Wales’ lot. We always want better, we always want more, for our country. That is our very raison d’être.
So let the other parties say we’re ‘dumping’ on Wales. If they’re content with what we’ve got, that’s up to them. We’re not prepared to sit back and accept that the state of our nation is inevitable.
It’s a truth that we, all of us, who call Wales home know in our heart of hearts, that we just can’t trust the Westminster parties to put Wales first.
But in Plaid Cymru, what you’ll get is an unstinting and unapologetic commitment to always putting Wales first, and local champions who’ll fight for our communities and our nation.
Because that is precisely what we are: Wales’ party. And it is only Wales’ party that can solve Wales’ problems.
We’ve had almost a decade of Tory austerity in Westminster, and over 20 years of Labour mismanagement in Cardiff Bay.
Labour themselves recognise they don’t know what they’re doing with the economy. And in our health service, we’ve seen crisis after crisis. And we have a third of our children living in poverty.
There is simply no use in putting our faith in either of the two big Westminster parties and expecting anything to change for Wales. Our nation has put our faith in them for generations, and we’re still at the bottom of every league table going.
There is likewise no use in voting Labour to ‘keep the Tories out’. The dysfunction and inequity at the heart of British democracy means that Wales doesn’t decide who becomes Prime Minister.
Voting Labour in Wales won’t stop Boris Johnson. But a vote for Wales’ party means sending the largest ever group of Plaid Cymru MPs to Westminster to fight for our country.
So, today, let’s recognise the opportunity before us and seize it with both hands. Let’s vote for hope and ambition. Let’s vote for a better, brighter, European future for Wales.
Because Wales, our communities, our future, it’s us. It’s each and every one of us who calls this place home. It’s you. It’s your family. It’s now.