The European election is our chance to make Wales matter
Adam Price AM, Leader of Plaid Cymru
After almost three years of going around and around in circles, we are now standing at the edge of a Brexit cliff, staring into the abyss.
Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have been spending their time squabbling with each other, and with their own parties, when they should have been working for the people of Wales.
Instead, the Labour government in Cardiff Bay and the Tory government in Westminster have taken their eyes off the ball, and people in our communities are feeling the consequences.
Just this week, vehicle manufacturer Calsonic Kansei announced 95 job losses at its car plant in Llanelli, as a result of “market instability caused by political and economic conditions.”
Let us be in no doubt about what this is. This is the real life impact of Westminster’s Brexit chaos. And the more this chaos drags on, the deeper the damage done to our communities.
This is what we’re used to from Westminster, isn’t it? Shameless negligence which leaves us behind. For the likes of May and Corbyn, Brexit is the icing on the cake.
In fewer than five weeks’ time, voters across Wales will unexpectedly find themselves going to the polls to elect their members of the European Parliament.
This election must serve as a turning point.
It is our opportunity to tell Westminster politicians that we are sick to the back teeth of their arrogance and incompetence.
It is our opportunity to tell them that our communities and our families deserve and demand more than the mess they’re offering.
It is our opportunity to make Wales matter.
As a nation, we surely now see that there is no other choice than to take this opportunity while we have it.
Indeed, the opportunity this European election presents us is a choice that we as a nation must now make.
Are we content to continue to let Westminster politicians mismanage us, underfund us, and neglect us? Will we allow them to let our communities wither on the vine while they carry on as normal?
Or will we see that it is only us who can make our nation the best in the world? Will we boldly take our future into our own hands?
Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn would have you believe that the most important question is what shade of Brexit we’ll have – be it Tory Blue, Labour Red, or a sad mix of both.
But make no mistake: the choice we face in this election is about the very future of our nation.
Plaid Cymru’s vision for Wales is as a proud, independent nation at the heart of Europe, with our own seat at the table, and a voice we use for the benefit of our communities, our industries, and our families.
And I believe that that is what a growing number of people in Wales want too.
Our future can be bright. We can give our children and grandchildren the best education in the world. We can make sure that all of us can see our doctors on time. We can boost our jobs and our industries.
We can do all this and more if only we choose to. Together, we can make Wales matter by showing the Westminster parties that we reject the dim future they offer, and instead, embracing a brighter, better path.
We all know that there are people out there who would happily see Wales torn out of the EU, regardless of the consequences.
There are those who are so hellbent on Brexit that they simply do not care about its effect on our manufacturing base, our hill farmers, our universities, and much more besides.
There are also those who are so ambivalent that they would be quite content to simply wave Brexit through. Indeed, they would be content to facilitate it.
I cannot accept that. Plaid Cymru will not accept that.
We reject this false choice precisely because we know the damage that Brexit would wreak on our nation.
That is why we have been consistent from the very beginning. We didn’t vote to trigger Article 50 and we didn’t vote for Theresa May’s shoddy deal.
And while Jeremy Corbyn has made a laughing stock of his own party’s policy in favour of another referendum, we were among the first to throw our support behind the People’s Vote campaign.
So here we are, at the edge of this Brexit cliff, and the choice before is stark.
We can have more Brexit chaos with the broken Westminster establishment. Or we can make Wales matter with a vote for Plaid Cymru.
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