We are now fighting for the very future of Wales as a nation
Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru Westminster leader
Today, during the Queen’s Speech, yet another Conservative Government that Wales did not vote for will set out their agenda for the United Kingdom.
The last Queen’s Speech was a pointless exercise which in reality was nothing more than a manifesto launch for the Conservative Party. Today, however, with an increased majority, this is an opportunity for the Conservative Party to try and prove themselves to Wales.
They have spent the last six weeks capitalising on the frustration felt across the country and presenting themselves as the answer to people’s many justified concerns. They promised that a vote for the Conservatives would ensure a fair deal for Wales and that they would bring prosperity to areas which feel let down and left behind.
This is the first real test of whether they will deliver on their promises and unfortunately, it seems that they will fail at the first hurdle.
When you look beyond the pomp and the pageantry, when you scratch beneath the sprinkling of populist policies, the reality is that behind the facade of Get Brexit Done, the Government lack a credible plan to deliver genuine transformation.
I do not have confidence that they will use this opportunity to improve the lives of the people in my constituency. Instead, it seems they will recycle that last Queen Speech with a smattering of new ideas from a manifesto which was criticised for lacking ambition.
We already know that it will include a damaging combination of a Brexit Bill which will be dreadful for Wales’s economy, an approach to the justice system which will hurt the most vulnerable in our society, policies which will make voting less accessible and a free reign for the Conservative’s on workers’ rights.
Will there be a programme of reconstruction to improve Wales’s crumbling infrastructure?
Will there be a commitment to fair funding for Wales?
Will there be a credible plan to tackle the climate crisis?
If not, the Conservatives will have fundamentally failed to address the issues that years of austerity have wrecked on our communities and will have proven once again that they care little and know even less about our nation.
It is clear that in Wales we stand at crossroads and that we face a stark choice between two visions for our country.
One is the right-wing, inward-looking British nationalism espoused by the Conservative Government in which the very future of devolution is under threat and the British state is remodelled in the image of Brexiteers.
The other is a future in which Wales stands on our own feet and we deliver on the investment our communities so desperately need to build a fairer, more equal and greener society.
This is not hyperbole nor empty political rhetoric. The Conservatives have shown time and time again that they do not respect devolution and are actively dividing Wales into regions of England.
We are in a fight for the very future of Wales as a nation and we cannot be complacent.
Whilst Labour remain divided with their attention once again turned inwards, Plaid Cymru will not let the people of Wales down. We will continue with the vital work of defending our communities and resist all attempts by Westminster to take powers from Wales.
Today I will vote against the Queen’s Speech if it does not deliver for Wales. Given the Conservatives’ record, I have very little faith that it will do so.
In response, we must show that in Wales we can do things differently. That with a Plaid Cymru Government in 2021 and Adam Price as our Frist Minister, we will deliver where both Labour and the Conservatives have failed.