Plaid Cymru appear to have descended into complete madness, over and above the bizarre pitch to Wales which they offered in the wake of the referendum result. Plaid Cymru decided to introduce a vote into the Senedd to oppose the triggering of the Article 50 process unless a few empty and meaningless ‘assurances’ were offered on ‘participation’ in the single market which the Assembly couldn’t possibly expect to enforce.
The idea behind this move is similar to the joint paper produced by Labour and Plaid Cymru, effectively offering their meaningless opinions on what the most ardent remainers would like from Britain’s exit from the European Union, namely to not leave at all. The completely fabricated narrative put forward by Leanne Wood in another attempt to mimic the SNP, that only Plaid Cymru are standing up for Wales’ interests is especially sinister considering some of the statements made by Leanne Wood in the aftermath of June 23rd.
When I wrote about Leanne Wood’s belief that Wales voting to leave the UK, despite almost no support for independence, would magically make the country change its mind, vote in favour of EU membership, Euro membership, Schengen membership and all the other nastiness that is now required of new EU members prior to accession, I believed she had made a tactical mistake and that as the position became ever-more untenable she would simply consign her words to the tactical blunder bin. Now it is clear she actually means it, which should worry everybody who believes in accepting results of democratic referenda.
Why was this vote so sinister? Precisely because of the word ‘participation’. There is much confusion about how Britain’s trade relationship with the EU will end up. Will we leave the single market and sign a Free Trade Agreement on terms offered to most countries outside of the European continent, access but not membership? Will we remain members of the single market, accept freedom of movement, all EU regulation on our domestic markets and accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, or will we end up with no deal and continue our trading relationship through World Trade Organisation rules? Well guess what, Plaid Cymru’s motion, if accepted, would answer none of these questions.
‘Participation’, as Mark Reckless, Ukip AM for South East Wales so powerfully points out below is a weasel phrase. It neither encourages membership or access and thus completely avoids the whole economic debate around leaving the EU. It is just another attempt to virtue-signal, in an age where apparently outright rejection of majority opinion is something to be proud of. The Assembly were right to vote it down. This is just another example of Plaid Cymru’s madness, a party that since the 23rd of June would rather dissolve the people and elect another in their place than accept the result from the electorate already there.