Packed Ceredigion meeting asks ‘Brexit: What next for Wales?’

A packed public meeting, arranged by the Rhydypennau Branch of Plaid Cymru, was held in Bow Street on Thursday, 10 November, to discuss Brexit and the effect that it will have on Wales.


The lively discussion was chaired by Ceredigion Assembly Member Elin Jones, and speakers included Simon Thomas AM for Mid and West Wales and Jonathan Edwards MP, Wales’ representative on Westminster’s ‘Britain leaving the European Union’ Committee.

The event was attended by well over a hundred people and saw members of the audience raise questions to the Plaid Cymru elected members about what effect Brexit will have on the diverse and European community of Ceredigion.

Elin Jones AM, who chaired the discussion, said:

“This is a politically and economically turbulent time and it is very important that everyone is involved in making decisions for the future of Ceredigion.

“There was a sense in the meeting that big decisions will have a very real impact in our communities in Ceredigion, and that was reflected in some of the very impassioned speakers, both on the stage and in questions from the floor.

“Ceredigion voted to remain in the EU and that viewpoint deserves to be heard. Clearly Ceredigion has much to lose if we leave the EU - our Farmers, our environment, our Universities and our Colleges. We also need to ensure that people from other countries in the EU that have made Ceredigion their home, are given certainty regarding their future as our fellow residents.”

Jonathan Edwards MP spoke of the differences in terms of what Brexit actually means to Wales, and how a ‘Soft Brexit’ would benefit Wales. He said:

“Wales has far more to lose than any other nation in the UK. We are an exporting economy, both within the UK and further afield. The debate is currently between Hard Brexit and Soft Brexit.

“The current Conservative UK Government is pursuing a course of 'Hard Brexit'. The risks of this are far, far greater for Wales than any other UK nation. It’s vitally important for Welsh jobs that we continue our membership of both the single market and the customs union.”

Simon Thomas told the audience that Plaid Cymru is doing everything it can to protect the rights of European residents, whether born in or outside of Wales. He also discussed the work that he and his colleagues were doing in the Assembly to ensure the Welsh national interest. He said:

“Plaid Cymru is calling for a Welsh EU Continuity Bill, to enshrine all existing EU regulations in Welsh law. The Bill would ensure that EU regulations continue to apply in Wales once Brexit is finalised and prevent devolved powers from falling into the hands of the Westminster Government.

“Decisions about Wales should be made in Wales. This is particularly true of laws relating to agriculture and our environment, where Wales has different needs that are not understood by a distant Westminster Government. The EU accounts for over 90% of Welsh agriculture exports, and remaining EU compliant will be essential to maintain that trade.

“However, I will never vote in the National Assembly to leave the European Union or to smooth the passage to exit the EU. Obviously this is a Westminster decision which will greatly affect Wales, so it is important we protect the Welsh national interest.”

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