European Union Citizenship

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:15 pm on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of Hywel Williams Hywel Williams Shadow PC Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Brexit), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow PC Spokesperson (International Trade) 2:15 pm, 7th March 2018

My hon. Friend makes a very good point. I was going to refer later to the fact that the European Union has helped largely to prevent war on the European continents, although there are obvious exceptions, such as in the former Yugoslavia, which was not a member of the EU. He makes a pertinent point about Saunders Lewis, who had that profound experience in the trenches. It was one reason why he and his friends set up Plaid Cymru in August 1925 in my home town of Preseli, at a meeting of the Eisteddfod. While I am on my feet, I might as well also say that our profound lack of political realism at that time meant that in a country that was almost exclusively non-conformist, teetotal and in favour of the British empire, we had as our president a Francophile, wine-drinking Catholic—I think Machiavelli is still rotating in his grave after that one, but there we are. The roots of our pro-European stance are very deep indeed.