Before I start my speech, I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Steffan Lewis, the Plaid Cymru Assembly Member, who very sadly passed away on Friday. At just 34, he still had so much to contribute. He was, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the party’s best minds. His inspirational vision for lifting Wales’s status in the world reached across the political divide. His influence and legacy will endure beyond our political lifetimes. We miss you, Steff.
The Prime Minister and her inner circle have reached endgame. They have run out of road in the project of misinformation, arm twisting and semantic chicanery, of “my way or no way” and of partnership proffered as the gateway to the future of her precious Union. She says she is reaching out across party boundaries, but it is just too little, too late. The spirit of acknowledging another vision, a vision of the respect implicit in the sweet moderation of compromise—sadly, such politics are beyond her. Her gaze has a way of swivelling back to the Brexiteers, fossilised in the strata of her own party. The rest of us, and especially the voices of Wales, have been invisible and unheeded. Here is a concept of parliamentary democracy in the age of devolution reduced to the absurd.
The Prime Minister claims that no solutions other than hers have been proffered or are, indeed, possible. This tired political gambit now looks desperate. It has neither credibility nor veracity. When we plead with her to give the people a final say on the biggest question of our generation, as many of us have, she commands us to honour the result of the Brexit referendum, yet in 1997 she voted against legislation to establish the National Assembly for Wales, and in 2005 she stood on a manifesto calling for another referendum, with the option to overturn the previous result.
History has shown that the Prime Minister is very much prepared to go back to the people of Wales, so why not Europe?