Leanne Wood AM has today reiterated her calls for a ratification referendum on any final deal with the European Union, highlighting that wealthy Brexit backers are set to gain whilst working people bear the burden. Ms Wood said that the way Brexit is being implemented is being revealed as an “unmitigated disaster”, especially for Wales and that people should have the final say on a “deal or no deal”.
Ms Wood said that this was not a call for a re-run of the 2016 referendum. Plaid Cymru is a democratic party and accepts that vote, however, she said that as more risks and issues from the lack of pre and post-referendum plans are revealed, people must have an opportunity to reject or accept the way in which we leave. Emphasising that central to democracy is the right for people to change their mind, Ms Wood argued that a rejection could begin a new process which offers a way back towards membership of the EU.
Ms Wood went on to highlight that many of the most vocal Brexit supporters are wealthy advocates of low-tax policies, who look likely to benefit from Brexit. With the UK leaving before the implementation of new EU tax avoidance rules and the potential of tax cuts being introduced in the UK post-Brexit, the most wealthy could be in line for a Brexit windfall, whilst the economy as a whole and working people take a further hit with even more austerity. “The communities and families Brexit will damage most” must have a right to have their say on the final Brexit deal, Ms Wood said.
The Plaid Cymru Leader has been a vocal supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, signing their open letter calling for a referendum on the final deal earlier in the year.
Reaffirming her call for a People’s Vote, Leanne Wood said:
“Let’s just say it how it is. Brexit is bad news for working people, its bad news for business. We know it’s impact on Wales will be worse than almost anywhere else.
“The closer we get to our departure from the EU, the more it is being revealed as an unmitigated disaster. Even the Westminster Government now admits medicines, bank accounts and even food supplies are at risk in a No Deal scenario.
“Even if a deal is struck, there is little to be optimistic about. Billions will be wiped off our economy and opportunities for future generations lost due to the Extreme Brexit being perused by Westminster.
“Put simply, deal or no deal, Wales will be poorer as a result of our exit from the EU. We must have the right to reject a deal that will be harmful to our economy and have a path back into the EU if people in that referendum reject the deal on offer or if they have changed their minds since 2016.
“The costs of an extreme Brexit will not fall on those Leave leaders and donors who are millionaires, but on the shoulders of working people. It stands to handsomely benefit those who knowingly peddle Brexit myths in pursuit of a tax-slashing future for them and their friends. As the EU brings forward anti-tax avoidance measures, at the same time as tax cuts loom as a last ditch attempt to retain big business in the UK, we cannot
let the privileged few who will benefit from an extreme Tory Brexit lead the rest of us of a cliff edge without any further say on the matter.
“The communities and families an extreme or no deal Brexit will damage most must have a right to reject it.”