Assembly AMs who represent the South Wales Central constituency (which includes Penarth) have clashed in the Welsh Assembly in a totally futile debate over the UK Government’s controversial Brexit withdrawal bill: [AMs perorations have no bearing on any decision being made in Westminter]
Presiding Officer Elin Jones justified the debate by saying that it would have been “unbelievable” for AMs not to have had their say.
An arch-remainer – the Conservative AM David Melding, who lives in Penarth, – suggested that Britain needed to get out of the EU so that (somewhat improbably) it could move on and “get back in”.
Melding – apparently impervious to the overwhelming wish of the people of Wales to Leave the EU – said “Now is the time to accept the reality of our departure from the EU, however difficult it is for those of us who’ve seen Europe as so essential to our national prosperity. We need to move on, then we can get back in.”
However UKIP Assembly leader Gareth Bennett (South Wales Central) said some members of the Assembly were showing an “utter contempt for democracy”.
Bennett said “There is no point in Labour and Plaid Cymru calling for another referendum because they don’t want to respect the result of the first one.” . He said that Conservative Assembly Leader Paul Davies had been “right on this point. The people of the UK have spoken, the people of Wales have already spoken.”
Turning his fire on Labour and Plaid Cymru – an ignoring the comments of Conservative AM David Melding – Bennett said “Today both Labour and Plaid Cymru are showing their utter contempt for democracy and their contempt for the intelligence of the British people.”
Labour AM for Torfaen, Lynne Neagle, (who lives in Penarth) said she had been given “special dispensation” by the Welsh Labour group to support Plaid Cymru’s ‘People’s Vote’ amendment.
She said “As a patriot never afraid to be both Welsh and British, and intensely proud of both, I will be arguing in the campaign to come for the only option that is right for our people, whether in the valleys of Gwent, the terraces of Cardiff or the farms of Ceredigion – to stay. To stay as a great country that is not afraid of its place in the world. To stay proud of our values of internationalism and openness.To stay true to our sense of self as a place where people matter more than ideology ever will.”
At the conclusion of the 2 hour debate 34 AMs bacled backed a [ totally symbolic] Plaid Cymru amendment. which rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal – and that is now the Assembly’s official position.
At the conclusion of the debate the Presiding Officer Plaid Cymru AM Elin Jones – who is supposed to be impartial – said she hoped MPs in Westminster would now take account of what AMs had decided.