Plaid Cymru launches EU election campaign with independence call

By Adam Hale, Press Association
Leader Adam Price said Wales had 'spent too long as a nation in the anterooms of history'.

Plaid Cymru has launched its EU election campaign with leader Adam Price using a speech to call for an independent Wales in Europe.

Mr Price said he wanted a future Wales to remain in the EU as a member state, saying Brexit only involved “moving power from one end of the Eurostar to the other.”

On Thursday the Plaid Cymru leader used the campaign launch in Cardiff to say that his party was the only in Wales to “unequivocally” back a confirmatory referendum, and said he wanted to bring an end to Wales being “voiceless and powerless”, by freeing itself from the UK.

Mr Price said: “We passionately want to remain in order to change Wales’ future place and prospects inside the European Union.

“We want to stay in Europe so we can change it, not just for ourselves, but for the future of Europe itself.

“We are a party born of the Welsh nationalist tradition, most certainty. We seek independence for our country. But we want that independence so we can participate directly in the wider world, first and foremost as part of the European family of nations.”

Mr Price said it was a “fantastic metaphor” that Theresa May was left “voiceless and powerless” at last month’s EU Summit as European leaders discussed giving the UK a Brexit extension, saying: “That’s where Wales has been for centuries.”

He added: “Brexit does not represent taking back control for our people. It involves moving power from one end of the Eurostar to the other. At neither end of which do we currently have a seat at the top table.

“We’ve spent too long as a nation in the anterooms of history. It’s time to throw open the doors of our future and take our seat at the table. We want to be listened to because this is our world too, and we have something to say.”

Mr Price called Labour’s commitment to a People’s Vote “slippery, two-faced, and unreliable”, and appealed for Labour voters in Wales wanting to remain in the EU to back his party in the election.

He also linked Brexit with threatening European co-operation to combat climate change, saying he was in favour of the recent Extinction Rebellion protests in London.

The campaign launch saw the party officially unveil four candidates for the election in three weeks’ time, Jill Evans, Patrick McGuinness, Ioan Bellin, and Carmen Smith, who at 23 is one of the youngest candidates standing for any party across the UK.