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Our response to the UK General Election

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Peter Gilbey


The people of Wales and the UK have made it absolutely clear that they are not willing to give this Government a mandate for a hard Brexit. In Wales, two thirds of voters have voted for parties that, at the very least, wish to remain within the single market. Any UK government must take that into account.

The rebuff to the government from voters is in large part a result of the government’s insistence on ignoring the views of nearly half the country that voted for Remain in 2016.

The result has also been a measure of the anger felt by younger voters who thought their own futures had been compromised by last year’s referendum and the prospect of more years of austerity. This new sense of engagement by young people must be encouraged in the interests of our democracy.

Volunteers from Wales For Europe, Open Britain and many other pro-European organisations have also worked hard to ensure that our views and those of our supporters are well represented in the new Parliament. We thank them all for their contribution. We also welcome the fact that tactical voting has been more effective than many imagined.

Even if the government survives, its authority to conduct the Brexit negotiations is sharply diminished. That being the case, it is concerning that in her first pronouncements, the Prime Minister has made no attempt to acknowledge the implications of the result or to reach out to the other parties.

The government cannot proceed with the negotiations with the EU as if nothing had happened. A hard Brexit has been swept off the table as a negotiating objective. It would not survive a Parliamentary vote in the new Parliament.

The start of negotiations must be postponed to allow the process of forming a government to run its course, to allow time for a fundamental reassessment of the UK’s position and a new round of consultation with the devolved governments.

Wales For Europe is working with volunteers in groups across Wales. Please join us now. Details of events and meetings are available on our website.


For further media information and for interviews, please contact:

Helen Birtwhistle, Director, Wales For Europe