Welsh Assembly Brexit debate dubbed a "waste of time"
Welsh Assembly members are debating a motion to condemn a no-deal Brexit.
The move was initiated by the Welsh Government, which opposes Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. The vote is not binding and would only be a symbolic gesture.
They’ve joined forces with the Scottish Government, and the Holyrood Parliament is debating the same motion at the same time in a first for the devolved administrations.
At a press conference, First Minister Mark Drakeford said “The purpose of all of that is to try to – one more time – get over to the UK government the views of devolved administrations, that we cannot sign up to a proposition in which we would leave the European Union without a deal.”
Those who are seeking to stop Brexit are encouraged by the motion. Peter Gilbey, head of Wales in Europe, said “It’s important. Throughout the Brexit process, the devolved nations and governments have been consistently antagonised and ignored by Theresa May’s Government.
It doesn’t really have any legal weight, but the political significance very meaningful especially as it’s taking place at the same time as the vote in Scotland.”
The move has frustrated advocates of the UK’s departure from the European Union. John Harrison from Vote Leave Wales said “It’s symptomatic of the flaws of the current Welsh Assembly. Wales is a Leave country. This debate will have no impact whatsoever on the UK Government. It’s self-indulgent, it’s a waste of time, it’s grandstanding – they’ve got more important things to be doing with their time”.
The measure is expected to pass with Labour, Plaid Cymru and the sole Liberal Democrat voting in favour, with UKIP and the Conservatives set to vote against.