Monday, 7 October 2019

Plaid edges closer to LDs on Remain, but oh! so slowly

Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru, and many of his candidates, would like to have seen his party adopt a clear policy of revoking the Article 50 letter. They would thus have brought their manifesto for the next general election* into line with that of the Liberal Democrats. Instead, the Swansea conference just ended opted for a watered-down version which implicitly leaves open the possibility of an agreed EU exit - on Plaid terms, of course. Since the EU negotiating team has shown itself unwilling to accept any new deal which departs from the May-Barnier withdrawal agreement, this is in effect a Remain policy, but it gives their candidates in supposedly Leave areas some wiggle-room.

It is noticeable that the BBC, in their coverage of the conference, has not made the debates themselves available, instead concentrating on the stump speeches and reactions from (presumably selected) ordinary members. The suspicion must be that the party wanted to avoid any adverse references to the Liberal Democrats or Greens while discussions about electoral cooperation in Wales were taking place in Westminster. There must have been attacks from the Plaid conference floor, just as there are grave suspicions from core Welsh Liberal Democrats about the implications of a stitch-up born in Westminster. One trusts that the Welsh Liberal Democrat AGM is not similary censored. It is surely better to have any differences aired, even if a temporary d├ętente may eventually be arrived at.

* For the present parliament, the parties are at one in calling for a confirmatory referendum, or "People's Vote".

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