The opening sentence of Martin Shipton’s piece says it all: Wales is facing an existential crisis. And it will come as no surprise to many that it has been Brexit that has triggered that crisis.
We in the broad European movement in Wales fully accept that, at the 2019 General Election, Boris Johnson won a clear mandate to get Brexit done. But that mandate was on the basis of the Withdrawal Agreement that Johnson negotiated, signed, and put to both Parliament and the electorate. That mandate was for a deal to be agreed with the EU; that food, agricultural and animal welfare standards would be maintained; that there would be no erosion of standards on workers’ rights and consumer protection; and that the rights of our Welsh Government and the other devolved administrations would be respected.
The Internal Market Bill traduces every one of those principles.
Moreover, the vision of global Britain set out by the Conservatives in that election is unachievable if the UK’s reputation as a responsible player on the world stage – one that sticks by its word in international agreements – is undermined. To tear up an agreement that the UK has freely entered into does incalculable damage to Britain’s standing in the world.
So if they are to be true to their mandate, Wales’ Conservative MPs must now work to give us what we were promised. That means working to achieve a deal that respects those principles and utterly rejecting a Bill that intentionally breaches international law, and among other things represents an existential threat to the Good Friday Agreement.
Will Wales’ Conservative MPs now honour the mandate on which they were elected?