Today marks five years since the Brexit referendum. This day will always mark a difficult and sad day for me, as it does for so many across the country.
I fought with my heart and soul, alongside many of you in Cardiff North, to remain a part of the EU to protect our communities, jobs, livelihoods, security, climate standards, food protections and to retain our cultural and linguistic connections and relationships. Unfortunately we finally left the EU at the beginning of this year and we now there is a duty on us to strive to build a strong and collaborative relationship with our closest friends and allies.
So we have had to look towards the sort of relationship we want with our closest neighbours and how we forge a better future. We have had to look to ensuring that, as a country, we look outwards and embrace our closest neighbours and allies and that we continue to stand for openness, equality and European co-operation, maintaining those values we shared as part of the EU.
Many of us are still working hard to achieve this, but we face an uphill battle as this Conservative Government continues to pedal a divisive, intolerant agenda and is hellbent on delivering a Brexit that fails everyone – regardless of how you voted.
Despite the mantra of “Getting Brexit Done”, the harsh reality is that 5 years on, we are still years away from completing that process. This UK Government continues to threaten peace and security as it puts the Northern Irish peace process in jeopardy, putting its own political ambitions before people and place.
Needing to move forward does not mean we have to accept the huge uncertainties that go with this Brexit decision:
- Increased uncertainty for EU Citizens, especially as we approach the EU Settlement Scheme deadline next week.
- Increased instability in Northern Ireland.
- Sectors suffering and businesses struggling to compete with European competitors and battling red tape and border delays.
- Trade deals that pull the rug out from our Welsh farmers and rural communities.
- Culture, the arts, and education are being undermined by the loss of frictionless travel, arts funding, and withdrawal from the Erasmus exchange programme to the Horizon research and innovation project.
This is by no means what was promised.
I will continue to fight hard and stand up for Cardiff North against the impact of this Tory hard Brexit, for the open and inclusive country with the sorts of progressive values that we all want to see.
I want to express my deep thanks to everyone who has fought hard over the last five years and who is continuing to work hard to ensure a close relationship with Europe and to ensure that we are spreading a message of hope and unity in the face of divisiveness and intolerance.
I will continue to work with all of you to fight for a better future for all.
Thank you 🇪🇺🌍🏴.