Article written by Edward Sumner
Politics in Wales isn’t working, the people of Wales are feeling neglected and ignored. Since 2016 the electorate have been told they didn’t know what they voted for and derided as ignorant and wrong for voting the way they did. The notion of the Welsh people wanting to be part of an independent United Kingdom has been scoffed at time and time again. This must change.
It’s clear and obvious to see why this is the case though as currently only 3 MPs voted to leave out of 40, 10 AMs voted to leave the EU out of 60 and 2 MEPs voted to leave the EU out of 4. So of 104 senior politicians in Wales only 15 voted to leave the EU. In other terms, only 15.6% of politicians (excluding councillors) voted and supported the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. It no wonder that the Welsh Government, in the little bubble that they live in, have said that they will campaign for remain if a second referendum is forced upon us.
Wales must have a political revolution of sorts, one that puts real representation into office. As once Brexit is delivered Wales must have politicians who are prepared to be radical, to make the most of the opportunities that Brexit presents and with further powers being devolved, now would be the right time for this great nation to be more competitive than the rest of the UK. With tax raising (or lowering) powers now being devolved, with the right tax cuts, this could turn Wales into the investment hub that is the envy of the rest of the United Kingdom. This coupled with harmful EU regulations being cut, freeing our market from being strangled of vital job creating oxygen, should and would turn Wales into an economic powerhouse like never seen before in this nation.
Unfortunately, this won’t happen with our current crop of politicians. How can our elected officials take advantage of something that they see no advantages to? The UK’s exiting of the European Union should be a liberating one, not something treated as toxic. If it is treated as such, then the true benefits will never be reaped by the Welsh people, something which would be sacrilege considering the ever more powers being devolved back to us. We need radical, daring and opportunistic politicians in the Senedd, not the drab, uninspiring current set we are stuck with at this
moment in time.
There are two options for a post Brexit Wales. The first is to take the chances and liberation of our exit with both hands and show the rest of the United Kingdom just how Brexit can be done well and have wonderful job creating benefits or we can hark back to the old and tired tune of wanting to rejoin the European Union, whilst ignoring any potential opportunities and benefits leaving presents us. If we do the latter, I fear for the future of Wales, as it could very well be left behind a prosperous England. The only option is to be radical and go global, however, I believe we need a new generation of politicians for this ambition to be realised.