Welsh government officially switches to campaign for Remain

The Senedd in Cardiff Bay. Picture: Tim Ireland/PA Archive/PA Images

The Senedd in Cardiff Bay. Picture: Tim Ireland/PA Archive/PA Images - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The Welsh government has changed position on Brexit and will now be campaigning for the UK to stay in the EU.

Brexit minister Jeremy Miles said that efforts towards an acceptable Brexit had reached "the end of the road".

He said any Brexit deal must now be subject to a public vote, with remaining in the EU on the ballot paper.

The Labour-led government, along with Plaid Cymru, had previously followed a 2017 policy outlined in the White Paper 'Securing Wales' Future', that aimed to find "the least damaging kind of Brexit", as Miles put it.

But the government in Westminster have made this impossible, he said.

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"We as a government must recognise these realities and change course," said Miles. "Parliament should now show the courage to admit it is deadlocked."

Although Wales voted to leave by 52%, public opinion has shifted towards Remain, said Miles.

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An independent report commissioned by the Welsh Local Government Association recently outlined the impact of both a 'soft' and no-deal Brexit on Wales.

READ: Report finds even a soft Brexit would take £700million from Welsh economy

"Of course, there is the chance that a second referendum might lead to the same result as the first," Miles added.

"But we will campaign to remain, working with those within this chamber and outside who share that view."

Mark Reckless, leader of the Welsh Brexit Party, argued that opinion had not shifted in Wales and said: "We took a decision; you refuse to implement it. Why, if you ask people to vote again, would they expect you to implement it any more next time than you have this time?"

A debate and vote on the motion in the Senedd is expected to be passed.

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