Wales politics

Wales' European election candidates clash over referendum

The main party representatives
Image caption The eight main party representatives for the European election appeared on the Sunday Politics Wales programme

Candidates for the European election have clashed over whether another Brexit referendum should be held.

The eight main party representatives appeared on a special edition of the Sunday Politics Wales programme.

With four places up for grabs in Wales, none of the candidates know how long they would be in Brussels.

If Prime Minister Theresa May can get her deal through the House of Commons, it is possible that MEPs would not even take their seats.

Dan Boucher, the lead candidate for the Conservatives, said it would be "an uphill battle" for the Prime Minister to get a deal.

He added that the European elections were "a bit of a sideshow" because they would not break the deadlock in Westminster.

On Monday, Labour and Conservatives will resume talks to try to reach a deal in Westminster.

Labour's candidates in Wales said they want another referendum, even though the leadership of the party are lukewarm about the idea.

Jackie Jones, Labour's lead candidate, refuted the claim that her stance was at odds with the party's manifesto.

It says another referendum would only be an option if a deal could not be struck with the Tories and a general election could not be held.

She said: "Jeremy Corbyn has himself said, as has Mark Drakeford, that there is the option of going for a confirmatory referendum."

Other parties are clearer in saying they want another referendum, including the Greens, the Liberal Democrats, the newly formed Change UK party, and Plaid Cymru.

Sam Bennett, from the Liberal Democrats, said a vote for his party is "a vote to stop Brexit".

"We have always been a pro-European party and consistent with that message, and that is reflected in the manifesto," he said.

Plaid Cymru's Jill Evans said that Westminster had been unable to reach a deal and that "politicians have been going around and around in circles".

The Green Party's main candidate for Wales, Anthony Slaughter, quoted the former Brexit Secretary David Davies by saying: "A democracy which cannot change its mind is not a democracy...people are angry that they were lied to."

Change UK's Jon Owen Jones is a former Labour MP.

He told the programme that Labour was no longer a pro-European party and that another vote on the issue was needed because "people were promised an ideal of leaving the European Union which was never deliverable".

But the new kids on the block are Nigel Farage's Brexit party.

Polling suggests they could win more support than any other party throughout the UK. They are unequivocal about delivering on the Brexit referendum vote.

The Party's main candidate in Wales is former UKIP MEP and AM Nathan Gill.

He insisted that leaving the EU without a deal on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms was the only answer because "all it said on the ballot paper was 'leave'".

"It didn't say 'leave closely aligned to the EU', it didn't say 'stay in the single market'."

UKIP's Kris Hicks said he was in despair that the election was taking place at all as the UK should have left the EU in March.

He added that the feeling on the doorstep was that politicians had let down the people and "simply are not listening".

The European Parliament elections in Wales

Image copyright Getty Images

There are eight parties fighting for four Welsh seats in the European elections on 23 May.

Welsh Labour, the Welsh Conservatives, Plaid Cymru, the Welsh Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Green Party are joined by Change UK and the Brexit Party.

You can find a list of candidates here.

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