The UK government should only have a mandate to leave the European Union if all four constituent parts of the UK vote to leave in the forthcoming referendum, Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has told a debate in the European Parliament.
MEPs were debating the renegotiation deal in Strasbourg with European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker in preparation for the key European Summit of 18 – 19 February.
Jill Evans said:
"I represent Wales and EU membership has brought us positive economic, social and cultural benefits. I also believe that the EU has benefitted from having Wales as a member.
"There is a great deal about the EU I would like to change. But we can only do that by working with our European partners - to improve policy and make the EU more effective and more responsive.
"We are far better off working for change from within than shouting from the side-lines.
"The UK Government wants more subsidiarity. So do I. Which is why the proposed changes to be discussed in Council must too be fully considered in terms of their impact on the devolved governments of the UK.
"There must be a proper debate involving those governments and I regret the UK government has not done that to date. It's a matter of democracy and fairness.
"My party, Plaid Cymru, is committed to remaining in the EU. I believe the majority of people in Wales want that too.
"And if Wales votes to remain in, we should not be dragged out against our democratic will. That is why we have called for a mandate to leave only if the four constituent parts of the UK agree to leave.
"I want to really engage people in an open, honest, fact-based and mature debate because it's a decision that will affect many generations to come."