IN POLITICS there is often an easy path and a hard path. If the easy path was always the right way, then the job we do as elected representatives in the Senedd would be simple.

In fact, we would hardly be needed at all.

That is why this week I took the hard path and joined calls for a people’s vote on Brexit.

Like shoppers in Pontypool Market, as reported in last week’s Free Press, more and more of us want the opportunity to have a say on the final Brexit deal.

Campaigners in the market found that the vast majority of those that took part in their survey favoured a people’s vote.

The survey also found that no one thought the government’s handling of the negotiations were going well or that Brexit would bring prosperity.

I accept and respect that Wales voted to leave the European Union. But, as is increasingly become clear, the offer that was made to people at the time of the 2016 referendum is never going to be delivered on.

Instead of leaving being ‘cost free’ and ‘the easiest thing ever’ - it is going to cost the UK a minimum of a £50 million divorce bill, that we will still be paying in 2064.

And that is before we even consider the cost now in higher prices and low growth, even before we’ve left - a cost that the Centre for European Reform estimates at £500 million a week.

Unless we find a way out of this mess, we will have the worst kind of Brexit of all.

A ‘no deal’ Brexit that will destroy our manufacturing in Wales and devastate our health service.

A ‘no deal’ Brexit that will decimate our automotive, aerospace and agricultural sectors.

A ‘no deal’ Brexit that will destroy jobs at companies like Arvin Meritor in Cwmbran who depend on just-in-time manufacturing.

It is workers at companies like Arvin Meritor whose jobs, mortgages and children’s futures are at stake in these negotiations.

That is why I, like the shoppers in Pontypool, would like to see a people’s vote on the final deal.

A people’s vote will not be a repeat of the 2016 referendum but a vote on the actual deal.

The advocates of Brexit got the right in 2016 to negotiate for us to leave.

We should have the right now to tell them that what they are offering is not good enough compared to what we have today.

A people’s vote is the one way we have to unite to get us out of this mess.

With the weakness of the prime minister and the aggressiveness of the Brexiteers it is not the easy path, but I think it is right path.

It is time we dropped the party political bombast and showed leadership, even if it is hard.