IT was a great change of pace to have SNP conference earlier this week, but this column will be a bit of a report back on where I was earlier, at the Plaid Cymru conference in Aberteifi/Cardigan. I’ve always felt very at home in Plaid and in Wales, with the spelling of my name we’ve more than a little in common, and it was great to be back and see how they’re doing.

Plaid is a sister party of the SNP and our only one. We have a close association, partnership and friendship going back decades, to the times when the first Plaid MP Gwynfor Evans and our own Madame Ecosse – before she was Madame Ecosse – Winnie Ewing were great friends and colleagues at Westminster.

READ MORE: Gwynfor Evans was the first-ever Plaid Cymru MP

We always send someone as fraternal delegate to each other’s conference. This year it was our hard-working MP for Glasgow East David Linden, who made a cracking speech which roused the hall. I was there for a few fringe meetings on Brexit with my great friend Jill Evans MEP. Jill has been a rock for me personally in the last few years (and indeed further back!) as we have tried to make sense of the Brexit madness. Further back, I was lucky enough to be the fraternal delegate in 2007 in what now feels like a parallel universe. The SNP had just taken power in Holyrood as a minority administration, Plaid had just taken power in coalition with Labour as the One Wales government. I was able to say, in Welsh, which I remain very proud of: “I bring you, the government of Wales, greetings and congratulations from the government of Scotland!”

It is fair to say the parties have had two very different experiences since. The big news in Plaid is that over the summer they had a leadership contest, resulting in Adam Price replacing Leanne Wood. I was watching the campaign from a distance and they had what looked like an energising, passionate and fraternal campaign, with Rhun ap Iorwerth also making a strong showing. It looked like the best of Plaid: passion, ideas, commitment to a better Wales. I had a real sense, when chatting to people, that it had been a good campaign and the membership emerged from it engaged and enthused.

Obviously, I’m neutral in who does what in Plaid and I’m a friend of the party. Adam and I go back a long way. I’ve seen him in action in Westminster when he was an MP; in Brussels fighting for Wales and, indeed, in the Senedd. He resigned his seat at Westminster to study at Harvard at the Kennedy School of Government, and came back brimming with ideas. He’s keen to put them into practice.

He has hit the ground running with a strong condemnation of Brexit. Where we had a different campaign in Scotland in the European referendum and voted clearly to remain, the situation in Wales is more nuanced. Wales voted, narrowly, to leave, so the response has had to be different. But that was two years ago now and events since have moved a lot of people in their views.

People have seen the – at best – reckless or – at worst – outright deceitful promises of the Leave campaign shown up for what they are. In taking a clear line against Brexit, Adam has shown real leadership. There’s no good Brexit for anyone, and there’s certainly not a good Brexit for Wales. But it is important to remember, too, that where Wales may have just voted to leave, Plaid members and supporters voted clearly to remain. Adam is on safe ground and has, at a stroke, given Plaid a distinctive and important position in the Welsh debate.

Jill and I have been working hand in glove in Brussels and Strasbourg anyway, but I’m glad that Plaid is now fully committed to fighting Brexit. Adam has also made a smart move in appointing our very own Angus Robertson to do a full review of Plaid’s headquarters, organisation, structure and campaigning. We have a lot of experience in the SNP; it is important we share it and learn from each other.

We don’t know what Scotland’s future holds, nor that of Wales, but we have supported each other through thick and thin in the past and we’ll certainly do so in the future. I’ll continue to watch Plaid with a lot of interest and affection.