“The Welsh as a people have lived by making and remaking themselves generation after generation."

MEP Jill Evans turned to the words of the late academic and historian Gwyn Alf Williams to urge Wales to adapt and rethink its place in the world as it heads towards a departure from the European Union.

Speaking at Plaid Cymru’s spring conference on Saturday, Ms Evans called for Wales to take an “enlightened, tolerant and inclusive” stance as the nation enters the unchartered waters of Brexit.

“We have to create a new Wales,” she said.

Ms Evans again to looked Williams, who died in Drefach Felindre in 1995, as she called for Wales to chart its own course through the shifting political landscape as the Westminster government prepares to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty and begin the UK’s formal divorce from the EU.

"The Welsh have danced among these giant cogwheels before,” she said, quoting Williams’ iconic 1985 work When was Wales?

“That is the challenge that faces us now,” she said.

“In the aftermath of the EU referendum, we have to create a new Wales - a new Wales in Europe.

“Because we always have been and still are a European nation.”

Ms Evans vowed to champion Wales on the continent until the UK’s withdrawal is complete.

"My work as an MEP is to safeguard and promote the interests of Wales and that is exactly what I will do until the day we leave,” she said.

"Our interests are best served by working hand-in-hand with the rest of Europe and beyond."

Ceredigion was one of the few counties in Wales to vote to stay a member of the EU in the June 2016 referendum with 54.6 per cent of voters supporting the Remain campaign.