THERESA May should overcome her "fear of a few dozen backbenchers" and secure a soft Brexit for the good of the country, the Carwyn Jones has said.

Spreading at an event in London today, Mr Jones said, while the UK had voted to leave the EU he did not believe there was majority support for a hard Brexit.

He accused the UK Government of presiding over a course of action "likely to end with an outcome where the UK neither has its cake, nor gets the chance to eat it" with "the very real possibility of a catastrophic no-deal Brexit".

He also said he would be prepared to back a referendum on the final deal - but only if it was rejected by Parliament and a subsequent General Election was "inconclusive".

Mr Jones said it was time to "go back to the drawing board, rub out the red lines and argue for a dynamic and positive relationship with the single market".

He added: "When I hear some of the hardline Brexiteers say, 'well you know there will be a short term price to pay but we will be OK in the long run' - people were not told that two years ago.

"I'm not prepared to accept a decline in our economy, a decline in living standards, in incomes, decline in investment, purely to satisfy ideological desires of some."

He said the Brexit deal should "retain alignment with the single market as a regulatory space; and a new, durable, customs union with the EU".

Mr Jones continued: "My message to the prime minister is clear.

"Use the opportunity presented by the white paper to change direction, to challenge Monsieur Barnier and the EU27 to make good on their promises that it is our red lines that prevent a very different future partnership; and to be led by the national interest, not by fear of a few dozen backbenchers."

Wales voted to leave the EU by a greater margin than the UK as a whole in 2016, with 52.5 per cent backing Leave, compared with 51.9 per cent across the UK.