Politics Watch

Is Welsh independence on the cards?

By Hefin Rees Edwards

The new leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price, recently commented that Welsh independence would be more likely after Brexit. He spoke about how a no-deal or hard Brexit would be disastrous for Wales and this could see Labour voters turning to Plaid in the aftermath of such an event.

Price noted that after Brexit, Wales would be left at the ‘mercy of Westminster’. Scottish independence and Irish reunification would become more likely if there is to be no deal with the EU, and that Welsh independence would be the only way to secure Wales’ future post-Brexit. Price sees independence as not simply an end goal but as “the only sustainable solution”. He says “only through having our hands on the levers of that power will we be able to deliver back the kind of society people want”.

He claims that if Plaid Cymru won control of the Senedd in the 2021 elections, his government would “put a Welsh Independence Referendum Act on the statute book at the earliest possible opportunity”.

Opting for a famous Barack Obama slogan at the conference, Price stated “Yes Wales Can”; he says post-Brexit is an opportunity to “Win a new Wales”. The new Plaid leader also compared the current state of the UK to the “last days of the Hapsburg Empire [where] the centre cannot hold.”

Price recently spoke at the SNP conference where he backed calls for a second referendum on Brexit. “A cliff-edge, cataclysmic, hard Brexit would be incredibly destructive to the people of Wales. It’s being promoted by people who do not care what happens to our communities”. He also praised the SNP’s ability to dislodge the Labour hegemony in Scotland and saw them as inspiration for his own party in Wales.

While support for independence is still a minority position in Wales, findings from the latest Future of England Survey suggest that support has increased from 7% to 19% in the space of a year. The research also found that a clear majority of English Conservatives would support Scottish independence (79%) or the collapse of the Irish peace process (75%) as the price of Brexit.

The issue of Brexit seems to be cutting through old unionist ties, something which Price is sure to try and capitalise on by putting Welsh independence firmly at the forefront of his agenda.

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  • Scottish independence is a certainty. Reunification in Ireland is a certainty. Welsh Independence is a certainty. The Union ruling parties of Westminster and English dominated political authority of the ‘elite’ is coming to an end. Where in the world is it stil OK to normalise one nation (England) governing another (Wales) / others (Scotland/Northern Ireland) under the falsity of the ‘Union’ and ‘being British’, continue to impose English rule over NI after carving up a sovereign country (Ireland)? This is not normal. England has made a rod for its own back and old ghost from the past are coming back to haunt it. Ask the question, why is not governing England as an independent country in its own right not good enough for the English ? English rule over the world during the colonial era and British empire has dissolved, it’s a thing of the past. Wales was the first country to be overtaken and subsequently, I believe will be the last to unshackle herself from the English. Brexit has highlighted the disparity in the ‘Union’ and slowly but steadily people in our nations are awakening from their deep deep sleep to put some of the past wrongs, right.

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