Home Opinion Welsh Parliament Debates Independence

Welsh Parliament Debates Independence

The Welsh Parliament (Senedd) debated a motion for independence on the 15th of July.

Many people in the UK are aware of how precarious our position as a nation has become, with separatist parties active in all four of the home nations. However, the parties in both England and Wales have never been the heavy hitters found in Scotland or Northern Ireland. This is due to Wales and England being more closely related in terms of culture than the other two nations of the Union.

UKWiki at English Wikipedia / Public domain

This sentiment however, is beginning to shift (in Wales at least). The Welsh nationalist party of Plaid Cymru is the driving force behind the idea of independence. Founded in 1925 they believe in a Wales separate to the UK.

For most of their history they were little more than a footnote in local politics, things began to go wrong (as they often do) when the devolved assemblies were created. Like the SNP, Plaid was able to gain local seats in the Welsh Assembly and use them as a catapult to win national seats in Westminster.

So, the obvious question is; “If the Assembly is debating independence, it must surely be popular?” Well, no. The current poll indicates that 25% of the Welsh population is in favour of independence, though this has increased 4 points since January. The increase in support has come from Wales’ perceived better handling of the Coronavirus crisis.

So, while only a fraction of the Welsh population support independence, it will be important for the UK government and the other mainstream parties to prevent Wales from going the way of Scotland with large support for independence.