Call for freedom from ‘dysfunctional’ Westminster as Senedd hold first independence debate
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price will call for Wales to be given a chance to free itself from the “dysfunctionality and ineptitude” of Westminster as the Senedd debates independence for the first time today.
The party will call for the Welsh Parliament to be given the powers to hold a referendum on the subject, a power that is currently held by Westminster.
The latest opinion poll for Welsh independence had support on 25% – a +4 increase since January.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said that Wales had “proven itself” through its independent approach to the Coronavirus crisis but warned against returning to the “status-quo” which had “failed Wales”.
The UK had let Wales down through under-investment and unfair-funding and that Welsh independence could be a “force” to swap the “backwards-looking politics of Westminster” for the “politics of hope, caring and community” of an independent Wales, he said.
He added that only through a Plaid Cymru Government would Wales secure its independence.
Labour and the Conservatives have proposed amendments supporting devolution within the UK.
“Wales has proven itself during the Coronavirus crisis by acting independently to protect our citizens from the dysfunctionality and ineptitude of the Westminster Government,” Adam Price said.
“As we come out of this crisis, we cannot go back to the status-quo. The status quo has failed Wales. Under-investment and unfair funding forms the crux of this unequal union of broken promises – delivered by the Tories at Westminster and defended by Labour through their support for the stagnant status-quo.
“Meanwhile, support for Welsh independence is on the rise and the people of Wales are waking up to the idea that there is another way, another future, another choice. And that choice firmly resides with the people of Wales.
“That’s why we are calling on the Welsh Government to seek the constitutional right to allow the Senedd to legislate during the next term to hold a binding referendum on independence.
“Welsh independence can be a force for good. A force to reject the regressive, insular and backwards-looking politics of Westminster for the politics of hope, of caring and of community that we can all have in our new independent Wales standing tall amongst the other nations of the world.
“It’s time for a change and it is only through a Plaid Cymru Government that that change, and our independence, can be won.”
The motion put forward by Plaid Cymru Arfon MS Sian Gwenllian:
- Notes that the people of Wales have welcomed the ability for Wales to act independently during the coronavirus crisis.
- Recognises the success of independent countries of a similar size to Wales in dealing with the virus.
- Believes that independence would give Wales greater agility and resilience in responding to future challenges.
- Notes the increased support for an independent Scotland and a united Ireland.
- Affirms the right of the people of Wales to decide whether Wales should become an independent country.
- Calls on the Welsh Government to seek the constitutional right to allow the Senedd to legislate during the next term to hold a binding referendum on independence.
Rebecca Evans of Labour has proposed an amendment to the motion saying that the co-ordinated decision-making and messaging by the four administrations within the United Kingdom most effectively addressed the challenges the pandemic presented.
Abolish the Assembly and UKIP Senedd Members Gareth Bennett and Neil Hamilton have proposed amendments to the Plaid Cymru motion calling for the Senedd to be scrapped.
Nail McEvoy of the Welsh National Party has proposed an amendment to the motion suggesting Wales should have its own constitution and bill of rights.
Darren Millar of the Welsh Conservatives has proposed an amendment supporting devolution but recognising the benefits to Wales of being part of the United Kingdom.