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German media reports that Wales could become independent

19 Jan 2021 3 minute read
Picture by the Welsh Government

The German media is reporting that Wales could become independent.

Hamburg-based Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency wrote a piece, that was used by several sites, on the future of the union in the wake of Brexit, which suggested the UK could fall apart.

One outlet to use it was Der Spiegel, one of “continental Europe’s most influential magazines” according to The Economist, which said “calls for independence” are “gaining ground” in Wales.

The article quoted Professor Robert Hazell, a constitutional lawyer from University College London who said that Scotland becoming independent could have a knock-on effect in other parts of the union too.

He said: “There are already strong signals of increasing support for a referendum in Northern Ireland on reunification with Ireland.

“Johnson’s promise of a ‘Global Britain,’ strong and free because of Brexit, would turn out to be wrong.”


‘Playing with fire’

The headline of the article on Der Spiegel says: “The [UK] Government is playing with fire”.

It is followed by: “Prime Minister Johnson is hoping for a globally successful UK after Brexit – but the nation could fall apart. The Scots are working on the next attempt at secession. Others could follow.”

The news story said that things have changed since Scotland voted no to independence in 2014.

This includes the Brexit referendum in 2016 where Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain but has been taken out of the EU anyway because the UK as a whole voted to leave.

Kirsty Hughes, director of the Scottish Council on European Relations think tank in Edinburgh, both the pro-independence and the pro EU movements in Scotland have demographics on their side.

She told the DPA: “For people under 35 years of age, 70 or 80 percent are for independence and for the EU.”

Top pollster John Curtice from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow said that Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is viewed as much more competent in dealing with the pandemic than the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

He said: “The prime minister is known to not care too much about the details. Sturgeon, on the other hand, sounds like the chief medical officer, like a top scientist.”

In Dresden-based Sächsische Zeitung the headline reads: “Is Britain turning into Little Britain?”

The subdeck follows: “No sooner has the kingdom separated from the EU than new trouble threatens the island. Because the Scots want their independence.”

The article adds: “And in Wales, too, calls for independence gained popularity.”

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