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Independence referendum before 2030 possible, says Conservative AM

07 Oct 2019 2 minute read
David Melding. Picture by the National Assembly (CC BY 2.0)

A Welsh independence referendum before 2030 is possible if the UK does not reform itself, according to a Conservative AM.

David Melding, who has been an Assembly Member since the Senedd was formed in 1999, said that Plaid Cymru’s aim of holding a referendum before that date wasn’t “entirely fanciful”.

He said that Brexit would make the break up of the UK much more likely, with Scotland possibly going for independence and Ireland reuniting.

In a series of missives published online, titled the Last of the Unionists, he said that the old UK had “drawn to a close”.


“An alternative settlement is now firmly established in the UK,” he said. “ It would spell the end of the UK as we know it.

“An independent Scotland, even a united Ireland in the EU.

“And in Wales Indy-curiosity makes the aspiration of Adam Price to hold an independence referendum by 2030 seem not entirely fanciful.

“Unionists have to realise that the old UK has drawn to a close. Reform or dissolution is what confronts us in the UK.”

He goes on to say: “It is time for Unionists to accept the risks that always accompany profound reform. Time for courage. Time to sing a new song for the Union.”

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Alwyn Evans
Alwyn Evans
4 years ago

When David Melding, one of the few coherent Conservatives in Wales, says this , then you know that it may happen

4 years ago
Reply to  Alwyn Evans

I have a lot of respect for this man, unfortunately plaid are ideologically opposed to working with Tories of his ilk because he is a Tory. Melding is more radical than any Labour Am or diabolical minister in the Gvt

Jonathan Gammond
Jonathan Gammond
4 years ago

The 19th century Conservative party was quite adept at reforming enough to steal the clothes of the Liberal party. In the 20th century it regained this skill in the years after 1945. However Maggie’s children being more ideological have lost the art of pragmatism and it will be quite a feat for them to devise the ideas for a new UK to win back all those who have become so utterly disenchanted with the status quo both economically since 2008 and politically since 2016. If Plaid Cymru can break out of its historic mindset, then who knows what might be… Read more »
4 years ago

David Melding studied at William & Mary in the Commonwealth (State) of Virginia USA. One of very few Welsh politicians who has heard of Constitutional Conventions, the Virginia one having been done in tandem with the US one. Unusually for a Conservative, he doesn’t hold the UK system in some mystical awe – it only dates from 1922 after all. Going to be one of the Founding Fathers of a Free Wales – if he wants to be and if Wales permits it, which we will find out.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
4 years ago

The countries of the UK going their own way may mean the end of the UK in it’s present format but not necessarily the complete end of the Union. If we really want to see equality spread throughout these islands then a new Union of independent countries is the only answer. Unlike the ultra brexiteer view of severing all ties with the EU an independent Wales should not and could not do the same with the rest of Great Britain. How easy that Union will be to achieve depends on England as any independent Wales must be within the EU… Read more »

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