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Plaid Cymru and Labour coalition deal could produce ‘route map’ to independence, says politics prof

30 Mar 2021 2 minutes Read
Adam Price picture by Plaid Cymru. Mark Drakeford picture by CPMR – Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CC BY-SA 2.0).

A coalition deal between Plaid Cymru and Labour could produce a “route map” to independence, according to a politics professor.

Professor Laura McAllister of Cardiff University told Matt Chorley on Times Radio that it could happen in the event of a hung parliament following the upcoming Senedd election.

She also argued that Welsh independence is “a way off” and that a referendum would be “dangerous” for Plaid to attempt in the first term in power because they would be unlikely to win.

The comments follow reports of fears in the UK Government that Welsh Labour could agree to independence referendum.

McAllister was asked by Chorley if in the event of a hung parliament Welsh Labour would accept a demand for one as “the price of the support of Plaid”.

The professor said: “Well I think that’s a way off to be perfectly honest.”

‘Movement towards’ 

She added: “I think that if Plaid Cymru does better than many of us anticipate at this stage… then it’s quite possible that it can agitate for a movement towards a referendum.”

But she suggested that this would likely be a “route map” and not a referendum itself.

Prof McAllister argued it would be a “strange strategic choice” for Plaid Cymru to attempt a referendum within the time scale of a hypothetical first coalition.

She said: “For a party like Plaid Cymru that is a heck of a risk to take.”

She added: “I don’t think Labour would buy that for a moment.”

Last Sunday First Minister Mark Drakeford told the Andrew Marr Show “I believe in the United Kingdom.

“I think that Wales’s future is best secured through participating in a successful United Kingdom and I think the United Kingdom is better for having Wales in it.

He added: “When you begin to ask them what do they mean by independence, then I think what they describe is what we describe in the Labour Party.”

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