Senedd rejects motion backing Welsh independence referendum if no-deal Brexit goes through

Senedd Members at work. Picture from Senedd TV

The Welsh Parliament today voted to reject an amendment calling for a referendum on Welsh national sovereignty, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The amendment, introduced by independent AM Neil McEvoy, said that ‘if the Withdrawal Agreement Bill leads to a no-deal Brexit, there should be a referendum on Welsh national sovereignty.’

The amendment lost by 8 votes to 43. One Assembly Member abstained.

Neil McEvoy said it was the first time in history that a Welsh legislature has taken a vote on whether or not to hold a referendum on Welsh Sovereignty. Plaid Cymru however said they had previously introduced a motion that called for ‘looking at all options for Wales’s constitutional future, including independence’ in September.

Mr McEvoy’s amendment was added on to a motion introduced by the Labour Government and Plaid Cymru calling for a rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill as introduced to Westminster by Boris Johnson’s government.

“Labour and Plaid Cymru have brought a motion to the Welsh Parliament calling for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, that will pave the way for Brexit, to be rejected as it stands,” Neil McEvoy said.

“But they have not given any detail in their motion about what they would like to see instead.

“So I’ve introduced an amendment to give the Welsh legislature a clear alternative and way forward. In the event of a no deal Brexit there should be a referendum on Welsh national sovereignty. That’s the referendum Wales really needs.

“Then our country can move on from the mess in Westminster and push on as a proud nation standing on its two feet.”

Withdrawal

Assembly members also stated their opposition to Boris Johnson’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill making its way through the House of Commons.

A majority of AMs voted 37 to 16 against the legislation.

Their motion said that the legislature “does not agree to the UK parliament enacting the Withdrawal Agreement Bill as introduced in the House of Commons”.

Labour and Plaid Cymru supported the motion, with the Conservatives and Brexit Party opposing it. However the Welsh Assembly’s vote on the matter will not bind the UK Government.

Meanwhile, at Westminster, MPs voted 322 versus 308, with a majority of 14, to reject the PM’s bid to fast-track his Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

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Anthony MitchellDr John Balljr humphrysRhosdduvicky moller Recent comment authors
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@convention.cymru
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@convention.cymru

Vote first then plan is the wrong way round. That’s what was wrong with the Brexit Referendum. Plan BEFORE you vote. Hold an all-Wales convention. To decide what our Indy would look like. Standard civilised Written Constitution, like all the other sensible places? Any Act passed by the Assembly should provide for a Convention in which our representatives would think and plan before we vote. Once Wales starts looking at its own Written Constitution, Indy is a lot less scary because its shape is known. Not unknown.

Jonathan Gammond
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Jonathan Gammond

Whether Britain crashes out, falls out, stumbles out or leaves the EU in an orderly fashion, no government of any country that embarks on this amount of constitutional change can be truly sure of what the consequences will be. The rules of the game have been torn up, old loyalties questioned and new ones have and will come to the fore. Any one with much knowledge of history will be more than aware of this. Since the supporters of Leave have given the impression that they forgot about Northern Ireland in their excitement; you have to ask what else they… Read more »

Simon Gruffydd
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Simon Gruffydd

Tying a Welsh independence referendum to the Brexit fiasco is foolish. Holding a referendum before we are reasonably certain the majority of voters will back independence is mind-numbingly stupid. It would set Welsh independence back decades if unsuccessful. Perhaps that’s their desired outcome.

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

Most likely goal.

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

Normally I’d agree, but McEvoy doesn’t play those sort of games, and seems sincere about supporting independence. Hard to say whether this was premature or not, but it seemed a good idea to put things in place while waiting for events to unfold, and in the end they’ll have to come back to it.

Dr John Ball
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Dr John Ball

Really? How long do you suggest we wait? Until Cymru finally dies?
Perhaps you should read around the many articles,speeches, blogs, tweets etc clearly presenting the positive arguments.
A referendum will place the full facts before the people of Cymru; the problem of course is the sycophants in the bay are afraid of actually putting the facts to the people.

David Roberts
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David Roberts

Do we know who the 8 votes & the Abstention were?

Dr John Ball
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Dr John Ball

Good question! There are ten Plaid Cymru members, so some explanation is required – there was NO excuse for PC members not to support this motion. We can’t expect anything from the others
BUT is this the same Plaid Cymru suddenly in favour of independence and talking of being being in government
2021? If it wasn’t so sad it would be laughable.

vicky moller
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vicky moller

agreeing to a referendum on independence seems a brilliant idea to gree in the event of a crash out. The ref. would not need to be precipitous but the end point of a nation wide discussion on possible constitutional futures. IWell done Neil for the right idea at th right moment. Funny Assembly voting it down.

jr humphrys
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jr humphrys

Neil is way ahead of these reactionaries. He knows how to push, and push is just the medicine Cymru needs.

Anthony Mitchell
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Anthony Mitchell

Ever since I was 18 and able to vote, I have always voted PC (never cared if they were a majority party or not) apart from my first ever vote which was for the Lib Dems which I regretted as soon as they u-turned on the free education for uni students. For me Adam Price and Neil McEvoy are some of the only sincere politicians I can see at the moment that really stand up for Cymru. I think Neil is a good man and a good politician, he’s not afraid to go against the grain, not for profit, not… Read more »