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