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The campaign for Welsh independence heads to Europe

15 Nov 2023 5 minute read
Welsh flags at the Senedd on St David’s Day. Picture by the National Assembly. (CC BY 2.0)

David Owens

A delegation from Wales is heading to the European Parliament in Brussels to present the case for Welsh independence.

The group will he attending the ICEC (International Commission Of European Citizens) annual conference, where for the first time, a group from Wales will be present to talk about the current Welsh independence campaign on an European stage.

MEPs (Members of the European Parliament), European Commissioners, the international press and delegates from across Europe will be present to listen to presentations by academics and independence campaigners from Scotland, Catalonia, Wales, Flanders, the Basque Country, Veneto, and South Tyrol. Each country has produced a documentary film in their native
languages which will be shown for the first time at the conference.

The aim of the conference is to challenge ancient laws that are still used by former European imperial states to justify and claim political authority over countries which are trapped within these states.

Since YesCymru (The Campaign for Welsh Independence) joined ICEC as full members in March 2023, ICEC_Cymru is sending a delegation from Wales to the EU Parliament.

Among the Welsh representatives are Jill Evans, former Plaid Cymru MEP between 1999 and 2020, Iestyn ap Rhobert; founding member of YesCymru and Wales spokesperson for ICEC_Cymru|Wales, and Simon Hobson; director on the YesCymru NGB (National Governing Board).

Picture: Rhydian Hughes

ICEC argues that ancient laws are still being used to justify the ownership of land and resources of countries that are held captive within the state. As a result of this extractive economy, we see asset stripping, cultural and linguistic vandalism, undermining of democratic rights, and abuse of the environment at the expense of captured nations.

Many of Europe’s historical problems originate from the fact that large European states refuse to reform historical political injustices that have crossed into current times.

An example of the point in case is the Crown Estate in Wales which is responsible for taking billions of pounds out of the Welsh economy and sending that money straight to the Treasury in Westminster. The Crown Estate in Scotland is fully devolved and the Scottish Parliament has access to a huge revenue stream – why not in Wales? Wales’ money and wealth – assets that should be in the hands of the Welsh people is the property of the British state.

In Wales, we have had the following legislation and commissions used to undermine our nationhood:

The Statutes of Wales (1284); the Crown of England’s annexation of Wales Act of Union in 1536 and 1542 to abolish Welsh law and use of Welsh in governance and incorporate Wales into the Kingdom of England; Reports of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of Education in Wales (1847-1848) commonly referred to as the Treason of the Blue Books, and even the strict limitations enforced by law on the Government of Wales Act (1998), an Act that can be repealed at any time in Westminster.

In the case of Catalonia, their attempt to hold an independence referendum in 2017 was called unconstitutional by the Spanish Central Government. Armed police and military police were sent to Catalonia to attack peaceful voters. Catalonia is being violently stopped by Spain from pursuing its right under international law to be an independent nation.

The annual ICEC conference 2022

Examples of unfairness can be seen everywhere. Recently in France, the Breton language has been attacked by the French Central Government. It is deemed unconstitutional to use any
other language than French in formal education on French state territory, regardless of the fact that Breton has been the main language of Brittany since the 6th century.

ICEC believes that these problems will not be solved until captured nations gain independence from states. Equity cannot exist in Europe without justice, nor justice without the freedom of nations to exist free from threats from their neighbours.

Each ICEC delegation has prepared a documentary film which outlines how their nations have had their territories exploited by their neighbours. Each ICEC delegation will have speakers who will argue why their nations must gain independence and how working alongside each other is part of that process of liberation.

Spokesperson for ICEC_Catalonia, Anna Arqué said: ‘Every year, an increasing number of politicians across Europe listen to ICEC’s voice. In 2024, it is very likely that the EU Commission will look at how the EU responds and interacts in a fair way with countries that have been caught. We believe that by working closely with our partners, we can challenge the ongoing injustices, and promote freedom and justice for all the nations and cultures of Europe.’

Spokesperson for ICEC-Cymru, Iestyn ap Rhobert, added: ‘Being part of ICEC allows Wales’ campaign for independence to be heard in other Europe nations. Wales wants its voice to be
heard in the world and Wales wants to collaborate in a constructive and peaceful manner with partners across Europe. In return, ICEC_Cymru|Wales can inform a Welsh audience of
independence campaigns elsewhere in Europe thus creating an awareness in Wales of what is going on elsewhere. Since leaving the European Union in 2020, the ICEC conference in Brussels is a golden opportunity for us to collaborate with partners across Europe.’


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Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
6 months ago

I think it would be better to take it to the U N because like the Russian invasion of the Ukraine it was illegalal though Wales was invaded hundreds of tears ago the English have robbed ill treated the Welsh people they have no right ruling us

JOHN JONES
JOHN JONES
6 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

Of course all welsh people would be richer in an independent Wales.

Annibendod
Annibendod
6 months ago
Reply to  JOHN JONES

Are you content with the present state of Wales’ economy? Do you think the UK State has been a good custodian of Wales’ interests?

John Brooks
John Brooks
6 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

NO. They flooded our Valley and take the water. They took our gold, Power and multiple other commodities. That do not own us They Invaded us.

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
6 months ago
Reply to  John Brooks

They also take our sick people into their hospitals cos we aint got none. They also take our holidaymakers to their destinations cos we aint got no international airports.

Frank
Frank
6 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

Even though I would love to see Wales as an independent country I am still waiting for someone to make things clear to us on the plan to achieve this and how we would go about raising cash to support ourselves. It’s all very well talking about this but what’s the plan? We need competent leaders for a start. We need honest leaders who would not see this as an ideal opportunity to start robbing a Welsh Treasury blind.

CapM
CapM
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank

If you’re genuinely Indi-curious then rather than sit and wait for “someone to make things clear to us” make some effort to get informed. There is plenty of information online and books/reports etc than go into detail about the constitutional economic cultural defence planning and adjusting to change etc. You may not agree with everything that’s being presented but then I’d be very surprised if anyone agrees 100% with the governance of the UK. In any case it’s an ongoing discussion which you can to get involved in. “We need competent leaders for a start. “ We do but in my… Read more »

Frank
Frank
6 months ago
Reply to  CapM

Thank you for the advice but I don’t want to read about it. I want prospective candidates to tell me what their plans are so I can decide on who to vote for when the time comes.

CapM
CapM
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank

“I don’t want to read about it.”

Choosing to maintain ignorance of how independence could be achieved and work in order to point out why it can’t be achieved and work is a strange attitude for someone who has stated
I would love to see Wales as an independent country”.

“I don’t want to read about it” sounds like the sort of thing someone who would not love to see Wales as an independent country might say.

Frank
Frank
6 months ago
Reply to  CapM

I think you are missing the point and making a bit of a song and dance about nothing. Your last paragraph is really silly as I have already said that I would love to see Wales achieve independence. However, if you are an example of an indyWales I can see why some people would not want it to happen. You have drawn a picture of me in your narrow little mind and are completely wrong. Try and encourage people not drive them away with your superior-sounding comments.

CapM
CapM
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank

By saying “I don’t want to read about it.” you’ve drawn a pretty clear picture of your way of thinking on this subject without me having to get my felt tips out of their box!

Frank
Frank
6 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

No one has a “right” to rule anyone. “Ruling” is another word for “bullying”. We are all born equal. Quote article: “The aim of the conference is to challenge ancient laws that are still used by former European imperial states to justify and claim political authority over countries which are trapped within these states.” What a load of 💩!!! Whoever made those “ancient laws” was/were nothing more than bullies.

Riki
Riki
6 months ago

The state of Wales is in a unique position and England will never allow for it to be free, simply because it’s the only British founded country and until the “Welsh” fully abandon their Britishness or they’ve convinced the World that the English are the only British people. Wales will never be independent! The reason for it goes well beyond Resources, this is about the history that goes with the title of British. History that pre-dates England but that can only be passed of as Such as long as Wales is either a part of the UK or a region… Read more »

Iago Traferth
Iago Traferth
6 months ago
Reply to  Riki

I thought that there were more people of Welsh descent living in England than Wales do they not qualify as British? What about the people of Cornwall, Lake district and lowland Scotland are they not British.

Riki
Riki
6 months ago
Reply to  Iago Traferth

That’s all good and well, but because you have some people that are Descendants from said country in England doesn’t mean they have right to it. You have 90million German Americans but that doesn’t mean they or America has a right o events that occurred to those of Germany. You can’t claim English origins as Anglo Saxons and then in the same instance claim you are British. The British and Anglo were Different people.

Iago Traferth
Iago Traferth
6 months ago
Reply to  Riki

What about the Cormish – a British people. The people of Cumbria, they are absolutely every bit as British as anyone in Wales. You are looking at the present through distorted eyes of the past.

Annibendod
Annibendod
6 months ago
Reply to  Riki

The English aren’t pure Anglo-Saxons. That’s a deeply discredited theory. I’m sorry, but to say that the English aren’t British is ludicrous. There is a plurality of British Nations. There is no singular British Nation. It’s the political artifice known as the United Kingdom that is the problem here. Anti-English chauvinism is no better than its Cambrophobic counterpart. What I’m in favour of is a new constitutional relationship between our nations based in equality and our respective Statehoods. Making ugly caricatures of English people does nothing to help our political cause.

Annibendod
Annibendod
6 months ago
Reply to  Iago Traferth

DNA research showed that whilst there is far more mixing in England, the majority of English people are descended from the Britons of the Bronze Age. The extent of Nordic and Germanic genetic markers is far lower than expected given ‘historic’ accounts of Britain’s past. As happened with Brythonic when Celtic culture first reached these shores, so did English become the lingua-franca of the people who already lived there via a French detour. The differences between our nations are for the most part cultural. Nationhood being largely a cultural construct then leads to the conclusion that England and Cymru are… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Annibendod
Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

Sadly there are many in Wales, who, perhaps without realising it, have a very ‘blood & soil’ interpretation of national identity. Most of those people would, I’m pretty sure, would recoil in horror if they thought through the implications of such thinking.

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
6 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Gobbledegook

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
6 months ago
Reply to  Rhddwen y Sais

Which bit? It all made sense to me.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
6 months ago

The French government is breaking European law in their refusal to allow at least some form of official status for the Breton language. The country does not even have the relatively small degree of autonomy that Cymru enjoys. Their constitution needs amending to accommodate the state’s regional languages.

Last edited 6 months ago by Wrexhamian
Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
6 months ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

You should organise a protest march to highlight the fact the French Government is breaking European law. I am sure people would turn up in their single figures.

Alun
Alun
6 months ago
Reply to  Rhddwen y Sais

Well they turn up to such marches in thousands in Brittany

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
6 months ago
Reply to  Alun

Ho ho ho

Bethan
Bethan
6 months ago

Wow. I’d love to know how this goes. Hopefully the documentary will be made public. Interesting stuff.

Annibendod
Annibendod
6 months ago

This sounds like a very positive development. Dyfal donc a dyrr y garreg.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
6 months ago

Catalunya and the Basques should organise international football teams like Kosovo did in defiance of Serbia and five other countries which do not recognise them. Wales and Scotland are globally recognised nations in (and on) this field such that, in the context of football, the world sees us as independent countries. It’s only a matter of time.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
6 months ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Kosovo historically has never been a Nation, just a province of Serbia and nothing more.

Rob
Rob
6 months ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

The problem with that though is FIFA clearly states that to become a member you either have to be recognised as a sovereign country or have approval from the parent nation (ie Faroe Islands from Denmark). Unfortunately Spain will never allow Catalunya and the Basques to do this, and many within FIFA already object to the UK having four national teams and not just one.

David Parry
David Parry
6 months ago

Brussels will look forward to laying it on the line with PC about who wears the trousers. It’s laughable that you want run to an organisation the Welsh people voted to get away from. So much for listening to the people of Wales then. Idread to see the day when full powers would be given to those clowns in Cardiff bay. They are utterly useless and are incapable of organising a drinking match in Brains brewery. Don’t blame Westminster for the crap the Welsh people have to put up with. They are wasting money here,there and everywhere and have the… Read more »

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
6 months ago
Reply to  David Parry

Your comment represents a vote to change from Cymru having almost nothing to having absolutely nothing and you are still using the long dispatched word ‘assembly’. My nation will speak to Europe and will not be told it can’t by our prison officers. I presume the ‘clowns’ you refer to are the 16 Empire defenders.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
6 months ago
Reply to  David Parry

Steryotical devo sceptic who still uses the outdated assembly word, you may have some valid words as I agree that the transport policy regarding Cardiff Airport and the scrapping of road building has been a PR disaster.
Saying that I’m old enough to remember the 1979 referendum in which we were promised more funding for the NHS and Education etc if we voted no.
This of course never happened and Cymru was run into the ground during the Thatcher era.

Penybont boy
Penybont boy
6 months ago
Reply to  David Parry

David Parry, Well summed up Sir, I and the majority of Welsh people totally agree with you.

Rob
Rob
6 months ago
Reply to  Penybont boy

Really?? If this is the case then why did the Abolish the Assembly party fail to win a single seat at the last Senedd election?

Rob
Rob
6 months ago
Reply to  David Parry

No different than the clowns in Westminster. Some people act as though as if incompetent politicians can only be found in Wales. The problem isn’t the Senedd, but the Welsh Labour Government. If the people of Wales don’t like how they are running the country then we can vote them out.

Roderich Heier
Roderich Heier
6 months ago
Reply to  David Parry

Number of Assembly members surely? Although I thought it was now Y Senedd.

Stephen Morris
6 months ago

This makes no sense at all. Why campaign for independence with an organisation that has absolutely no say in the matter?

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