Wales could have independence referendum ‘on the same day as Scotland’
Plaid Cymru are considering calling for a Welsh independence referendum on the same day as Scotland’s second independence referendum.
In an interview with Scotland’s The National newspaper, Assembly Member Delyth Jewell said there was a danger that Wales could end up in “no-man’s land” if Scotland leaves the UK before the Welsh get a chance to vote.
A recent YouGov poll put support for Welsh independence at 41% if it meant the country remaining part of the EU.
Speaking at the SNP conference, Delyth Jewell told The National: “When Scotland has its next independence referendum Wales should have its own independence referendum on the same day.
“There’s been this acknowledgement from [Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford] that if Scotland votes to become independent, which I think it would, then we would have to reassess things.
“Now I don’t want us to be in a no-man’s lands after Scotland votes to become independent because I don’t think Westminster will want to grant Wales – because it’s in their gift – their own referendum at a later date.
“Then there’ll just be prevarication and goodness knows how long that would last. When Scotland has its next referendum, and its defining referendum, we need to have one on the same day.”
Jewell said the devolution referendums happening on the same date in 1997 set a “precedent”.
She added: “They have to grant another referendum for Scotland, what on earth would be their basis for not granting the same referendum for Wales?
“When we had the devolution referendums, they happened at the same time so there is precedent.
“If Scotland did, and I think Scotland would vote to be independent, there would be even less of an incentive from Westminster to let Wales go or to let Wales determine our own future. For our own sake I think it has to happen on the same day. Or at least it’s an idea we should really pursue.”
The AM, who only took her seat at the start of the year, said there had been a change in attitudes towards independence in recent months.
Jewell said: “I used to think independence was something that would happen for Wales within my lifetime, but things have changed so significantly in the past six months with everything to do with Brexit and how much the Westminster system has been exposed as a complete failure, I think that really it would almost be unconscionable for us not to be planning for our referendum very soon.
“Which is why I think work needs to be going in now, and again I’ve been calling for the Welsh government to be putting plans in place looking at how an independence referendum would work.”
A Welsh Labour spokesperson said: “As Mark Drakeford outlined in his Keir Hardie Lecture last week, he is committed to building a successful Wales, in a reformed United Kingdom, at the heart of the European Union.
“Neither nationalism nor populism will secure Wales the future it deserves.”
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