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Welsh Labour MP brands independence referendum ‘childish’

02 Mar 2021 2 minute read
Labour MP Chris Bryant on Sharp End ITV

A Welsh Labour MP has branded the suggestion of having a referendum on Welsh independence as “childish”.

Chris Bryant, who represents the Rhondda constituency, hit out at the idea on the ITV Wales politics show Sharp End.

The MP also took aim at the Senedd and said there are people locally who view it as “distant” as Westminster and claimed that a round of constitutional reform is “utter nonsense”.

His Labour colleagues in the Welsh Government have been calling for constitutional reform and want to see the UK move to a federal system.

One poll by YouGov suggested 51 per cent of those who voted Labour in the 2019 General election would vote for Welsh independence.

Chris Bryant said: “I don’t get the impression from people in the Rhondda that there’s any clamour for Welsh independence. If anything people are furiously opposed to it.

“There are lots of people locally who feel that Cardiff Bay sometimes is as distant as Westminster.

“The idea that the solution to the real historic and endemic problems in Valleys seats like the Rhondda is yet another round of referendums and constitutional reform I think is utter nonsense and childish.”

Sion Jobbins, the Chair of grassroots pro-independence group YesCymru said: “Whatever people’s views in independence in Wales then, it changes a lot of thinking if Scotland goes because the union literally doesn’t exist as it is.

“We’ve got work to do. At the moment something around 30 per cent of people would say they would vote for independence. That’s a huge change in Wales.

“We need to make the arguments stronger for independence, and that’s what we’re doing, bringing out economic arguments, and how Wales could be a successful independent nation.”

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