Adam Price, Leader of Plaid Cymru
Yesterday, the Welsh independence movement firmly moved from the margins and into the mainstream.
A You Gov poll, commissioned by my party, Plaid Cymru, showed that support for Welsh independence, amongst those who expressed a preference, was at a historic high of 41% if it meant Wales remaining a member of the EU.
It also showed that 31% of those who expressed a preference would support Welsh independence if a referendum were held tomorrow.
Make no mistake: these are truly sensational numbers.
Gone are the days where support for Welsh independence bumbled along at 3%, 10% or 12%. Something is happening in Wales and our people are waking up.
It was timely, wasn’t it, that this poll came after yet another chaotic week in British politics where our very own tin-pot dictator, Boris Johnson, prorogued the UK parliament against its will – only to be found later by the Scottish Court of Session to have done so unlawfully and lied to not parliament, the head of state, and the people.
The Yellowhammer documents were also subsequently published, revealing the true scale of the disaster that would befall us if Mr Johnson and his ilk were to get what they want: a crash out, no deal Brexit.
Westminster is in chaos. Boris Johnson’s reckless Tory government will stop at nothing to pursue a dangerous crash out Brexit agenda which will leave our economy and communities on their knees.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn’s so-called opposition is equally unable to tackle the crash out threat and continues to flip flop on Brexit.
Both are wrecking Wales’ future.
It is no wonder that we are witnessing a surge in support for a New Wales – a nation proudly taking its place as an equal partner on the international stage.
Because rather than despair, recent political events have in fact proved to be Wales’ political reawakening.
From the immediate pain felt following the Brexit vote – founded on falsehoods peddled by the likes of Johnson, Gove, et al – to the recent appointment of a tin-pot dictator as prime minister of a divided and unequal ‘United Kingdom’; from the sheer shambles that is Westminster to the rising levels of child poverty in Wales and the cruelty of austerity; from attacks on minorities everywhere, to mounting evidence of the rise of the far right, racism and attacks on women, Wales has responded with hope.
People have been turning out in their thousands to rallies in Cardiff, Caernarfon and Merthyr Tydfil in support of independence. Some of our nation’s stalwarts, including the commentator and former rugby union star Eddie Butler, have come out in favour for independence.
Because, friends, politics is changing and we’re changing with it. Thousands of us are now waking up to the idea that independence is normal and that the solution to our challenges in Wales is to take our future into our own hands.
Welsh independence can be a force. A force to reject the regressive, insular and backwards-looking politics of this dying British state in exchange for the politics of hope, justice and community that we can all have in our New Wales.
Things don’t have to be like they are now. We don’t have to see our fellow citizens homeless or poor. There is an alternative future for our country and for all our communities.
Wales can do so much better as an independent nation. An outward-looking, inclusive and caring nation standing tall amongst the other nations of the world.
Because even before Boris Johnson and Brexit bulldoze through our economy, decades of Westminster neglect have already resulted in under-investment with one-third of our children living in relative poverty.
People are realising that Westminster is not fit to govern or represent Wales – and it never will be.
It’s time for change. We cannot continue to look to the Westminster parties for our future. We have to look to ourselves.
Independence is moving from the margins and into the mainstream. Our nation is on the march. As Boris Johnson takes us closer to the cliff edge, more and more people will demand an outward-looking Wales free from Westminster’s contempt.
Having overtaken Labour at the European elections, Plaid Cymru has secured its place as Wales’s true Remain party, fighting against a crash-out Brexit and for future prosperity.
But we cannot be complacent.
If we are serious about securing independence for Wales, we need to get organised – now.
This historic poll shows that the tide is turning but results will only come when we work hard in our communities. We all need to grab a shovel, and pitch in.
Join Plaid Cymru. Canvass locally. Get involved in our communities. Talk to our friends, family and colleagues about our vision for Wales.
Let us keep the hope rekindled. Let us continue on this journey.
An independent Wales, a New Wales, in Europe can be a reality if we get to work now.
The fight of our lives begins now, today.