By Stephen Bailey.
Welsh nationalists Plaid Cymru have stated their party is analysing events surrounding the 2014 independence referendum in Scotland in order to try to glean lessons that could be applicable to the Welsh push for independence.
Welsh Parliament member Rhys ab Owen has stated:
“We can look, we can learn lessons, how they for example took advantage of the surge of support towards the S.N.P. after the first failed referendum.
“We’ll be able to learn lessons from how Nicola Sturgeon has done things differently in Scotland.”
Mr Owen said Scotland was in a “very different” situation from Wales, adding that “there is no clear roadmap that they’d be able to prepare for us.”
This comes amid mounting evidence that the increasingly strident efforts of the Scottish National Party to gain independence for Scotland has had a ‘domino effect’ on the other devolved parts of the U.K. and encouraged them to more aggressively push for independence.
Plaid Cymru took 13 seats after campaigning on a pledge to hold a Welsh independence referendum within the next five years, a disappointing performance that undermined their case for independence carrying popular support.
Mr. Owen has also declared:
“Independence is the natural state of countries.”
However, the Welsh Parliament member for South Wales Central was also quick to acknowledge some of the public’s concerns about the economic damage that could be inflicted on Wales by independence.
Even the nominally Unionist Labour Party, which holds the highest number of seats in the Welsh Parliament and which runs the governing administration there, has shown signs of edging closer and closer to embracing independence.
Labour leader Mark Drakeford, the current Welsh First Minister, has faced pressure from Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price. Mr Price put the issue of independence at the forefront of his election campaign in this May’s election.
Added to this, Boris Johnson has been warned of a Labour-Plaid alliance to draw up a roadmap to the breakup of the U.K.
The Prime Minister has been told by Cardiff University academic Professor Laura McAllister that Plaid and Welsh Labour could form an alliance and draw up a plan for Wales’ independence from the U.K.
Mr Owen concluded by stating:
“We’re bound to look at Scotland and a lot within the national movement in Wales if not the vast majority will look at Scotland with envy.
“You know, how they managed to get rid of the Labour Party, for example, how the SNP has dominated politics there since 2007.”
Whilst it is the case that support for independence in Wales usually polls within the 15% – 20% range, there has been a clearly discernible pattern since the 2014 Scottish independence referendum of legislative devolution in one part of the U.K., i.e. Scotland, having a knock on effect on other parts in a domino like effect.
The S.N.P. in Scotland set the ball rolling by aggressively ignoring their devolved remit, and this clearly encouraged other devolved regions like Wales and Northern Ireland to follow suit and become more bellicose in their demands for more and more autonomy and even to push for full independence.
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© 2021 Stephen Bailey