Speaking at a campaign launch, Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru, has said in the run-up to the UK general election, Dec 12, that Wales may forge its own independence from the United Kingdom and remain a member of the European Union.
When Plaid Cymru was initially formed in 2017, a call for independence was very much in the backdrop with the primary focus being on defeating the dominant Conservative and Labour parties. Since then, however, a greater focus has been on independence with the current instability in British politics. Price also drew inspiration from the Scottish National party, stating that they had lessons to learn from the SNP. SNP leader and first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has called for a second Scottish referendum.
Price took aim at the “toxic” political culture in Britain and the staunch divisions in Westminster.
During his speech he joked;
“In calling the third election in just four years, the Westminster parties certainly have given the people the worst Christmas present ever”.
Price insisted, however, that his campaign would not be focused on the negatives but rather Wales’ potential. The campaign slogan for Plaid is “Wales, it’s us”.
During his speech he explained;
“It’s us, the people of Wales, that hold the key to the nation’s future … an independent Wales".
He further stated;
“Now is the time to focus on the future, not the past. I believe like never before the best days for Wales are ahead of us, and 12 December [election day] can be a day on which we declare a new Welsh spirit of independence and optimism and hope by refusing to put our faith in the Westminster parties and instead voting for a future that we ourselves will shape".
There has been fierce political opposition to calls for independence with Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson recently stating that he would not permit Scotland a second independence referendum. He claimed that the 2014 referendum was a "once-in-a-generation" vote and settled the matter.
Nicola Sturgeon has challenged Johnson stating she would request a "section 30 order" - which would permit a Scottish referendum within 12 days of the general election. Opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn has stated would grant a section 30 order if he were to become the Prime Minister.