Scottish referendum plans heighten the need for a Welsh vote, according to Plaid Cymru

Mark Sands
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SNP Autumn Conference 2015 - Day 3
Plaid Cymru secured the second largest number of Welsh Assembly seats in the 2016 election (Source: Getty)

Nationalists in Wales are doubling-down on demands for their own referendum in the aftermath of Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon's call for a fresh Scottish independence vote.

Earlier today Sturgeon revealed she will ask the Scottish parliament to support a new vote, to be held between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019.

And now Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has said Wales should be granted its own opportunity to vote on remaining within the UK.

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Speaking today, Wood said her party will oppose “any UK government plan” applying tariffs or barriers to Welsh goods, adding the potential for Scottish independence heightened the need for a Welsh vote.

“Plaid Cymru has said a remaining ‘England and Wales’ entity was not on the ballot paper during the previous EU referendum. A national debate to explore all of the options, including an that of independent Wales, must take place in Wales when that scenario becomes a realistic one,” Wood said.

“If the UK government’s Brexit negotiation also leads to the Welsh national interest being overlooked, support will grow for greater control of our own affairs in Wales.”

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Support for independence in Wales has historically been weaker than in Scotland. The vote for a Welsh Assembly in 1997 only passed by 50.3 per cent – 49.7 per cent, although a subsequent vote to make the Assembly more powerful in 2011 was backed by two-thirds of voters.

And Wood's Plaid Cymru was the second most popular party at Assembly elections last year, only just beating the Welsh Conservatives.

However, Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones stressed that he will not back Wood's call.

“The constitutional future of Scotland is a matter for the people of Scotland,” a spokesman for Jones said.

“However, the first minister is clear the four nations of the United Kingdom are stronger together than apart.”

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