Wales is thinking the unthinkable

Brexit has sown the seeds for an independence debate in Cardiff, warns Roger Awan-Scully

The World Today Published 5 December 2019 Updated 2 November 2020 3 minute READ

Roger Awan-Scully

Head of Politics and International Relations and Professor of Political Science, Cardiff University

Wales voted for Brexit: part of the splits within the United Kingdom that saw two of the four nations voting to leave the European Union and the other two opposing the idea. Since the referendum the concerns of Scotland and Northern Ireland about the implications of Brexit have received plenty of attention; the very real and substantial concerns of many in Wales have been much less prominent.

The Labour Welsh government opposed leaving the EU, and it has continued to favour the closest possible continuing economic relationship with the bloc. But Wales has been in a poor bargaining position. It lacks the democratic mandate to oppose Brexit possessed by Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish government. Nor have there been obvious factors that could give Cardiff any bargaining leverage.

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