Decisions on the constitutional future of Wales should lie unequivocally with the people of Wales.
Accordingly, we would seek devolution of decision-making from Westminster to Wales on the holding of a referendum on Welsh independence.
We would introduce an Order to seek immediate devolution of power over currently reserved matters, including rail, welfare, broadcasting, energy projects, and the Crown Estate.
Alongside these negotiations a Plaid Cymru Government would legislate for a Welsh Self- Determination Act to pave the way for holding an independence referendum around the middle of the present decade.
A central feature of the Self-Determination Act will be the creation of a statutory National Commission to oversee the process leading to a referendum during our first term in government.
The Act would empower the Commission to establish consultative Citizens Assemblies, to conduct polls and referenda, to draw up a Constitution for an independent Wales, and to explore future relations with the rest of the UK and Europe.
The precise timing of an independence referendum would depend on the speed with which events occur, including:
- The extent to which the Conservative Government at Westminster continues to undermine the devolution settlement.
- Moves towards Scottish independence.
- Potential political change in the relations between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The pressure of these and other fast-moving events means Wales faces a real danger of becoming part of a rump United Kingdom, in a new England-and-Wales formation. In terms of powers, that could mean Wales becoming in practice an appendage of western England. That prospect is a major factor behind the current surge in support for Welsh independence. The people of Wales are telling us they are not willing to be left behind. Electing a Plaid Cymru Government is the only way to guarantee that we can create a new Wales as part of the world-wide family of independent nations.