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The Farmers for Welsh Independence development is being driven by Brexit

The launch this month of Farmers for Welsh Independence is another sign that the debate about the future running of our country continues to evolve, says Plaid Cymru shadow rural affairs minister Llyr Gruffydd.

As with everything these days, this development is being driven in part by Brexit.

 

The young farmer behind the move, Elfed Wyn Jones of Trawsfynydd, is in no doubt that farmers will face the brunt of a no-deal Brexit and that Welsh farmers need an alternative to that scenario.

 

Grandiose promises made by various Tory politicians that any EU funding lost under Brexit would be matched by Westminster, are proving to be empty words at best.

 

Farmers here are facing the loss of Single Farm Payments while their counterparts in the 27 EU states, as well as Scotland and Northern Ireland, will continue with those arrangements.

 

Many are looking with envy at the Scottish government’s commitment of stability and certainty in an increasingly uncertain time.

 

It has got to the point where even the Labour First Minister has declared himself indy-curious, even though he rowed back quickly on his statement.

The former First Minister Carwyn Jones has also expressed indy-curious sentiment and there is a bandwagon of local councils now declaring themselves for independence – some in traditional Welsh-speaking heartlands but others in former mining communities.

 

Gwynedd County Council has today voted to become the first county council to declare for independence.

 

Earthquake

There are other, perhaps less significant but equally symbolic, developments.

 

The recent World Cup success of the England cricket team rankles with many sports fans here who saw a team that is officially run by the England and Wales Cricket Board badged up with the symbols of England, described in the press as England and with no recognition of the Welsh component.

 

It felt to many that Wales had been airbrushed out of that team, as it invariably is when ‘Englandandwales’ is mentioned.

 

The United Kingdom is not a union of equals and the possible departure of Scotland and the re-unification of Ireland would heighten that unequal relationship to the point where Wales as a nation is airbrushed out of existence.

 

Brexit is an earthquake that is moving the tectonic plates.

 

Huge aftershocks will be felt – most likely for decades to come. What is clear is that nothing will be the same again.

 

Independence is on the agenda and the genie is out of the bottle.

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