Covid, Brexit and Welsh independence: do you want an independent Wales?


The reality of decentralization has probably never been so widely and so blatantly obvious to the people of Wales as it is now.The radically different approaches of the Cardiff and Westminster governments in trying to control the coronavirus outbreak have perhaps made it more clearly than ever before that decisions made by the Welsh government are having a real effect on people’s lives.

And if the polls are to be believed, support for Welsh independence is higher now than it has been in recent memory. A poll in August put independence support at 32%, up seven points from a June poll. This percentage rises to 46% for people aged 16 to 24, but it is only 18% for people aged 65 and over.

Another poll in September showed people in Wales believe the Welsh government has so far handled the coronavirus crisis better than the government in Westminster. Asked how well or poorly the UK government handled the coronavirus pandemic, only 5% responded very well and 31% responded fairly well. In contrast, 20% said the Welsh government had handled the pandemic very well, and 54% said it fairly well.

In a survey of WalesOnline readers in October, the Welsh government scored well when people were asked to assess its response to the pandemic.

And the Welsh independence group Yes Cymru has been dynamic recently, seeing its membership double since March, from 4,000 to 8,000 members.

Sion Jobbins, the chairman of the group, said: “What has helped accelerate the growth of Yes Cymru is that people have seen that the Senedd in Wales is much more competent to run the affairs of the Country. Wales than Westminster, and we can do it with more empathy and compassion too.

And while the majority of people in Wales voted in favor of Brexit (from 52.5% to 47.5%), many of those who voted against Brexit have also expressed a desire to stay in the European Union as citizens of an independent Wales.

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