Plaid Cymru manifesto promises independence referendum by 2026
A Welsh independence referendum will be held by 2026 if Plaid Cymru forms the next government in Cardiff Bay.
In its manifesto for the May 6 elections in Senedd, Plaid pledged to implement the most radical program since the Labor government of 1945.
The manifesto promises that a Prime Minister Plaid will “let the people of Wales, not Westminster, decide our future” over the next five years.
Meanwhile, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies was using a campaign speech to attack the record of Labor in power since devolution.
And in a coup to Plaid, he claimed “independence would jeopardize our recovery from the coronavirus” and that a referendum “would plunge Wales into chaos”.
By launching the Plaid Cymru manifesto, party leader Adam Price promised to create 60,000 green jobs, extend free school meals to all primary school students, reduce local taxes and build 50,000 houses.
On the NHS, Plaid plans to recruit 1,000 more doctors and 5,000 nurses and other healthcare professionals – and guarantee a minimum wage of £ 10 an hour for healthcare workers.
Mr Price said: “For the first time in an election in Senedd, the people of Wales will be able to vote to take their own future into their own hands.
“We believe that independence is the only secure and sustainable way to achieve social and economic progress.
“So a Plaid Cymru government will give the Welsh people the power to decide the future of our nation in an independence referendum.
“We are not the country we should be. We are not the country we can be. And we are not the country we want to be.
Other policies in the manifesto include guaranteed jobs for young people aged 16 to 24, zero-interest loans to help small businesses recover from the pandemic, and the hiring of 4,500 additional teachers and support staff.
Tory leader Mr Davies used his speech to warn that Wales is ‘at a crossroads’ after 22 years of Labor rule, accusing Mark Drakeford’s government of playing ‘political games’ over the response to coronavirus.
“The record of work in the main areas of responsibility has not been good enough,” he said.
“If Labor wins again in May, it will be featured here for almost 30 years. And the biggest theme of those 30 years is that they couldn’t do a decent job.
He added: “As other parties promise referendums and chaos, we will secure economic recovery and jobs.”