Plaid Cymru’s manifesto promises independence referendum by 2026

Plaid leader Adam Price said the people of Wales could take their future into their own hands.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price

A referendum on Welsh independence will be held by 2026 if Plaid Cymru forms the next government in Cardiff Bay.

In its manifesto for the May 6 Senedd elections, Plaid promised to implement the most radical programme since the 1945 Labour government.

The manifesto promises that a Plaid first minister “will let the people of Wales, not Westminster, decide on our future” within the next five years.

Meanwhile, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies was using a campaign speech to attack Labour’s record in office since devolution.

And in a swipe at Plaid, he claimed “independence would put our recovery after coronavirus at risk” and a referendum “would plunge Wales into chaos”.

Launching the Plaid Cymru manifesto, party leader Adam Price promised to create 60,000 green jobs, extend free school meals to all primary age pupils, cut council tax bills and build 50,000 homes.

On the NHS, Plaid is planning on recruiting an extra 1,000 doctors and 5,000 nurses and other health professionals – and guaranteeing a £10 an hour minimum wage for care workers.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price is promising the most radical agenda of any Government in Wales since 1945 (Ben Birchall/PA)
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price is promising the most radical agenda of any government in Wales since 1945 (Ben Birchall/PA)

Mr Price said: “For the first time in a Senedd election the people of Wales will be able to vote to take their own future into their own hands.

“We believe independence to be the only sure and sustainable means to achieving social and economic progress.

“So, a Plaid Cymru government will empower the people of Wales to decide the future of our nation in an independence referendum.

“We are not the country that we should be. We are not the country that we can be. And we are not the country we want to be.”

Among the other policies within the manifesto are a youth jobs guarantee for 16 to 24-year-olds, zero-interest loans to support small businesses to bounce back from the pandemic, and recruiting 4,500 extra teachers and support staff.

Tory leader Mr Davies used his speech to warn that Wales is “at a crossroads” after 22 years of Labour rule, accusing Mark Drakeford’s government of playing “political games” over the response to coronavirus.

“Labour’s record in the key areas of responsibility has not been good enough,” he said.

“If Labour wins again in May it’ll be running the show here for almost 30 years. And the biggest theme of that 30 years is that they couldn’t do a proper job.”

He added: “Whereas other parties promise referendums and chaos, we will deliver economic recovery and jobs.”

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