Brexit means Welsh independence “must be on the table”, the newly-elected leader of Plaid Cymru has said, as he predicted “the dying days of the British state”.
Adam Price believes that leaving the EU will make demands for Scottish independence and Irish unity “insatiable”, regardless of what deal Theresa May strikes with Brussels.
He will tell the Plaid Cymru conference in Cardigan this weekend that Wales “cannot be left playing catch up” and his party would legislate for an independence referendum “at the earliest possible opportunity”.
The Welsh elections are due to take place in 2021 and the troubled Labour administration will face a battle to retain its grip on power from Price’s party and the Welsh Conservatives.
Price has said that if Plaid Cymru emerged victorious, he would put a referendum act on the statute books and push the UK Government for a plebiscite within a decade.
Price said: “Be in no doubt, we are living in the dying days of the British state.
“With Brexit threatening a constitutional crisis - with or without a deal - we must do everything within our power to safeguard Welsh nationhood.
“If the Brexiteers in Westminster have their way we will be out of the single market and customs union and with a hard border on the island of Ireland.
“The appetite for Scottish independence and Irish unity will become insatiable. Meanwhile, Wales under this lacklustre Labour government faces being starved of the options and opportunities it requires to survive.
“That is why Welsh independence must be on the table.”
While 52.5% of Welsh voters backed Brexit, in Scotland 62% backed remain, which led First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to declare a re-run of Scotland’s independence poll was “highly likely”.
A majority of MSPs in Holyrood voted for another poll, but since losing seats at the last general election, Sturgeon has declined to set out any timetable for when it would be called.
The Scottish Parliament term, as the Welsh Assembly’s, ends with a 2021 election and it is thought Theresa May will attempt to resist any fresh plan for a vote in Scotland.
Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, where 56% of voters backed remain, Sinn Fein and other nationalist parties have made renewed calls for a border poll.
Setting out the nationalist party’s stall, Price will tell delegates Wales is “at the mercy of Westminster”, adding: “A Plaid Cymru government would put a Welsh Independence Referendum Act on the statute book at the earliest possible opportunity enabling us to call that referendum by the end of the decade at the latest, or earlier should there be a material change in the UK’s constitutional landscape.
“In these turbulent political times when history seems to be speeding up, Wales cannot be left playing catch up.
“People in Wales from all parties and none are welcome to join us on this journey to ensure a stable and prosperous future for our country. The work of creating a New Wales starts now.”
HuffPost UK has contacted the UK Government for a comment.