A new Independence Commission to outline how Wales can become a "free state" is being established by a coalition of pro-independence groups. 

The new think tank, Melin Drafod, intends to bring together a collective of organisations in order to look at "practical questions" such as finance, currency and international relations.

Among the groups who will be supporting the Independence Convention are Cymdeithas yr Iaith, former members of YesCymru’s national committee, Welsh Football Fans for Independence, AUOBCymru and Undod.

The groups say Wales must have its own plan to achieve independence, especially as a Scottish referendum is mooted for 2023.

Their aim is to present an initial plan by the end of 2022, with a final report published by summer 2023.

This follows an open letter penned by Melin Drafod and co-signed by the groups in September, which implored First Minister Mark Drakeford to establish an independence commission. 

Since then, a new Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales has been established by the Welsh Government. Its purpose is to develop options for the "fundamental reform of the constitutional structures of the UK" in which Wales remains an "integral part" and it will also consider all "progressive options" to strengthen Welsh democracy.

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However, for those who advocate for Welsh independence, that does not go far enough.

The chair of Melin Drafod, Talat Chaudhri, said in a statement: “Wales needs to be ready to take its opportunity to join the rest of the free nations of the world. There is no time to lose. With the UK quickly unravelling, Wales needs to be ready for its future as a progressive, independent country. 

“Wales’ independence is inevitable. We are coming together because we need a plan to ensure that we can use the powers of independence to build together a society that is fair, green and progressive. If we get the plan right, we can be a beacon to the rest of the world.” 

“We cannot rely on others to shape our destiny for us: we, the ordinary citizens of Wales, need to take the lead ourselves.”

Last weekend, it was revealed that YesCymru - the organisation which campaigns for independence - had suffered a massive fall in membership, which has partly been attributed to issues with its membership renewal systems. Former members have since been invited to re-join in order to be able to vote in a ballot which will decide how YesCymru operates in the future. 

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