SIX different organisations in Wales have joined forces to call for the right for any decision for Wales to hold a referendum on independence to be made in Wales.

In an open letter to the Constitutional Commission established by the Welsh Government, groups and parties including YesCymru, Cymdeithas yr Iaith, Plaid Cymru, the Wales Green Party, All Under One Banner Cymru, Undod and Labour for an Independent Wales call for an unfettered right for the Senedd to trigger a public vote on the question. 

The Constitutional Commission was set up in order to develop options for fundamental reform of the constitutional structures of the United Kingdom, and to develop ways in which to strengthen Welsh democracy. 

It was established in November last year with Professor Laura McAllister and former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams as co-chairs, and has been taking contributions from people throughout Wales on matters related to the constitution and independence.

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In its letter to the Constitutional Commission, the signees state: "We are jointly writing to underline one particular point of principle that we have in common: the fundamental right of the people of Wales to decide their own constitutional status. 

“In terms of the work of your Commission, we therefore call for the right for Wales, through its elected Senedd, to decide whether or not it should be an independent country, without interference from Westminster.” 

If Wales was to hold a vote on independence the legal permission for the vote would have to be granted by Westminster. The Scottish Government is currently establishing through the Supreme Court whether or not its Parliament has the right to call a referendum on the matter.

Should the Scottish Government fail in the courts, it would need permission from Westminster to hold a referendum on independence such as was granted for the 2014 poll in Scotland.

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The letter hopes to address this issue that Scotland is currently facing. It continues, “There should be a clear process and mechanism that will allow Wales to hold a referendum on independence. The timing and associated details of that vote should be matters for the people of Wales and their Senedd to decide, not Westminster.”

The letter was co-ordinated by the think tank Melin Drafod and Talat Chaudhri its chair said: “The Welsh Government’s Commission needs to show that it is seriously considering independence.

"The members need to set out a practical plan to enable the people of Wales to make their own choice. At the moment, even to ask the question, it’s at the whim of the government in London. That needs to change at the very least.”

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