A Welsh Identity

1764 Words8 Pages
“For Wales, see England” - this oft-quoted entry in the index to the original edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica elegantly sums up the centuries of suppression of the Welsh identity by the English parliament. Llywr James, a worker at the National History Museum of Wales, told me with passion in his voice how he dreams of the day when the Embassy of Wales will be opened in Washington D.C. “And it will happen during my lifetime,” he emphatically added. “Independence is simply not in the interests of Wales. We do not have enough money without the subsidy from Westminster,” said Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales when I asked him his personal opinion on the independence of Wales from the UK. Contrast the two radically opposing views and you begin to scratch the surface of the immensely complex issue of Welsh independence. The Welsh devolution referendum of 2011 saw the National Assembly of Wales gain powers to make laws on all matters in the 20 subjects in Schedule 5 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 and can be seen as another step towards the “independence” of Wales (Government of Wales Act 2006, 2012). While such a transfer of power from Westminster to Cardiff is in the best interest of Wales, total independence from the UK would result in dire financial, economic, political and identity problems.

Wikipedia defines independence as “a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory” (Independence 2012). By these parameters, Wales has not existed as an independent state since 1282 when Edward I, the King of England, marched into Gwynedd and forced Llywelyn's submission (Bremner 2011). The Act of Un...

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