For years I’ve read, pondered, written about, discussed, posted, made videos of, shared and spoken publically about the vast benefits awaiting Wales as an independent nation.
Put simply, the fact is that Wales is big enough; Wales is clever enough; Wales is resourceful enough. Wales can easily be an independent country.
Feel free to take a minute to skim back through my various excuses for blog-articles to see why I’m so confident in an independent Wales. Today, however, my sights lie set not on what will make us successful, my sights lie on after our independence day.
Let’s jump ahead a few years (hopefully not too many) into a time where Wales governs itself fully. The first vision that comes to my mind is encapsulated in a quotation by Adam Price;
“[Let’s] conduct a quick thought experiment: imagine by some miracle of medical science you’re transported, mind and body intact, to Wales in the year 2050. And imagine that this Wales is independent. Does your heart miss a beat with a mini throb of pride – ‘bloody hell, we did it!’ – or a sense of sadness and loss? …. Aren’t you a little inspired, or at the very least intrigued?”
I know exactly how I’d feel.
But independence for our mythical nation isn’t all about the fairytail legends and if-onlys. We have to think practically also.
Despite my belief that Wales will handle itself exceptionally when governed by those who call Wales their home, the ‘English question’ will still remain. What of our friends from across Offa’s Dyke?
We must not be naïve to ignore the fact that, as seperate nations, Wales will ‘need’ England as much as England will ‘need’ us. ‘Sabotage’ of one another’s laws or ‘burdening’ each other’s taxes will no longer be a problem but, geographically speaking, neither of us are moving anywhere anytime soon.
We’ll need to cooperate maturely – just like EVERY other nation who shares a land border with another nation in this world does.
People will still be free to move, visit and live. Companies will still cross into each other’s country for business. Only our governments will be different.
But when the UK dissolves and England is independent, what England will it be?
Will it be one who shares values of heritage, companionship, hard work and freedom? Or will it choose the path of neo-fascism, xenophobia, hatred and fear? Might it be the new Wales who chooses hatred and fear whilst England prioritises friendship and love? The point is, we’re different – which can be as wonderful as it can be frightening.
Even with ultimate control over our resources, education, transport, taxes, ideas, institutions…. with every single power moulded by Wales’ sovereign hands, one old cliché will always remain…. you can’t pick your neighbours.