Wednesday, 16 Jun 2021

Boris issued warning about Welsh independence as PM told ‘British identity is redundant’

YesCymru's Sion Jobbins on UK identity in a 'globalised' world

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Chairman of YesCymru Sion Jobbins warned Boris Johnson about the future of the Union during an interview with Express.co.uk. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly used British identity as a political tool to promote Brexit and fight against Scottish independence. But Mr Jobbins explained the Welsh independence movement is mainly backed by supporters who want a stronger national identity and said Mr Johnson’s arguments will fall on deaf ears. 

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Jobbins explained the Welsh independence movement was less antagonistic towards Westminster when compared to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. 

He said the movement saw many supporters “fed up” of voting for Labour MPs but being controlled by a Conservative government which has ignited calls for more representative governance.

But despite the issues of politics, Mr Jobbins clarified YesCymru – which has over 30,000 members – does not support any political party. 

On the subject of UK identity, Mr Jobbins said: “So I think what’s happening globally is that we enjoy being able to sit in a living room and watch content from all over the world.

“People enjoy watching TV and eating food from all over the different world, they love to play games on PlayStation and your opponents or teammates could be living in Denver or Berlin.

“Some people like that but people want something which is more personal to their own national identity.

“And to some extent, not for everyone, the British identity is redundant where Irish people watch British TV and they watch and follow bands from England, they enjoy British comedy.

“They just don’t want to have their government, they don’t want to be controlled by Westminster.”

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Mr Jobbins said people in an independent Wales could still feel as connected to the UK nations as much as they would like to be but they would simply have a different government. 

YesCymru reported a surge in memberships following the Scottish Parliament elections and the SNP victory. 

While Mr Jobbins confesses Welsh independence is still a long way off for his group he believes support will only grow as he finds more younger people are supportive of independence than older people. 

He says in several years time, YesCymru could see a surge in support which could be on par with the Scottish Nationalists. 

At the moment, support for Welsh independence hovers around a third whereas Scottish independence support has dropped slightly below 50 percent. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has toned down the independence rhetoric following the SNP’s election win and has said she will now focus on fixing the country post-pandemic. 

But Ms Sturgeon said in Holyrood that the SNP now has the mandate to push ahead with another referendum as there are now a majority of parties in Holyrood who support independence. 

Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross criticised the statement as he pointed out Ms Sturgeon said herself a vote for the SNP was not a vote for independence. 

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