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UK: desire for independence in Wales. Wyn Jones (Univ. of Cardiff) to SIR, the reason is Brexit and little respect for local identities

“If you had told me two years ago that nearly 40% of Welsh people would be in favour of independence in a poll, I would have thought that this was a joke. Yet it is a reality today”. Richard Wyn Jones is professor of politics at the University of Cardiff. He has just released the book “Englishness”, published by Oxford University Press, dedicated to the English nationalism unleashed by Brexit. “The UK’s withdrawal from the EU has swelled the ranks of those who want an independent Wales”, the expert explains. “Our region will be hardly damaged, especially in the manufacturing sector. It is also clear that this government is not interested in the “devolution”, the process by which Scotland and Wales became independent in the late nineties with the establishment of a Parliament in Edinburgh and a National Assembly in Cardiff”. According to Wyn Jones, the British Government, while not expressly opposing local authorities, is trying to bring back many of the powers that have been devolved to local parliaments in recent years. “There is also a lack of sensitivity to these regional identities. It has become compulsory, for example, to fly the UK flag, the Union Jack, rather than the Welsh flag on all public buildings”, Wyn Jones concludes.

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