Wales

Brexit: Cardiff and Caernarfon rallies seek independent Wales

Caernarfon rally
Image caption A large crowd at the rally in Caernarfon

Hundreds of people have attended two rallies calling for Wales to become an independent country within the EU.

Campaign group A Free Wales in Europe/Cymru Rydd yn Ewrop gathered on the Maes in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, and Cardiff on Saturday.

It follows the referendum decision, which saw 52.5% of voters in Wales vote leave.

Pro-Brexit campaigner David Jones MP said what the campaign group called for was "profoundly undemocratic".

Rally campaigner Ifan Morgan Jones, who attended the gathering in Caernarfon, said: "Despite a majority in Wales voting out of the European Union, the vote was actually extremely close, with 48% voting to stay in.

"We do not believe the people of Wales were given all the facts before the vote. The discussion was held in a British context, and there was almost no discussion about the likely impact on Wales.

"The EU has invested over £4bn in Wales since 2000. Unlike some other parts of the UK, Wales does get a lot more out of the EU than it puts in."

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Media captionLord Wigley said campaigners were 'determined Wales' future is going to be as part of Europe'
Image copyright Nic James/Twitter
Image caption The rally in Cardiff took place at the Aneurin Bevan Statue

Mr Jones added: "We're democrats and fully accept the EU referendum result.

"We're not attempting to overturn it, but to convince people that Wales' future now lies as an independent country within the EU."

Sandy Club, who attended the Cardiff rally, said: "We simply didn't have a debate in Wales.

"A lot of people voted listening to a debate coming through the television and radio from England, and we haven't decided on Welsh issues."

However, Clwyd West MP Mr Jones, a Conservative who led the Vote Leave Cymru campaign, said: "Wales voted decisively for Britain to leave the European Union on 23 June and for people to call for any other arrangement is profoundly undemocratic."

Responding to campaigners' claims that Wales would be worse off out of the EU, he added: "That is what they may say but the majority of people clearly don't agree. Frankly, these demonstrators should respect the will of the people."

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