PLANS announced by Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon to hold a second referendum on leaving the UK have been met with a mixed reaction in Wales.
In September 2014, less than three years ago, the Scottish people voted narrowly to remain within the UK.
But earlier today the SNP leader announced she was calling for a second vote in the wake of the result of last year’s Brexit referendum.
Reacting to the news, a spokesman for Wales’ first minister Carwyn Jones said: “The constitutional future of Scotland is a matter for the people of Scotland.
“However, the first minister is clear that the four nations are stronger together than apart.”
Meanwhile Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said Wales should follow Scotland’s example and hold a debate around independence.
Saying “The stakes for Wales could not be any higher,” Ms Wood said the UK Government failing to respond to Scotland’s demands during the Brexit negotiations could lead to the end of the UK as a state.
“In that situation, Wales would need to decide its own future,” she said.
“Plaid Cymru has said that a remaining ‘England and Wales’ entity was not on the ballot paper during the previous EU referendum.
“A national debate to explore all of the options, including that of an independent Wales, must take place in Wales when that scenario becomes a realistic one.
“Plaid Cymru believes that decisions about Wales are best made in Wales and the way in which this Hard Brexit is being pursued highlights exactly why.”
But leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies said Ms Sturgeon was not speaking in the interests of the people of Scotland, only those of her party.
“Like their fellow nationalists Plaid Cymru, the SNP only want one thing – independence,” he said.
“Everything they say or do is to that end, this despite the majority of people saying time and time again that they do not want a return to the brutal divisions of a referendum.
“It’s time that the SNP put the national interest ahead of their own nationalist interest, and started delivering for the Scottish people.”
But leader of the Senedd’s Ukip group and former Tory MP Neil Hamilton welcomed the news, saying: “It is never wrong to consult the people”.
“I give Nicole Sturgeon my wholehearted support in having another referendum in order to put this issue to bed once and for all.
“I also challenge Leanne Wood to call for a referendum on Welsh independence.
“This would show how little support Plaid Cymru have for their policy of being ruled from Brussels and not by Cardiff or Westminster.”
Making the announcement earlier today Ms Sturgeon said: “If Scotland is to have a real choice, when the terms of Brexit are known but before it is too late to choose our own course, then that choice must be offered between the autumn of next year, 2018, and the spring of 2019.”
But a UK Government spokesman said a second Scottish independence referendum would be "divisive and cause huge economic uncertainty at the worst possible time".
He said: “The Scottish Government should focus on delivering good government and public services for the people in Scotland.”