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[The agreement] entails Plaid Cymru transforming itself from a traditional opposition party in the Westminster sense to something new and refreshingly different, a co-opposition party, co-operating where possible, while continuing to oppose, and to scutinise and criticise where necessary.

There is no precedent for what we are about to embark upon in the politics of these islands. It is a unique Welsh departure from the British constitution – a downpayment if you like on independence – though similar arrangements have happened elsewhere – notably in Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, Denmark, and Norway; and in Commonwealth countries such as New Zealand. Small nations all breaking the mould of politics-as-usual.

What we have crafted in this agreement is an approach entirely new in the political culture we have grown up with and are used to …

But however you describe it, and whatever you call it, it is not oppositionism for opposition’s sake.

There are some attractions to oppositionism, but the deeper question in politics is not “Who or what we are against”, but “What are we really for”?

At the heart of our politics, in this party above all else, lies the idea of a Welsh Demos, a Welsh political nationhood, which transcends party, which embodies values more enduring, and more important, than anything that divides us.

For Wales to be free, we must first be united.

And, that is what this co-operation agreement sets out to achieve. It launches us on a pathway to a united Wales, one that, sooner than we perhaps think, will find it both comfortable and natural, indeed essential, to join the world community of normal, independent nations.


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