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UK

Welsh nationalists to intensify push for independence after Brexit

A Vote Remain T-shirt hangs on a wall next to the National flag of Wales in the village of Penally, Near Tenby, Pembrokeshire in Wales, Britain June 23, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

LONDON (Reuters) - The nationalist party of Wales will intensify its push for independence in response to last week’s decision by British voters to leave the European Union, the head of the party said on Monday.

The statement from the Plaid Cymru party, which does not govern Wales, comes as Scotland’s pro-independence government has said it might hold another referendum on Scotland breaking away from the United Kingdom in order to stay in the EU.

And in Northern Ireland, some Republican politicians have called for a vote to unite Ireland with the British-run province.

Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood said the result of Thursday’s referendum for Britain to leave the EU had “changed everything” for the party.

“In all likelihood, with Scotland voting to remain, the UK will cease to exist in the near future. Northern Ireland will be considering its future too,” she said in a statement.

“Wales cannot afford to become a forgotten part of an ‘England-and-Wales’ entity,” Wood said.

Plaid Cymru would hold a special conference soon to discuss the party’s stance further, she said.

Support for independence remains lower in Wales than in Scotland and the regional parliament is run by the centre-left Labour Party. In Britain’s EU membership referendum last week, voters in Wales narrowly backed leaving the bloc.

Writing by William Schomberg, Editing by Kylie MacLellan

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