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EDITIONS
Plaid Cymru Saturday, 22 September, 2001, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Plaid rejects Welsh independence
Jocelyn Davies AM addresses Plaid Cymru 2001 conference
Jocelyn Davies AM gives the conference her Euro vision
Plaid Cymru members have ruled out seeking independence for Wales at their annual conference in Cardiff.

The party faithful clarified its long-term constitutional aims on the issue, which has been a thorn in the side of the party.

Ieuan Wyn Jones, Plaid Cymru
Ieuan Wyn Jones called for justice over the terrorist attacks
In a heated debate, members agreed they wanted Wales to become a full member of the European Union, but they again formally rejected the term "independence."

Jocelyn Davies AM, a party executive member, said: "The people of Wales will decide when the journey ends, not us.

"If we are to persuade them to come with us, there must be absolute clarity."

However, this year's conference has been overshadowed by the recent terrorist attacks in the US.

Not even the party's call to decriminalise cannabis during the week ignited much more than the odd raised eyebrow and a minute's silence was held at St David's Hall on Friday.

Military plans

A party member from New York whose friend was killed in the attack on the World Trade Center told colleagues George Bush's military response plans must be stopped.

Monica Mahoney, who lost a high school classmate and who stood for the party at the general election, warned against barbarianism.


We cannot, in the name of civilisation, exercise our own aggression and barbarism

Monica Mahoney, Plaid Cymru member
She said: "When I hear President Bush speak, I fear that America runs the risk of becoming a lone ranger.

"I urge Tony Blair and the rest of the world's leaders to act as good counsel to him.

"We cannot, in the name of civilisation, exercise our own aggression and barbarism - that is true hypocrisy."

Ms Mahoney moved to Wales from the US in 1993. She thanked the people of Wales for their empathy, tenderness and support.

Constitutional wish list

On Friday, party president Ieuan Wyn Jones used his conference address to say those responsible for the attacks must be brought to justice.

He also attempted to defuse the migration row which has rattled through his party during the summer.

Crickhowell House, the National Assembly for Wales
Plaid want the Welsh Assembly to have more powers
The constitutional wish list announced for Wales would include full legislative and tax-raising powers for the Welsh Assembly, followed by a referendum on full EU membership.

Members agreed to the proposition: "Full member state status of the European is most likely to enable Wales to advance its national interests."

Senior party members proposed dropping independence from their policy portfolio on the basis that European states are interdependent rather than independent.

There was some disagreement from members, but it is expected the new position will be confirmed at a party conference in November.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Rhun ap Iorwerth, BBC Wales political correspondent
"The issue has been a thorn in the party's side"
See also:

21 Sep 01 | Plaid Cymru
25 Sep 00 | Plaid Cymru
03 Sep 01 | Wales
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