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Welsh independence 'viable' but 'most uncertain option' for Wales's future, report finds

Welsh independence is "viable" but is the "most uncertain option" for Wales's future, a new report has found.

The Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales was set up by the Welsh government to look at the country's governance.

It published a report of its findings on Thursday after two years of research.

Co-chaired by Cardiff University professor Laura McAllister and former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the commission focused on three options - increased devolution, a federal UK and an independent Wales.

Its report concluded that all three of those options were "viable" but that Welsh independence was "by far the most uncertain option".

The report outlined risks in terms of currency, borders, trade, cost and capacity and warned they were "greater post-Brexit".

A federal UK would be somewhere between independence and the continuation of a union.

But the report concludes there is "currently little appetite for this in England" and that it "runs counter to the aspirations of the Scottish government".

Enhancing devolution would "avoid some of the risk" of other options, the report concludes.

But it would not change the "economic position of Wales in the United Kingdom".

"Moving to a federal structure for the UK, or an independent Wales, would require a referendum, or referendums, preceded by extensive debate and public information," it added.

"A federal structure would require the support of the rest of the UK."

Wales's outgoing first minister, Mark Drakeford, has welcomed the report.

"I want to thank the Commission and everyone from across Wales who contributed to the process," he said.

"The final report is an important moment in the debate on the constitutional journey of Wales.

"It is a serious piece of work that deserves careful consideration and the Welsh government will be reviewing it in detail."

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But the Welsh Conservatives - the largest opposition party in the Senedd - have called it a "distraction".

Shadow minister for the constitution, Darren Millar, said the Welsh government should have "a laser-like focus on getting to grips with unacceptable waiting lists, improving educational outcomes and better pay for hard-working people".

However, Mr Millar acknowledged there were "some interesting aspects of this report which will require further consideration".