THE future of Wales within the UK like that of Scotland – may depend on what sort of Brexit the UK Government agrees, according to one of the Principality’s longest serving and most experienced politicians.

Speaking on the Alex Salmond Show on RT, Lord Wigley, formerly the Plaid Cymru MP and then Assembly member for Carnaerfon for said he sees the constitutional future of Wales being closely bound up with the European question.

The twice former leader of Plaid Cymru, was first elected to the House of Commons in February 1974 and is a veteran of the first attempt to secure devolution for Wales in 1979, which ended in overwhelming defeat in a referendum. However 18 years later the Welsh voted narrowly in favour of devolution.

In a highly personal interview, Wigley, 75, told Salmond how his all-party campaigns for disability rights, which defined his parliamentary career, arose from personal family tragedy involving the early deaths of two sons from genetic conditions.

Success in those campaigns also kept his political interest alive when constitutional politics was at a low ebb in the 1980s.

However, as Wigley explained to Salmond, things turned much more positive for Welsh self-government in the 1990s and, after a narrow victory for a National Assembly in the 1997 referendum, Wigley led his party to an unprecedented success in the Welsh elections of May 1999. In that year Plaid Cymru achieved a record 30 per cent of the vote and became the major opposition party at the Cardiff Assembly, the first national parliament in 600 years of Welsh history.

At that stage the best-known politician in Wales and opposition leader, future political success seemed guaranteed but Wigley suffered a major heart scare and resigned the leadership of Plaid for the second time.

In the aftermath, and in sharp contrast to the progress of the SNP in Scotland, Plaid slipped back to barely hold on to second place in Welsh politics.

Constitutional advance, however, came in the form of law-making powers for Wales in the lee of political change in Scotland. Back in politics after he was raised to the peerage in 2011, Wigley is now one of the leading challengers to Brexit in the House of Lords.

He believes that, while the outcome of the Brexit vote must be respected, Britain should define a new and close economic relationship with Europe or face a second confirmatory vote.

He told Salmond: “It does depend so much on whether we stay in a meaningful way in unison with the European Union if not a full member of it ... in which case Wales can find its level, as can Scotland ... because we want to build self-government and self-determination within a broader world, not cut ourselves off or look inward on ourselves.”