AS the UK political system continues its Brexitmeltdown, the national movements in Scotland and Wales are giving loudest voice to radically improve governance on these islands.

Westminster is not capable of healing the divisions that have been unleashed in English politics, with the Tories morphing into the Brexit Party. Meanwhile, Labour Party incoherence on Europe continues.

The current hiatus which has brought together the SNP, Plaid Cymru, Labour, LibDems and moderate Tories may well secure a bill passed which will outlaw a No-Deal Brexit. We may also see agreement leading to an early General Election, but only after the Brexit deadline has passed.

Recent polls have seen a boost for both the SNP and Plaid Cymru, which will give a stronger voice to Scotland and Wales. However the Tory election campaign looks set to be a red-blooded anti-Europe affair, with Boris Johnson betting he can win over Leave-supporting Labour voters and secure him a majority across the UK.

That is why moves in Scotland and Wales to secure self-determination are so important, as our best insurance policy against being held at the mercy of BoJo and his extreme Brexiteers. Both countries find themselves at slightly different stages of the self-determination journey, but under the leadership of Adam Price, Plaid Cymru is leading the debate about the future of Wales and everyone who lives there.

For the first time ever Plaid Cymru has led the polls in Wales ahead of the next Welsh elections. Meanwhile, their talented parliamentarians at Westminster Liz Saville Roberts, Hywel Williams, Jonathan Edwards and Ben Lake are leading from the front in defending jobs and the economy in the face of a damaging Brexit. But rather than just sticking plaster solutions, Plaid are thinking big picture about how to empower Wales and protecting everyone who lives in the country.

Price has written to First Minister Mark Drakeford urging him to support the establishment of a Welsh Constitutional Convention which would look at all options for Wales’s constitutional future – including independence.

The National:

Price said the “unprecedented events and chaos in Westminster” represented a “broken system” and called for “a constructive debate” on the future of Wales.

Today, thousands of people will be marching in Merthyr Tydfil in support of Welsh independence.

It is the latest in a series of marches which have illustrated the growing level of independence support and of indy curiosity in Wales. Having worked closely with Price and Plaid colleagues over the last year I know how serious they are about reinvigorating Welsh politics, giving the people a credible opportunity of change from the tired and underachieving Labour Party.

The prospects of Scottish independence are making many people in Wales question their best future.

As English politics becomes even more introspective and divided, it’s time for Scotland and Wales to lead in showing there is a better way forward. I look forward to all of the nations on these islands working together as independent equals and good neighbours.

David Pratt is one of the best

WHEN I started in journalism, I imagined that covering news from a crisis zone would be the most exciting assignment.

When I was given my first real break, I was sent to cover the war in the former Yugoslavia in 1992. Only a few hours driving south of Vienna where I was based, we crossed the border into Slovenia, then into Croatia and on to the frontline in the Krajina region.

My job was to interview refugees from the conflict, and those recordings were then used to publicise the work of Neighbour in Need the biggest charity helping victims of the war.

That first assignment made a lasting impression on me, being confronted by the human misery and calamity experienced by innocent people.

A few follow-up assignments took me back to the conflict zone, and seeing things that you can’t unsee. The brutality of war, often in very mundane circumstances, is deeply unsettling. I decided it was not for me.

However, what I was left with was a profound appreciation for the talented and brave war journalists who put themselves in harm’s way to tell the stories of people caught up in conflict and what is happening to their lives, their families and communities. In Scotland we are genuinely blessed to have one of the best in the business: David Pratt.

Readers of The National will know from his columns that he has a profound understanding of different conflicts around the world.

He has reported on many of them. He is also an extremely talented photographer.

If you get the chance can I recommend that you visit a new exhibition of his moving war photography from the last four decades?

Only With The Heart opens to the public tomorrow at Sogo Arts, 82-86 Saltmarket, Glasgow, G1 5LY from 12 noon – 6pm, then 10am-6pm daily, except Monday.