A Celtic union or Celtic alliance refers to political unity between the Celtic nations either within the UK or together as independent countries.

Historical proposals

In 1864, Charles De Gaulle proposed a Celtic Union that would establish and develop links between Celtic countries. There should also be a Celtic "Esperanto" to facilitate communication and which would be created from common elements in all Celtic languages and a Pan-Celtic festival.[1][2]: 108 

'Celtic Alliance' - co-operation within the UK

In 2010, Plaid Cymru and the SNP formed a "Celtic Alliance" with the aim of increasing their influence on a UK government via agreements over policies and funding.[3]

In November 2016, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon stated the idea of a "Celtic Corridor" of the island of Ireland and Scotland appealed to her.[4]

In a Plaid Cymru conference in 2019, leader of Sinn Fein, Mary Lou McDonald stated "We need a pan-celtic anti-Tory political culture. A shared political culture that respects each other’s sovereignty and right to nationhood. A shared political culture grounded in principles of common interest and common purpose."[5] She echoed these views in a supportive video message to YesCymru in July 2022.[6]

In June 2022, Bangor University lecturer and journalist, Ifan Morgan Jones has suggested that "a short-term fix for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland might be a greater degree of cooperation with each other, as a union within a union." he also suggested that "If they could find a way of working together in their mutual interest, that’s a fair degree of combined influence, particular if the next General Election produces a hung parliament."[7]

In July 2023, the Welsh Government announced a "Celtic Heritage – Cornwall-Wales Collaboration Agreement" focused on cooperation in the following areas;

In August 2023, political leaders from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Galicia and Asturias met at the first ever Celtic Forum. Areas of discussion included a "Celtic Erasmus", Maritime transport, fishing & offshore wind power and native languages. Native languages include; Asturian, Breton, Cornish, Galician, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh.[9]

In January 2024, a Celtic Alliance was again proposed by a journalist Farrell Perks as a political co-operation between the Celtic countries within the UK to advance the cause of self-determination.[10]

Celtic Union of independent countries

In March 2017 a letter to the Irish Times proposed a Celtic union of Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and Scotland as an alternative to Brexit where "Northern Ireland is a swing vote".[11]

In April 2017, a Celtic union of the whole of Ireland, Scotland and Wales was proposed as an alternative to Brexit. Such a union would require the independence of Scotland and Wales and the reunification of Ireland[12]

In January 2019 the leader of the Welsh nationalist Plaid Cymru party, Adam Price spoke in favour of cooperation among the Celtic nations of Britain and Ireland following Brexit. Among his proposals were a Celtic Development Bank for joint infrastructure and investment projects in energy, transport and communications in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and the Isle of Man, and the foundation of a Celtic union, the structure of which is already existent in the Good Friday Agreement according to Price. Speaking to RTÉ, the Irish national broadcaster he proposed Wales and Ireland working together to promote the indigenous languages of each nation.[13][14]

In August 2019, Alastair Kneale of the Celtic League Mannin Branch said that the Isle of Man should also be open to a Celtic union.[15]

In the same month, Jason O'Toole writing for the Irish Mirror suggested a 'Celtic Pact' between Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, similarly to the Scandinavian Nordic Council.[16]

In June 2020, journalist Gina Tonic suggested a "United Celtic Republic" including Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Isle of Man, Brittany and a United Ireland.[17]

In July 2020, the potential "Celtic Corridor" bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland was proposed as a potential link for a Celtic union.[18]

In 2022, journalist Jamie Dalgety has also proposed the concept of a Celtic Union involving Scotland and Ireland but suggests that lack of support for Welsh independence may mean that a Gaelic Celtic Union involving may be more appropriate.[19]

See also

Celtic union may also refer to:

References

  1. ^ Charles de Gaulle Les Celtes aux dix-neuvieme siecle, Nantes, 1864, p. 351-358
  2. ^ De Barra, Caoimhín (2018). The Coming of the Celts, AD 1860: Celtic Nationalism in Ireland and Wales. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. ISBN 9780268103378.
  3. ^ Carrell, Severin; correspondent, Scotland (2010-03-31). "SNP and Plaid Cymru form Celtic alliance to influence hung parliament". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2023-09-22.
  4. ^ "Scottish first minister backs calls for 'Celtic corridor'". independent.ie. 29 November 2016.
  5. ^ "'Time to build a pan-Celtic political culture to defeat Toryism' - Sinn Féin President tells Plaid Cymru conference". www.sinnfein.ie. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  6. ^ "twitter.com/yescymru/status". Twitter. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  7. ^ "Might a 'Celtic union' be one route to shifting the balance of power within the UK?". Nation.Cymru. 2022-06-12. Retrieved 2022-06-12.
  8. ^ "Written Statement: Celtic Heritage – Cornwall-Wales Collaboration Agreement (18 July 2023) | GOV.WALES". www.gov.wales. 2023-07-18. Retrieved 2023-09-22.
  9. ^ "What is the Celtic Forum and why are leaders meeting in Brittany?". Sky News. Retrieved 2023-09-22.
  10. ^ Perks, Farrell (2024-01-07). "Emerald unity: the power of a Celtic Alliance". Bylines Cymru. Retrieved 2024-01-08.
  11. ^ "Why a Celtic union could counter Brexit". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2022-06-12.
  12. ^ "David Hamill: A Celtic Union as a Brexit alternative?". www.scotsman.com. Retrieved 2022-06-12.
  13. ^ Nualláin, Irene Ní (2019-01-10). "Welsh party leader calls for Celtic political union". RTÉ.ie.
  14. ^ "Adam Price: Scotland and Wales must form our own Celtic Union". The National. Retrieved 2022-06-12.
  15. ^ "Would stronger celtic union benefit IOM?". Manx Radio. Retrieved 2024-01-08.
  16. ^ NationCymru (2019-08-12). "Irish newspaper calls for union between Ireland, Wales and Scotland". Nation.Cymru. Retrieved 2024-01-08.
  17. ^ Tonic, Gina (2020-06-08). "The Case for a United Celtic Republic". Vice. Retrieved 2023-09-22.
  18. ^ "The Bridge to Scotland. A Unionist Umbilical Cord or A Link to a Celtic Union?". Slugger O'Toole. July 23, 2020. Retrieved 2022-06-12.
  19. ^ says, Austen Lynch (2021-09-25). "Thought Experiment: A Celtic Union". The Glasgow Guardian. Retrieved 2022-06-12.