• August 12, 2011


Had Wales become independent nation in 1990 and had developed at the same rate as other small nations in Europe, it would now be 39% richer and have a greater GDP per capita than the United Kingdom. This is one of the key findings of a
report published earlier this month and produced by Harvard University researchers.

`The Flotilla Effect – Europe’s Small Economies through the Eye of a Storm’ was commissioned by the President of Plaid Cymru, Jill Evans MEP and sets out the potential economic benefits of Welsh independence. The report shows clearly that
small nations are not only better equipped to withstand and recover from economic recession, but are generally more prosperous.

One of the authors of the report is Adam Price – one of the would be contenders for Plaid’s leadership and research fellow at the Center for International Development at Harvard – said:

“We’ve looked in detail at what has been achieved by small independent EU nations and what an independent Wales could achieve and the results are far-reaching.

“People in Wales could be around 39% richer, and the Welsh economy could have grown by 2.5% a year had Wales achieved independence around the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall and followed a similar patter to other similar small nations.
In contrast, regions or countries which have rejected independence have performed poorly.

“This report shows quite clearly that size is no barrier to economic success, and in fact, that a small nations like Wales could benefit greatly from independence as many other small nations have done over the past decades. “We discovered that there is a considerable ‘small country bonus’ amongst many of the countries we studies, with smaller countries growing at a more rapid pace
and recovering quicker from recession.

“Opponents of independence and further devolution have often misused the current economic problems to suggest that small countries would struggle for survival in tough economic times. Many conclusions of this report blow these assumptions out
of the water.

“Far from hampering a country’s prosperity –being small can actually lead to greater economic success and greater prosperity. When it comes to charting the best economic course, small countries are the most adept and that is reflected in their wealth and well being.”

The Flotilla Effect – Europe’s Small Economies Through the Eye of a Storm:


Adam Price on the economic benefits of small nations:

Also see:


This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884
M: 0044(0)7787318666


J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


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