Welsh nationalist leader Adam Price has previously said the last thing he wanted was for Wales to be left in a “rump UK state” if Scotland chose to follow a separate path, with the SNP already pushing for an IndyRef2.
The new arms-length commission will be chaired by Welsh Government minister Jocelyn Davies and tasked at looking at the economic case for independence. It will also consider the future relationships between Wales, the rest of the UK and the European Union.
Mr Price said that the conversation around Welsh independence had moved from 'the margins into the mainstream' and it was time to convince the people of Wales why independence is 'not merely desirable' but 'vitally necessary'.
"Something is happening in Wales. Over the past year, thousands have marched together in independence marches in Cardiff, Caernarfon and Merthyr," he said.
"Polls show that around 30 per cent consistently support independence. Independence has moved from the margins into the mainstream of Welsh political debate.
"Our mission is to convince the people of Wales that independence is not merely desirable, but actually vitally necessary to tackle our problems and improve our standard of living.
"That's why I'm proud to announce that Plaid Cymru have set up a commission, chaired by the formidable Jocelyn Davies, to look at how Wales can become independent in the next decade. The arms-length commission will undertake extensive analysis and develop effective policy to carve a clear pathway to the independence we need as a nation.
"This is a watershed moment in our country's history. Plaid Cymru believe that independence is the best choice for the people and communities of Wales. This commission will play a crucial part in proving that. It's time to declare a new Welsh spirit of independence and hope by refusing to put our faith in the Westminster establishment that has failed us for so long. It's time to choose a future that we ourselves will shape. It's time to choose our independence."
Following his election as leader in September last year, Price appointed Angus Robertson to conduct a root and branch review of the party’s campaign machinery.
The former SNP depute leader said Plaid needed a “more inclusive brand” that appealed across the principality, and suggested a name change – with the New Wales Party the favoured title.
While no final decision has been made on any rebranding, Plaid is for now focusing on Brexit and its aftermath, which the party believes is boosting the case for Welsh independence.