Abolish votes could let independence in through the back door, warns Andrew RT Davies
The Welsh Conservatives have warned that those voting for parties such as Abolish the Assembly would be letting Welsh independence in through the back door.
Andrew RT Davies asked voters not to “waste” their regional votes “as a protest against devolution”.
Doing so could rob the Conservatives of regional seats and deliver a Plaid Cymru and Welsh Labour government into power in the Senedd, he said.
He also warned that a strong showing for devosceptic parties would add “fuel” to the independence “fire”.
“I can understand people’s anger and frustration as the architects of devolution – Labour – have failed to deliver on their promises over the past 22 years. And often chosen to be different just for the sake of being different,” he said.
“But with our economic recovery in a strong Union on the line, and the prospect of a Labour-Plaid coalition, this election is too important and we can’t allow the separatists in through the back door.
“Independence would be ruinous for Wales, and any protest vote against the institution will only benefit the nationalists and add fuel to the fire.”
Voters have two votes on May 6 – and can vote for a different party on the regional list to their constituency. Both Abolish the Assembly and UKIP are hoping to win regional seats under a policy of scrapping the Senedd.
Andrew RT Davies also stressed the benefits of Wales’ membership of the “most successful political and economic union the world has ever seen”.
He said that the UK Government’s furlough scheme and the UK-wide roll-out of the vaccinations programme which was made possible as a result of the UK Government’s decision to go it alone away from the European Medicines Agency.
“The United Kingdom is the most successful political and economic union the world has ever seen, as our collective response to the pandemic has shown.
“From the UK Government’s furlough scheme that has protected half a million Welsh jobs, to the roll-out of the most successful vaccine programme in the world, we have shown that we are at our strongest when we work together.
“We need to focus on our recovery from the pandemic and get to grips with the mess that 22 years of Labour rule has made of our health service and education system.
“Voting Welsh Conservative on both ballots will deliver a strong economic recovery in a stronger Union. Anything else benefits the Welsh nationalists who are seeking to do a deal with Labour after Thursday.
“Wales simply cannot risk a dangerous dance with nationalism and the economic and constitutional chaos that would bring.”