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Calling UK a ‘union’ encourages nationalists, Conservative think tank founded by Thatcher says

14 May 2022 2 minutes Read
The flags of Wales, Scotland, England and the UK. Picture by Joowwww.

A British nationalist think tank has said that Conservatives should stop referring to the UK as a ‘union’ because it encourages nationalists who want to break it up.

The Bruges Group, whose founding president was former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, said that it was committed to putting forward the ‘intellectual’ case for the UK severing ties with the European Union.

But calling the UK a ‘union’ could itself encourage nationalists in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to break away, they said.

“It is unhelpful to normalise separatist terminology,” they said. “If we accept their premise that the United Kingdom is a union, the implication is that it can be dissolved.

“The United Kingdom is a country, whole and entire.

“Separatists aren’t engaged in some noble quest – they’re fighting to break our country apart.”

‘Act of union’

Their statement came at a moment of peril for the United Kingdom. Sinn Féin won the most seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly for the first time earlier this month.

In Scotland, the SNP had their best ever local elections and the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reaffirmed her commitment to an independence referendum within that parliamentary term.

In Wales, Welsh Labour outperformed the party in England by appealing to a distinct sense of Welsh identity, and have signed a cooperation agreement with the pro-independence Plaid Cymru.

The Bruges Group’s decleration that the United Kingdom isn’t an union was however greeted with a mixed reaction on social media.

“It’s literally called United Kingdom, and was created by an act of union,” one user pointed out.

“You can’t hold the UK together if people don’t want to be in the UK,” Rebecca Barr said. “At the brexit referendum both the wishes of the majority of Scotland and NI were totally ignored.”


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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
7 days ago

The fact that they claim this ‘union’ is a country is an insult and denigrates the existence of the actual real life countries that existed hundreds of years before their 1 sided union was even farted out as a suggestion. What do they suggest we call it, an occupation perhaps?

Pedr ap Ioan
Pedr ap Ioan
7 days ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Occupation would be more accurate, in Cymru, it’s certainly a debatable point…. Surely the only real union was between Scotland & England…. and that, is now clearly a dead union walking ! 😀

Last edited 7 days ago by Pedr ap Ioan
tired of this
tired of this
7 days ago
Reply to  Pedr ap Ioan

“It’s literally called United Kingdom, and was created by an act of union,” was essentially my first thought on seeing the headline. What is it they want to call it now? ‘Greater England’? And yes, quite true, the Union with Scotland was in essence voluntary (with as much dodgy dealing and lies as Brexit, really) we Wales was is and remains conquered country, occupied territory, taken by force.

Dave
Dave
7 days ago

It’s not the Union that I have a problem with on the whole, it is the way our economy in Wales as an exporting Nation has to accommodate the Economic model set in Westminster that advantages an Importing Nation which England is. We the Welsh are being hamstrung and that needs to stop so that we can grow into the Nation we deserve to be. #IndyWales #WelshLabour4IndyWales

Quornby
Quornby
6 days ago
Reply to  Dave

I hope Labour4IndyWales actually exists Dave, but I take leave to doubt it…… Nandy for instance wants to use “Spanish Methods” against Wales and Scotland.

Arwyn
Arwyn
7 days ago

Said it over and over – this iteration of the Tory party is a mob of anglo-British Nationalists. They are radical ideologues, hellbent on imposing their fictitious constitutional artifice on the Nations of this island. What they are exhorting here is often referred to as “Muscular Unionism”. If they think that and a superficial alteration of terminology is a means to suppress the growing clamour for democratic self-determination of our Nations then I have nothing but contempt for them.

Dean Thomas
Dean Thomas
7 days ago

One Nation! One Voice! One Boris!

Quornby
Quornby
7 days ago
Reply to  Dean Thomas

Putin shares that crap psychology.

Kurt C
Kurt C
7 days ago
Reply to  Dean Thomas

Very Nazi like. Or is it very US. Either way creepy and dangerous and evil.

Rob
Rob
6 days ago
Reply to  Kurt C

In fairness to the US though it is not a centralised country. Every state has more or less full autonomy over its own affairs. No doubt the US considers itself to be one nation, but states like Texas are free to have their own distinct identities.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
7 days ago

Oh dear, do they never learn?

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 days ago

Semantics, semantics – a playground for extreme Tory antics ! Right now we are in a Union whether we like it or not. It is a Union that has ceased to be cohesive, if it ever was. There are people who want it to stay as it was, pickled in some change-denying, timeless, everlasting homage to Monarchy, Westminster, Cof E, and the rest of the Establishment clutter. We who seek change have a momentum but we must not underestimate the resistance to change that inhabits those who oppose us. They have and will continue to exploit all the tricks available… Read more »

Kurt C
Kurt C
7 days ago

Union is a very fake name as no unity, its England control. But country basically insults us as if we don’t exist. Forces us a nasty flag on our food in in places it doesn’t belong. This kind of arrogance feeds indy support.

Rob
Rob
6 days ago
Reply to  Kurt C

There is no way the Union flag is a flag of unity as there is no Welsh representation on it.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 days ago

What this Conservative think tank can’t grasp is that the British Union they refer to is dying because it’s never been representative or a marriage of equals. Just accept its demise so we can all move on. See, both Wales & Scotland want to trade with England just not be ruled by.

Last edited 7 days ago by Y Cymro
Iorwerth ap Wyllt
Iorwerth ap Wyllt
7 days ago

Calling the UK a country or “nation” riles me up more than union, I don’t care what you call this amalgamation of unhappy nations, I will dream of self-determination no matter the terminology in question.

I mean, cm’on nation? Have they read a dictionary? Or are they trying to be literally Orwellian (in the Newspeak sense of the word)

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
7 days ago

They can call it Sticky Puddin’ if they like, but we still want out!

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
7 days ago

See how they’re using the word separatist to describe supporters of independence, I believe RT uses the word as well, in a derogatory way of course. Of course
the other separatists in the news at the moment are the Russian separatists in Ukraine, before that, they were in Crimea, and of course there was the Irish separatist group the IRA, so you can see how they’re targeting the independence movement and how we will be attacked by the english government and media in the future.

Arwyn
Arwyn
7 days ago

RTD2’s use of the term along with other Tories is an obvious signifier to which ideology they adhere. Nation reported on their little book not so long ago in which the UK was asserted to be “a single contiguous nation” The exact same phraseology is used by the Abolish the Assembly mob. I sincerely hope that the likes of Antoniw and Drakeford are aware of this darker turn the Tories have taken. They are no longer Unionists – a label I can apply to Labour. No, this Tory Party is now dominated by anglo-British Nationalists. Ideologues who believe that Britain… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
7 days ago
Reply to  Arwyn

The ideology of Tory nationalists at this time who would deny our culture and identity to promote their “union” is starting to resemble that of British unionists at the turn of the last century. It is indeed very dark, sinister and insiduous.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
7 days ago

Don’t like the ‘u’ word? Fair enough. How about ‘English Empire’?

Quornby
Quornby
7 days ago

All nations should be free. We are leaving, if not now then soon. Call it what you like in your “think tank”.

Rob
Rob
7 days ago

I would say the opposite. The fear that the EU was eroding our Sovereignty and evolving into a giant Super state, a single country called Europe played into the hands of the Brexit movement. So muscular unionism, overruling devolution, or referring to the UK as a single country rather than a union of countries, will play into the hands of the ‘separatists’ far more than those who call the UK a union.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
7 days ago

I don’t need some Tory think tank to tell me what my nationality is, Cymru am byth 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Arwyn
Arwyn
6 days ago

This rhetoric has been known about for some time. See this interview: https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2020/05/13/shahmir-sanni-on-whistleblowing-and-corruption/ The hard right British Nationalist coup has been a long time in the making. They are now the UK Govt. Welsh Labour really need to come on board with independence right now. We will never be rid of this until we establish a Welsh State. Devomax will not stop them. Federalism will not stop them. They believe in the supremacy of Westminster … a vehicle for their own minority domination of the UK. We can only be free under a democratic Welsh State.

tired of this
tired of this
5 days ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Entirely correct, and also the reason why we must be suspicious of all the traditonal ‘Westminster’ political parties – at the death they always believe in and want ‘the union’, with Westminster and therefore England in charge. In any union England will ineveitably dominate and policy will always be made so suit England first and foremost.

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
6 days ago

It ain’t no union, anyways, is it, guv?

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
6 days ago

It’s like being in school with a really vindictive bully. I can’t wait to leave school.

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