Devolution has given rise to ‘extreme nationalism’ in Wales says Wrexham MP
Devolution has given rise to “extreme nationalism” in Wales, according to the Conservative MP for Wrexham.
Writing in the book Strength in Union which was launched at her party’s Manchester conference, Sarah Atherton said that she had suffered abuse after becoming the first Tory MP for Wrexham in December 2019.
Comparing Wales with Scotland, she says that Wales has a “small but vocal nationalist party” but that she aimed to use her position to “ensure that Wales does not take inspiration from Scotland’s nationalist agenda”.
“In the run-up to my election, and since becoming the first-ever Conservative MP for Wrexham, it has become painfully clear to me that extreme nationalism is on the rise,” she said.
“I have seen repeated protests outside my constituency office, criminal damage to the office, toxic behaviour on social media and death threats.
“Is this really democracy? Much like their inability to accept me as their democratically elected MP, nationalists refuse to accept the Union and the benefits it brings to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“Separatism is rising across the UK and it would not be unfair to attribute some of the moves towards independence in Wales and Scotland to the creation of the devolved administrations in the late 1990s.”
As a military veteran, having served in the Intelligence Corps, she argues that the key to retaining the UK is the military which is “the cornerstone of our United Kingdom”.
“As a passionate Unionist, it seems obvious to me to use the military as a vehicle to promote the strength of our Union and the opportunities that it brings,” she said.
“Today, each nation within the United Kingdom has a proud individual identity – but too often this can be used to feed separatism and division. The defence sector, however, bridges these divides and has stood the test of time against growing nationalism.
“The military is an institution which has been steadfast in its loyalty to protecting our Union – and, more importantly, the people within it – while celebrating the individualism of each of our four nations.
“It is the epitome of Unionism and, more than that, it is good for our Union and we should celebrate that.
“There is no nation-bias when it comes to our Armed Forces: there was a job to be done to protect the entire UK from this invisible enemy and that is exactly what they did, while displaying the Union Flag on their uniform.”