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Drakeford saying he won’t ‘ever’ turn his back on UK ‘devestating’ to Labour independence supporters says Price

13 Oct 2022 4 minute read
Adam Price. Picture by Plaid Cymru. First minister of Wales Mark Drakeford during the Labour Party Conference at the ACC Liverpool. Picture by Peter Byrne / PA

The First Minister’s comments today that he would not “ever” turns his back on the UK were a “devastating blow” to Labour-voting independence supporters, Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price has said.

Mark Drakeford said this morning that he won’t “ever believe” that independence is the right course of action for Wales.

Speaking on RTE radio he was asked whether Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were heading towards a breakup of the United Kingdom.

He responded: “I don’t myself ever believe that independence is the right course of action for Wales.”

Adam Price said that Mark Drakeford was “wrong” to say that independence would never be the answer to Wales’ problems.

“Waking up to this news must be a devastating blow to the 40% of Labour voters who support independence,” he said.

“Being wedded to a Union that allows the destructive streak of Conservatism to wreak havoc on Welsh communities will never serve Wales well, no more than it has served the people of Ireland.

“Independence is the only way that we can create a fairer, greener Cymru for all. Independence would not only be socially just but also economically viable, as Plaid Cymru’s recently commissioned research shows.

“The First Minister is wrong. All decisions affecting Wales should be made in Wales and only way to achieve this is independence.”

‘Persuade’

Mark Drakeford told RTE that he wanted to see a change of attitude from the UK Government towards the union to prevent it from happening.

“I certainly hope not,” he said. “You know, I’m firmly a believer in powerful and entrenched devolution where decisions that affect only people in Wales are taken only by people in Wales

“But also that the United Kingdom benefits and Wales benefits from us being part of one another.

“So I don’t myself ever believe that independence is the right course of action for Wales. And I hope that we can fashion between us a compelling case for a successful United Kingdom and an United Kingdom that people in all parts of the United Kingdom would choose to belong to.

“They would see the case for it, they’d see the benefits that they get for it, but we have to work hard to assemble that case and to make sure that it’s compelling enough to persuade our fellow citizens, but that’s where they wanted to see their futures.”

‘Voluntary’

Mark Drakeford added that the main barrier to a successful union at the moment was the treatment of devolved nations by the UK Government, and reinforced that Prime Minister Liz Truss still hadn’t contacted him for a discussion.

“I don’t think I’ve said anything, actually about the new Prime Minister, and certainly nothing like members of her own party has had to say,” he said.

“It’s disappointing that the Prime Minister chooses to talk about the First Ministers of Wales and Scotland rather than to the First Ministers of Wales and Scotland. I look forward to the time when she feels she has a moment to pick up the phone and be in touch.

“Boris Johnson phoned me and I know he phoned the former First Minister of Scotland on the day that he became Prime Minister. I know that Mrs. May before him has done the same.

“So it is a bit of a conspicuous difference this time, but as soon as the Prime Minister is able to, to reach out to to talk to us in Wales, we’ll be very pleased to hear from her.”

He added: “She has appointed herself the Minister for the Union. And that’s an important title and one that I look forward to her demonstrating that it’s more than a title but it’s a determination to live up to that.

“But the case for the United Kingdom is that it is a voluntary association of nations in which the Four Nations choose to pool our sovereignty together to discharge common functions.

“And that sort of the United Kingdom, I think will appeal to people in Wales and beyond Wales.

“And I look forward when there is an opportunity to working with a Prime Minister on exactly that prospectus.”


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George Atkinson
George Atkinson
1 month ago

Plaid need get that message out to the Welsh Labour supporters WHO DO support independence then. ASAP.

Geoffrey ap.
Geoffrey ap.
1 month ago

Ok M D, you served your purpose, off you go, it’s time to replace you with someone younger and more courageous.

Glen
Glen
1 month ago

The reality is that the unionist majority in ‘Welsh’ Labour would prefer to be ruled by a right wing Tory government in Westminster than a left wing government in Cardiff.

Devolution was a step too far for many of them.

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 month ago
Reply to  Glen

And now that should be clear to them, so the Independence minority in Welsh Labour should consider switching their vote to PC because Labour will never offer us the chance to vote for our own freedom.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

We all know the Union does not work for Wales and never has – even Drakeford knows this. It’s time we tried something different, something bold. We can still have close economic ties with England (we won’t have much choice really) without being dictated to by the country. If England does try to bully us – and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we are – we’ll have to form closer ties to Ireland, Scotland and the EU. But we can’t go on as we are now – we’ll just end up poorer.

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve Duggan
SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Drakeford has stated quite unequivocally his position.

The old adage, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them”, springs to mind.

It’s time to give up believing Labour will support independence and lead the way on it, particularly Drakeford.

We either start voting Plaid or stay as we are and end up absorbed into England when Scotland and Northern Ireland leave the union.

Last edited 1 month ago by SundanceKid
Arwyn
Arwyn
1 month ago

The upshot of which is “Vote Labour, get Tory.”

Blunt perhaps but given a century of returning Labour majorities, Wales has been governed by the Tories more often than not. That is the price of Labour’s Unionism.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago

why is it devastating, everybody and their grandmother have been saying for a very long time Drakeford and Labour are a unionist party, anyone who seriously thinks Labour will do anything to help the move towards independence clearly hasn’t got a clue.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago

So much for his suggestion that the UK should be a “voluntary” union of the four nations! Wales is one of the “regions” most affected by the cost-of-living crisis. We “belong” to the world’s sixth richest country, yet we are the poorest “region” in Northern and Western Europe. We pay the highest energy bills despite generating twice the amount of energy that we consume. We will pay 5% towards HS2 without a track being laid in Wales and no Barnett consequential return (unlike Scotland). But most unforgivable of all, we historically and still have, the highest rates of child poverty… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by SundanceKid
Cat
Cat
1 month ago

So much drama. It’s not devastating at all. Its barely even news. And it won’t stop the many of us who support Labour, and who also support independence. If Plaid could give us independence, then great. But they haven’t and they can’t. We will not get independence in Wales until we bring Labour into the cause.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago
Reply to  Cat

Plaid would fight for Welsh independence if enough people voted for them. It’s their raison d’etre.

Drakeford has made it clear that Labour won’t. If Gething succeeds him, he won’t either as he has also said he doesn’t support independence.

Why vote for a party that has unequivocally said it will not support it? Sorry, I just don’t get it.

David Zenati-Parsons
David Zenati-Parsons
1 month ago
Reply to  Cat

100% with you Cat #IndyWales only happens if Welsh Labour supports the cause. Sorry to my Plaid friends but it’s the truth and that is what I am fighting for within the Party.

Llefain
Llefain
1 month ago
Reply to  Cat

This line of argument is verging on delusion now. No offence meant to you personally, but there is no logic whatsoever in this position. Plaid “can’t” because people who agree with their position are still pointlessly trying to get a unionist party to change it’s core belief simply because it is their party. Simple fact is, Labour won’t ever support independence, that should be clear by now. Look at Scotland. Continuing to chase this fantasy is harmful, and blaming Plaid for the the illogical decisions of Lab voters who support independence is disingenuous at best. It’s beyond the sunk cost… Read more »

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 month ago
Reply to  Cat

Labour will never join the cause. That is self evident. They have set out their stall. Let them stand or fall by their own actions. Plaid have not delivered independence because Plaid have never been the majority party. This is because people especially down here in the South have been wedded to Labour. This has included me because I felt it was better to have a Socialist Labour than a fascist Tory government. Now that Labour and the Tories offer exactly the same thing: More of the same. Ignoring us and disdaining us, then my views have changed. Let Labour… Read more »

Ihumphrys
Ihumphrys
1 month ago

What Labour weasels mostly yearn for, is a shiny new Range Rover.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ihumphrys
David Zenati-Parsons
David Zenati-Parsons
1 month ago
Reply to  Ihumphrys

no a Phev is the new Range Rover 😉

David Charles pearn
David Charles pearn
1 month ago

Drakeford is waiting for starmer to become PM thinking he will get more power for Wales Dream on the only way now is to vote plaid cymru it’s the only hope for independence.

Ihumphrys
Ihumphrys
1 month ago

Spot on!
Blair 2 is what the UK deep state now want, hence daggers out for Miss Whiplash and her acolytes. Labour Cymru For Truth must now take their pain killers and take the jump.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago

I don’t think Drakeford wants any more powers to be honest, and Starmer will not grant them because he is not a fan of devolution either.

The “devo-max” call is designed to keep the pro-independence Labour voters happy until a Labour Government is elected in Westminster.

Once that happens, they will quietly drop any more demands for “devo-max”, as they will expect calls for more powers and independence to quieten down during a UK Labour administration.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Subservient Unionist Mark Drakeford with his blind obedience has rejected hand of freedom for the cold clammy embrace of our Whitehall abuser. Disgraceful. 🙄

Kenneth Vivian
Kenneth Vivian
1 month ago

MD is preparing the ground to move into the halcyon pasture of the Upper House best suited for useless and imeffective poltiical philosophy

Gwyn Hopkins
1 month ago

Mark is quite a rational person except when pontificating about independence for Wales. Then logic goes out of the window and he makes some totally outrageous statements. For example, in Ruth Mosalski’s “Leader Interview” (Western Mail 22/4/2021) he compares any Welsh independence supporter to “a man standing on a 100 foot diving board attempting ………to dive into a bucket”. Such a statement is not only preposterous in the extreme but also a gross and contemptible attempt to insult the 25% in Wales that favour Welsh independence (including many Labour members and supporters).
 

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago
Reply to  Gwyn Hopkins

Go further – it’s an insult to all of us, not only those of us who support a free Cymru. The man on the diving board is Wales. The bucket is indy. Wales stand little or no chance according to Drakeford. We are less able than the scores of nations who have forged an independent settlement for themselves over the last 150 years. The Irish? Better. Canadians? Better. Kosovo? Oh, way better, far more capable, smoothest transition the world has ever seen! No way could we manage like these guys. We’re jus poor little taffies, look you! Diar annwyl. Classic,… Read more »

Llefain
Llefain
1 month ago

This man constantly talking out of both sides of his mouth has always been base party politicking. And those who still think his party could ever change their unionist dogma are wilfully blind. If you want independence you need to vote for it as a single issue vote until it is done, like in Scotland. We’ve been told to suck it up and vote Labour to keep the Cons out for decades. It’s time for Labour supporters of independence to swallow that bitter pill for a while and just vote Plaid to get us out of this Lab-Con game. Time… Read more »

Neil McEvoy
Neil McEvoy
1 month ago

Labour supporting Westminster over Wales is not news. Plaid Cymru supports the status quo & Labourwhenever given the chance. 2017 – 2021, Plaid did its best to ensure Drakeford & Labour won Cardiff West. It was Plaid Cymru who referred me to Senedd Standards. The main (unreported )complaint was my staff did work for Plaid Cymru during Senedd time & I used my constituency resources “for the benefit of Plaid Cymru.” So Plaid members should ask themselves why Plaid Cymru complained about that. I had 5 years of hearing ” Mark is OK…he is one of us…he’s a nashy really…Mark… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Neil McEvoy

Theatre trumps reality, true, with occasional outings for the “radical” suit just to keep up appearances. A cushy number a few steps removed from real responsibility is as much as most of the Plaid A.S.’s care to achieve. Party selection procedures will ensure that this state of affairs will continue.

Rob Pountney
Rob Pountney
1 month ago
Reply to  Neil McEvoy

Still whining Neil…

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago
Reply to  Neil McEvoy

Neil, if we are to gain independence ‘all’ the independence movements need to work together. I know you have issues with Plaid but ultimately we all want the same thing. If we are divided we fall. The Welsh independence movement needs to sing with one voice if we are to succeed.

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