Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Drakeford won’t ‘ever’ support independence but wants ‘decisions that affect only Wales taken in Wales’

13 Oct 2022 3 minute read
First minister of Wales Mark Drakeford. Picture by Peter Byrne / PA Wire

Mark Drakeford has said that he won’t “ever believe” that independence is the right course of action for Wales but that he wants “decisions that affect only people in Wales taken only by people in Wales”.

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

He said that while he hoped that wasn’t the case, but 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’

He 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.”


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

27 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
George Atkinson
George Atkinson
1 month ago

Bootlicker of the occupiers. Judas.

Doctor Trousers
1 month ago

If you believe in a voluntary association of nations, then support independence. It will never be voluntary until the union in its present state is dissolved.

Bill
Bill
1 month ago

I’ve always thought of Mark Drakeford as part of the enablement of independence. part of the roadmap from total colonial dependence (pre Senedd). toward building an awareness of the differences between England and Wales and eventually building a consensus amongst the majority of those people that live in Wales that they will be significantly better off (not just economically) by full independence.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill

And now?

Bill
Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

???

Ihumphrys
Ihumphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill

and now you know he’s a doormat?

Arwyn
Arwyn
1 month ago

He’s asking for something that won’t be given. Mark, if you want Welsh decisions to be made in Wales, which is what we all want, then we need to establish our own Nation State. It is only then that we will be governed by the people we elect on the mandade that we grant. I’m more than open to various forms of political union between Nation States but without one we are destined to have our agenda set by others. I’ve said it over and over, Labour Unionism legitimises Tory governance of Wales. It’s time it stopped.

Mawkernewek
1 month ago
Reply to  Arwyn

I don’t think he’s asking for very much though. The phrase “decisions that affect *only* people in Wales” basically sounds like devolution is just local governement really.
This phrasing would support things like environment to be taken out of Wales’ competency since obviously pollutants could cross the border out of Wales and have effects elsewhere.

Arwyn
Arwyn
1 month ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

Yes, he always tailors his words very carefully. His idea of what constitutes a “Welsh decision” would likely be somewhat different to my own.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
1 month ago

Yet again, a clear and unambiguous statement that Mark Drakeford and the Welsh (?) Labour Party are committed unionists.
It really does not matter how much devolution – or how little – the reigns of power will remain in Westminster, and whatever promises might be made in any future change in arrangements, Westminster can always change the rules.
Perhaps Mark Drakeford is unaware to recent events?
And will the “Party of Wales” stop supporting a unionist party?

Mawkernewek
1 month ago

To say “decisions that affect only people in Wales taken only by people in Wales” inherently limits devolution, and if applied strictly could even result in Wales having less powers than it does now.

Mawkernewek
1 month ago

“But the case for the United Kingdom is that it is a voluntary association of nations” Though it isn’t, not if he’s talking about what the UK is now, rather than a hypothetical British Confederation where the four nations (Wales, Cornwall, England, Scotland) voluntarily pool sovereignty. Devolution as it is starts from the assumption that everything is under the authority of the Crown acting via Parliament, and certain things can be outsourced to devolved bodies, but in principle the central Parliament could reduce the devolved bodies powers or abolish them, and there would be no constitutional way for the devolved… Read more »

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
1 month ago

The UK is a top-down dictatorship. A real union is the European Union. A union which has a democratically elected parliament by Proportional Representation. A European Council of ministers where individual nations within the union send their government representatives to develop union policies. A European Human rights standard. A single market that is fair to all nations. A policy to aid development of local regions, which has directly funded our Welsh government. Yet you Mr Drakeford and your supporters ‘still’ see merit in staying with a top-down UK which has revoked its EU member, has even left EFTA, and has… Read more »

George Thomas
George Thomas
1 month ago

It’s difficult to combine the idea that devolution max as part of the United Kingdom and that Liz Truss (and Boris Johnson before her) has contributed to a really difficult relationship with the Senedd.

We can speak about need for devolution and respectful relationship all we like but if not coming back to us then it’s not an option on the table.

However, there are so many questions yet to be answered about full independence and fewer questions to answer regarding devolution max.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
1 month ago

Empty suit strikes again. What a doormat he is.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
1 month ago

While I don’t agree with Mark Drakeford, I do respect and understand his kind of Unionism. However, this is NOT a voluntary union of Nations simply because most of us have never had a vote on it and even if some in these islands have they weren’t told the truth at the time. If and when there is ever a free, fair and democratic vote on this Union then, and only then, will I except it. Until that time I want out of it.

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

No one in their right mind abdicates their freedom to another country. Those doing so fall somewhere between treason and doubt.

Last edited 1 month ago by Quornby
Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

I didn’t volunteer. What do you want to be Mark? First Minister of a free country or London’s lickspittle?

David
David
1 month ago

From the Craig Murray blog titled “The White Flag Hearing”. The legal right of secession of states, outside of a situation of “classic” colonial occupation, has developed enormously in the last thirty odd years. South Sudan, Montenegro, East Timor, Eritrea, North Macedonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine are all amongst the new states recognised by the United Nations since 1991.

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 month ago

Good to know. Now I know it’s not worth voting Labour ever again.

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
1 month ago

Which is why I will never vote for them. Unionists.

Harry Williamson
Harry Williamson
1 month ago

Drakeford is a British Nationalist heading up the Welsh branch of a Unionist party with social democratic ambitions. Anybody who expects him, or any other senior Labour figure, to say anything positive about independence is living in cloud cuckoo land.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Well Mark, you did say you weren’t stopping. So ‘if not you, Moses’ then who will lead us into the promised land…Cerrig Arthur time…

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
1 month ago

To read Mark Drakeford’s comments saddens me. It is naive to think the answer to Welsh economic problems lies in Westminster. It appears Mark Drakeford cares more about the well-being of the British Labour party than he does about the people of Wales.

Brian
Brian
1 month ago

Another Labour traitor

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Unionist Mark Drakeford’s admission that he would never support Welsh independence is an open admission that even though policies made in Westminster would be damaging to devolution and Welsh democracy he would effectively turn a blind eye and do nothing because of his blind loyality to. British Union, a Union that doesn’t even represent us? Breathtaking subservience by an alleged political leader of a governing party. We need to oust Welsh Labour at the next Senedd election because they are Whitehall Unionist stooges. Ever wondered why Welsh Labour rarely fights for Wales whenever devolution of powers are denied compared to… Read more »

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

Self determination was seen by Gwynfor as a journey and not a destinatilon……a prosess that many within the Labour Party like Jim
Griffiths, Cledwyn Hughes and Ron Davies concured with.

Some will use the journey for their own aims while others will always be hostile.

Marks D’s understanding of Wales has always been positive if indeed limited by his academic life. He reflects a good proportion of labour thought in Wales and speaks up
always on evidenced bssed policy…which in most cases works.

He does not however think out of yjr box

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.