England should listen to Drakeford to save the union, says Guardian
England should listen to Mark Drakeford in order to save the union, according to The Guardian.
The liberal London-based newspaper suggested that to prevent the UK from breaking up, England should act on the First Minister’s call for “solidarity between peoples of the union” that was “grounded in respect”.
It said that a “conversation” about the “constitutional relationship” of the country was happening in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but added that it was “between niche and nonexistent” in England itself.
The editorial also criticised Boris Johnson for being “intolerant” of devolution and calling it a “disaster”
It also pointed out that his UK Government was “overwhelmingly” elected in England, and suggested that it “does not take other parts of the UK into much account”.
The article said: “This week, Wales’s first minister, Mark Drakeford, warned that the threat has never been greater.
“Faced with Mr Johnson’s ‘aggressive unilateralism’, Mr Drakeford summoned those who believe in solidarity between the peoples of the union, who support the pooling of resources, and who share values in common, to cooperate to reform the union to be fit for purpose and grounded in respect. He is right.
“This work is particularly urgent in England, for reasons that include its size, its lack of distinct political machinery, its centralisation, and Mr Johnson’s approach.”
It also said: “This country needs a serious conversation about England. Not about the England football team – that’s for another day.
“The conversation this country – the United Kingdom – needs is about England’s future political and constitutional relationship with the rest of the union.
“A particular version of that conversation simmers perpetually in Northern Ireland. A dynamic one rages in Scotland. A third variation is developing in Wales.
“In England itself, the conversation lurks between niche and nonexistent. The issue is nevertheless latent.
“That needs to change. Why? Because, without a serious, calm and collective effort, the UK may be stumbling towards dissolution.
“Political and governance tensions exist not just between but within the nations: in England against London, in Scotland against centralisation, and in Wales against the south. Local government everywhere is in retreat.
“Mr Johnson is happy with that. His unionism is intolerant of devolution, which he dubs a disaster.
“His government was elected overwhelmingly in England, and he does not take other parts of the UK into much account, the prime evidence being the Northern Ireland protocol.”