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First Minister rejects call to back a referendum on Wales constitutional future

28 Jun 2022 4 minute read
Photo Plaid Cymru

First Minister Mark Drakeford has rejected calls from Adam Price for the Welsh Government to support a consultative referendum on Wales constitutional future.

Plaid Cymru’s  leader urged Mr Drakeford to back a referendum following confirmation yesterday that Westminster intends to repeal the Trade Union Act passed by the Senedd.

The UK government said it “intends to legislate to remove the Trade Union (Wales) Act 2017 through primary legislation when Parliamentary time allows, to ensure trade union legislation applies equally across Great Britain”, a move the Plaid leader said was “devolution’s breaking point”.

Describing the proposals in First Minister Questions as showing “contempt not just for workers, not just for Wales, but for our democracy,” Mr Price added.

“Westminster wants it to be a relationship where they are in control and our Senedd is subservient; Where their Parliament is supreme and ours is subordinate” and called for “legally secure routes” for Wales to be able to decide the future of its own democracy.

Power grabs

“This is not just one more in a long list of power grabs. It’s a turning point. It is potentially devolution’s breaking point.

“It rolls back the rights of citizens, but also it denies those citizens very right to decide their own future.

“There has to be a political response that will make Westminster sit up and listen.”

“A strongly worded letter from the Welsh Government is not going to work,” Mr Price said.

“The First Minister’s response to the Westminster power grab is to hope for a Labour success in the next General Election, but what happens if Labour loses the next general election and the one after that?

“Plaid Cymru has a very simple answer to this situation which would remove Westminster’s right to run roughshod over our democracy permanently – not just in the brief interludes of a Labour Government once every twenty years: and that is independence.”

“If Labour is not prepared to back independence now, then surely they can back a consultative referendum on Wales’ constitutional future. If it’s framed as Wales versus Westminster then surely it’s a referendum that we can win?”

Re-litigating

In response, the First Minister said he didn’t see the purpose of “continually re-litigating this issue”

“I stood next to the leader of Plaid Cymru in debates in which he attempted to persuade people that independence—breaking away from the United Kingdom—was the best way to secure Wales’s future,” Mr Drakeford added.

“I made a different case; I make it still: that the way to ensure that people in Wales continue to exercise the level of control over our own affairs is to make sure that devolution is entrenched, that it cannot be rolled back in the way that it is currently. And there is a way to do that, Llywydd, and it’ll come at the next general election, and that cannot come soon enough.

“We don’t have a Government at Westminster” he said. “We have a set of headless chickens who run around trying to save their own skins.

“It’s time for them to clear out for people to have a chance to choose a different and a better Government”.

“And that will be the way to make sure that people in Wales have what I think they demonstrated in May of last year that they wanted.

“They want to have powerful devolution. They want to have a Senedd able to do the job that we were elected to do.

“But they want, as well, to be part of a successful United Kingdom.”


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CJPh
CJPh
5 months ago

So, Drakeford’s response to the disenfranchisement of the people who he is meant to serve is to do a sneaky little campaign speech for his party at an election he does not stand in. Plaid need to immediately cut ties with this Unionist and his band of hucksters. If they do not then Adam and his party are bolstering the union.

Arwyn
Arwyn
5 months ago

The “successful United Kingdom” that Drakeford appeals to is a unicorn, a fantasy. It has never existed it never will. Even if he believes that Labour are the answer, he should ask himself “how often and how long are Labour in power?” Furthermore, he should consider whether or not having mandateless Tory government of Wales over and over is a price worth paying for his unionism?

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
5 months ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Federalism will NEVER happen because Westminster will not risk the largest country in the union being marginalised by the other three nations, and that’s what will happen under a federalism model. The “voluntary and equal union” of four countries that Drakeford dreams of, won’t happen. The only other option is to divide England up into administrative divisions, and given the fact that devolution has already been rejected there, that won’t happen either. It is too divisive. Drakeford lives in a fantasy world. Of course, Starmer will promise the moon and the stars, because he wants to be in power. He… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by SundanceKid
Gareth
Gareth
5 months ago

It would appear that the union comes before Cymru, in the eyes of Mark Drakeford, the people he represents come second to the needs of the Dis United kingdom.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
5 months ago

Yawn…..Mark Drakeford trotting out the same tired old argument that welsh labour been trotting out for years….’wait for a labour govt at westminster’! When Peter Hain was secretary of state for Wales he wouldnt even support a referendum on primary law making powers for the Senedd – it was the tory/lib dem uk coalition govt elected in 2010 which actually introduced the legislation that enabled the 2011 referendum on direct law making powers for the then welsh assembly to go ahead. Mark Drakeford is just the latest in a long line of unionist stooges in the welsh labour party.

Last edited 5 months ago by Leigh Richards
Gareth W
Gareth W
5 months ago

For goodness sake Drakeford, wake up and smell the coffee. When will you stop being happy to act as a little lapdog to our masters in London

Paul
Paul
5 months ago

Drakeford has gone as far as he will go. He wants a strong Welsh voice, but he wants it within the union. He believes a federal solution will lock in both. Problem is that by the end of next year his solution will force Cymru into a room with no exits. His strong Welsh voice will become ‘county of West englandshire ‘.

George
George
5 months ago

There were some very hard questions asked at last Scottish referendum (and will be again during this new one) including things like what currency is used.

I hope Adam Price is coming up with good and workable answers to these questions as well as highlighting Westminster lacks respects for Wales.

All very good us having a want to be independent but, for example, if we can’t travel from North to South without going into England, then we’re not close to achieving that goal.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
5 months ago
Reply to  George

We are not going to get respect from Westminster, or North – South public transport while we remain in the union.

It suits them to keep the status quo. It isolates north and south, encourages inward expansionism from over the border and prevents some of the areas in mid Wales in particular, from flourishing.

Do you not see? Why would Westminster invest in these things if it reduces our dependence on them? If we wait for “respect” from Westminster, we will be waiting forever and by the time it happens, we might not even exist as a country anymore.

defaid
defaid
5 months ago
Reply to  George

When I was at uni, I lodged with a family in which the mother was a nurse. She once let out some frustration over one of her patient’s refusal to feel better through taking light exercise because her patient “will start when I feel better”. I guess you don’t drive. Building a new rail network is currently a minor concern both to business — how little freight travels by rail — and to the public — it’s cheaper and more convenient by car. Or coach if you insist on using public transport. Our rail network can grow when we’re in… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago
Reply to  defaid

Thank you for mentioning Llanbedr Defaid…

Martyn Young
Martyn Young
5 months ago

I wouldn’t trust Starmer to deliver anything for Cymru. The man is a liar and a fraud who says what is expedient to get his wish and then abandon his commitments.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
5 months ago

The naivety of Drakeford and his party is absolutely staggering.

He believes that a UK Labour Government in Westminster is the answer to all our problems.

The concept is laughable.

defaid
defaid
5 months ago

Them and amputation of Westminster, please.

That kind of deflection has been dismantled so often that it’s just wasted effort.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

FM Mark Drakeford might reject Plaid Cymru’s suggestion of a referendum on Wales constitutional future but then can’t continually bemoan English Conservative attacks on Welsh devolution and his government’s competency when he does little or nothing to stop them. Solutions are there but sadly not the will to implement them. And with Welsh Labour’s refusal even to consider Plaid’s referendum Mark Drakeford and his government have collectively rolled onto their backs like an obedient Unionist puppy dogs so Boris Johnson can scratch their bellies. And this is the very reason why we need a Nationalist Welsh Government in power to… Read more »

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
5 months ago

Before a referendum there needs to be something on which to vote. Ireland held a citizen-led constitutional convention which sat from December 2012 to April 2014. It was given 8 specific issues and added two of it’s own. Some of their recommendations were rejected, some accepted and three were put to referendum so a single referendum is almost certainly not going to be enough. With Johnson going full-on fascist and trying to destroy devolution, Mark Drakeford’s stance of working within the law and devolved power becomes ever more untenable. However Adam Price needs to be very sure of what he… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Kerry Davies
Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
5 months ago

Nation cymru editors if youre a serious online news platform youre going to have to adopt a firm policy for blocking online trolls. And to the pathetic creature responsible a screenshot has been made and i’ll be contacting the police. Your IP can be traced.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
5 months ago

He’s worse than RT in reality, a real globalist.

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