Idea that the Welsh are the ultimate authority in Wales ‘wrong in both fact and law’ says Tory MP
The idea that the Welsh are “the ultimate source of authority in Wales” is “wrong in fact and in law”, a Welsh Conservative MP has said.
Robin Millar, the MP for Aberconwy, was writing in Strength in Union, a book launched at the Conservative party conference, which includes essays by Conservative politicians about the importance of maintaining the union of the UK.
In the book, Robin Millar says that the continuation of Westminster’s sovereignty will depend on people’s “belief in a covenant between the people of these
islands – in the existence of a ‘British people’” which the Senedd had undermined.
“Every time a UK minister has been pushed around by a devolved administration, they have unwittingly sent a message to voters that ‘one briton, one vote’ does not prevail in Wales,” he said.
“Welsh Government ministers, meanwhile, have explicitly founded their recent attacks on British authority in the tale that the Welsh are the ultimate source of authority in Wales – that there is no such national people as ‘the British’.
“This may be wrong in fact and in law, but it is a tale to tickle many listening ears.”
Robin Millar added that to secure the future of the UK, Unionists were going to have to tell a “story” of Britain that competed with that of the Welsh.
“While the claims of all sides are vested in ancient stories, it is the nationalists who have proved willing and adept at telling theirs,” he said.
“Herein lies the danger – an untold story becomes an unheard story and, over time, will be forgotten. The advocates of Britain, seemingly unaware of (or embarrassed to tell) a rich and contemporary story of British sovereignty, have instead thrashed about for alternative arguments, such as the scale
of fiscal transfers from England to Wales or the economic benefits of the Union.
“Of course, these rational economic arguments are quite persuasive at one level. It is possible to be a Welsh nationalist – to believe in the sovereignty of Wales – and still want to remain part of the UK as a matter of Welsh self-interest.
“Indeed, this seems to be the philosophy of the Welsh Government, which furiously denounces any UK Government initiative in Wales – while simultaneously relying on its subsidy to remain solvent as an administration.”
He added that in telling their story, Unionists could “always throw in a couple of dragons”.