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Independence would ‘shut us off’ from the world says Mark Drakeford

13 Apr 2021 2 minute read
First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture from a Welsh Government video.

Mark Drakeford has said that he opposes independence because it would “shut us off” from the world.

He said he was “interested in internationalism, not nationalism” and wanted a Wales that was “outward-looking”.

He was speaking with ITV as part of a series of interviews of different leaders at the Senedd election.

Host Adran Masters had asked him if he was aware of the Plaid Cymru by-election in Carmarthenshire in 1966 in which Gwynfor Evans won Plaid Cymru’s first seat.

“I remember coming downstairs that morning to the kitchen and turning the radio on to hear that Gwynfor Evans has won the by-election,” he said.

“I was very alert to all of that – I was very interested in all of that, even from that young age.”

Asked if he was tempted by the idea of independence, however, he said he was not.

“No. I never have been,” he said. “I’m interested in internationalism, not nationalism.

“I want a Wales that is outward-looking, that is engaged in the world. That doesn’t think that the way to deal with the world is to shut ourselves off.”

‘Long way off’

Mark Drakeford has previously out an independence referendum as part of any coalition deal between Plaid Cymru and Labour.

The Labour leader said last week that he would not support a referendum on independence unless Plaid Cymru wins a majority in the Welsh parliament and is able to govern alone.

“I have always believed that if a party won an election in Wales with a referendum on independence in its manifesto then it would have won the right to hold such a referendum,” he told Today.

“But if a party puts that proposition and doesn’t win a majority, it could not expect that then to be implemented.”

When asked what he would do if Plaid Cymru asked for that commitment as a price to support Labor in the next Government, he said: “I think that’s a long way off and this will not be the preoccupation of this election.

“The Labour Party will go into the election offering things that matter every single day. Remote constitutional possibilities for which only a minority of the Welsh population have an affection won’t be part of what I will be talking about.”

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