‘Inevitable’ Tory Gov will reject your Home Rule plan, Drakeford told
Mark Drakeford has been told that it’s “inevitable” that the Tory Government will reject his Home Rule plan.
Plaid Cymru MS, Rhys ab Owen, asked the First Minister to “consider” what he is going to do when that “happens”, and Westminster ignores his requests.
The Plaid Senedd member was referring to Drakeford’s recently published plan to save UK from breaking up called Reforming Our Union.
On the floor of the Senedd, he suggested that “throughout the centuries” Westminster has “ignored the cries of Home Rule until it’s too late and the inevitable happens – independence”.
Rhys ab Owen said: “I don’t doubt at all your sincerity, and the Counsel General’s sincerity, yet your pleas for home rule will be rejected by the Westminster Government, a Government obsessed by centralising powers.
“Throughout the centuries and throughout the continent, Westminster has ignored the cries of Home Rule until it’s too late and the inevitable happens – independence -the de facto position of nations in the world now independent.
“And I echo the words of my colleague Jane Dodds that independence was not rejected on the ballot paper. First Minister, you’ll be aware of candidates within your own party who are in favour of independence.
“The First Minister will be aware, walking around Cardiff West, of houses with a YesCymru poster and a Labour poster up on their window, and Jane Dodds’s comment about a lot of young people being interested.
“This plan doesn’t go far enough, First Minister. It should consider welfare and it should also consider what happens when the inevitable happens and the Conservative Government refuses your plan. Could you please consider that?”
The First Minister said: “Look, he makes an important point about how this plan can be further developed, what more could be added to it, and I look forward to hearing from him further on those things.
“I don’t think he will further his own cause, however, if he’s not prepared to face up to the very direct choice that was put to the people of Wales back in May, and in my view, it was the most clearly-put choice in the whole history of devolution.
“As I said, I stood in tv studios, and on one side of me was a man who wanted to argue for the abolition of devolution altogether, to abolish the whole Assembly, and he made his case to Welsh people.
“On the other side of me was somebody who wanted to persuade people that Wales should be taken out of the United Kingdom altogether, and he put that case front and centre in his campaign.
“And Plaid Cymru lost ground – it didn’t gain ground, it lost ground in this election, and I don’t think I could have been clearer, time after time after time, in broadcasts, in leaflets, in every chance I had, to say that the Labour Party stood for powerful devolution in a successful United Kingdom.
“And in the end, that is where people in Wales made their choice, and I think people in Plaid Cymru too need to be willing to – ‘Blinkers off’, said Rhun ap Iorwerth. Well, in a blinkers-off world, then I think some thought has to be given to that as well.”