‘Little Englander’ Truss will boost Welsh independence movement says Guardian newspaper
Liz Truss’ “Little Englander” approach which involves “ignoring or being insulting towards the other nations of the UK” will boost the independence movement in Wales, the Guardian newspaper has warned.
The newspaper’s editorial today warns that her strategy was to “win by appealing to the hearts of the Tory members rather than their heads” but that it would have grave consequences for the union when she became Prime Minister.
Lizz Truss is widely expected to clinch her party’s nomination for leader and therefore be asked to become the next Prime Minister, beating former Chancellor Rishi Sunak into second place.
The Guardian however warned that it “may be her Little England politics that do the most harm” with her words already having alienated those who wanted independence for Scotland and a united Ireland.
“Nationalists in Wales too would be boosted by a Truss premiership,” they said.
On Scotland “Ms Truss has gone out of her way to pick a fight,” they said. “She called the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, an ‘attention-seeker’, branded nationalists as separatists and unequivocally ruled out an independence vote”.
“Ms Truss’s strategy is to win by appealing to the hearts of the Tory members rather than their heads. However, words once said cannot easily be swallowed,” the newspaper said. “They can have a radicalising effect on activists and MPs.
“Things could fall apart rapidly. Divides are widening between London and the rest of England, between England and the other nations of the union, and between the young and the old.
“The foreign secretary, like Mr Johnson before her, gives the impression that English politicians can get away with ignoring or being insulting towards the other nations of the United Kingdom.
“By stoking fissiparous tendencies, Ms Truss makes it harder for the country to hold itself together.”
The Guardian warning comes after a YouGov poll reported in the Sunday Times suggested that support for Welsh independence is set to rise if Liz Truss becomes Prime Minister.
The poll showed that support for independence was currently at 25% in Wales but would rise to 28% if Rishi Sunak won the Conservative leadership contest and 30% if Liz Truss did the same.
There was bad news in Scotland too for Liz Truss, where a Panelbase poll showed that support for staying as part of the UK fell from 51% to 48% if she took over as Prime Minister. Rishi Sunak fared slightly better but support for the union fell to 49% if he was in charge.
There were also signs that Liz Truss was the more polarising figure in Northern Ireland, with a poll by LucidTalk showing that she was backed 62% to 14% for Sunak by unionists but that Irtish nationalists preferred Sunak to 44% to 6%.
In England too, more voters thought the UK would break up under Liz Truss than Rishi Sunak, by 28% to 26%, according to YouGov.
Liz Truss’ campaign have said that they intend to take a harder line on the union than Boris Johnson, with the Scottish and Welsh nationalists rebranded as “separatists” by No 10, and that they will “ignore” Nicola Sturgeon.
Speaking ahead of hustings in Perth, Scotland, she said: “For too long, people in Scotland have been let down by the SNP focusing on constitutional division instead of their priorities. That won’t happen under my watch.”
She added: “I’ll make sure that my government does everything to ensure elected representatives hold the devolved administration to account for its failure to deliver the quality public services, particularly health and education, that Scottish people deserve.
“As prime minister and minister for the Union, I will deliver on my ambitious plan to capitalise on the opportunity we have to turbocharge the growth and business investment required to get Scotland’s economy moving.”
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