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No independence referendum unless Plaid Cymru win a majority, says Drakeford

08 Apr 2021 3 minute read
Adam Price picture by Plaid Cymru. Mark Drakeford picture by CPMR – Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CC BY-SA 2.0).

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

The Labour leader said 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.”

‘Every vote’

But asked why Labour was, according to some polls, on track to lose some seats at the Senedd election, Mark Drakeford said that constitutional issues had had an impact.

“The experience of the last 12 months has had a polarising effect on public opinion between those who believe Wales should sever ourselves from the United Kingdom and those who believe that the Senedd itself should be abolished,” he said.

“The Welsh Conservatives don’t believe in Wales, Plaid Cymru don’t believe in the United Kingdom. It’s only my party that believes in a strong Wales in a successful United Kingdom. And that’s the case that I’ll be making.

“No party has ever won a majority at a Welsh election, our system really doesn’t make that a likely outcome. And I’ve been involved in governments where there have been relationships with the Liberal Democrats as over the last five years and with Plaid Cymru in the past.

“I will be campaigning to make sure that every vote for Labour is won and every vote for Labour is earned on the basis of our record and what we promise for the future.”

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