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Starmer wouldn’t ‘block’ Welsh independence, claims Labour pressure group

23 Feb 2021 3 minutes Read
Keir Starmer. Picture by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0).

Keir Starmer wouldn’t “block” Welsh independence, according to the president of a pro-indy Labour pressure group

Bob Lloyd, who was recently elected as head of Labour for IndyWales, told the Express that it wasn’t the “concern” of the party’s leader in Westminster to have a position on independence, but that he didn’t expect him to “get on board” with the idea.

The Labour Party’s official stance to support the union, but to hand over more powers to the devolved nations, as well as the regions of England, and Starmer has set up a constitutional commission to explore how it might work.

However, Lloyd believes that if Scotland were to leave the union that it would leave Welsh Labour in a “difficult position”.

He said: “I don’t expect Starmer to get on board with Welsh independence, but then I don’t think it’s really his concern to have a position on independence in Scotland or Wales.

“I think his case for federalism, with the constitutional commission, we’ve had the case put forward in Wales before, something called radical federalism.

“But what questions that need answering about federalism, is how we’re going to generate a regional identity strong enough to sustain devolution in these different regions before Scotland decides to leave, because that’s what it hinges on essentially.

“It’s a UK federalism plan, it’s a mechanism to save the Union; if Scotland’s already decided to go, where does that leave us? It leaves Welsh Labour certainly in a very difficult position.”

‘Block’ 

He added: “So, I don’t expect Starmer to support Welsh independence at all – but I don’t think he’d block it, rather, he’d respect it.

“If Welsh Labour at a party conference and national conference decided to support independence, I think that vein of self-determination is strong enough in the Labour tradition all over the UK that it would be respected.

“I think you’d find a similar case in Scotland.

“It’s ultimately the decision for the party in Wales, and I don’t think it’s something we need to take to the UK conference.”

When he was asked whether Welsh Labour would break away from the Westminster Labour Party, Lloyd said: “You’d imagine so.

“There wouldn’t be much reason for the Welsh Labour Party to be a member of a party in a different state.

“But what you do see with every party around the world, especially every socialist party, is that we always end up getting together in various groups.

“However, I’m not really sure how it would go down – we haven’t discussed this at length.”

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