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Theresa May compares Welsh identity to being a ‘Yorkshireman’

05 Oct 2021 3 minutes Read
Theresa May. Picture: Jim Mattis (CC BY 2.0)

Theresa May has compared Welsh identity to being a Yorkshireman.

The former Tory Prime Minister, made the comparison in an essay for Strength in Union, in which she makes the case for preventing the breakup of the UK.

In the publication, which has been launched at the Conservative party conference, the MP Maidenhead in Berkshire argued that being in a union “does not mean we lose our local and national identities”.

She said that people “do not have to choose between being British… or Welsh” and that someone “might consider themselves to be a Yorkshireman, but that does not mean they cannot be British”.

May also suggested that England needs the rest of the UK in order to maintain its position on the “world stage”.

She wrote: “Being together in a Union does not mean we lose our local and national identities. Nationality is just one of the many factors that form part of the complex tapestry of each individual, alongside factors like sexuality and racial heritage.

“You do not have to choose between being British and being Scottish or Welsh or Northern Irish or English. You can be British and Scottish and so on.

“Someone might consider themselves to be a Yorkshireman, but that does not mean they cannot be British – they can be a Yorkshireman and English and British.”

‘Accommodation’ 

She added: “This accommodation of multiple layered identities against a background of common values is one of the UK’s greatest assets. It is a defining strength of our Union.

“No one has to choose a single identity. But as part of that strength it is important that we respect that diversity of identity. We should recognise the pride that each nation feels in its identity and in its history.

“It is not enough to tell people that they should not want independence; we should be showing them the benefits of being
part of the Union. We in England certainly should not wag our fingers at Scotland and tell people there that they could not exist without us.

“We should recognise that while Scotland’s economy is stronger for being part of the UK, so England needs the other parts of the UK. We may talk about Global Britain, but where would England be on the world stage without the rest of the UK?”

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Jones2004
Jones2004
18 days ago

She’s correct but it’s not an argument against independence. Even if Wales becomes independent, any citizen could still feel Welsh and British. Anyone arguing otherwise is wrong and causes damage to the independence campaign as we need those who are Welsh and British to get over the 50% mark.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
17 days ago
Reply to  Jones2004

With due respect. The Welsh are the British. And although I’m proud to be a native Briton, why wouldn’t I , do take exception to ones who cynically use that identity with a hidden agenda. To appropriate English identity because they are ashamed or ignorant of their own.

David Smith
David Smith
17 days ago
Reply to  Jones2004

What needs to be stressed the utmost is that being British doesn’t require a British State, much like with being Scandinavian.

Marc
Marc
18 days ago

“This accommodation of multiple layered identities against a background of common values is one of the UK’s greatest assets.” May I remind Mrs May that Wales has never voted for a Tory Government. We do not have shared values.

Welsh_Sion
Welsh_Sion
18 days ago

And thanks to you, Mrs May, I can no longer be European.

But in my bones and soul, I remain so – as well as being a Cymro.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
18 days ago

May also suggested that England needs the rest of the UK in order to maintain its position on the “world stage”. A bit late now isn’t it seeing as the British are now the planets no1 joke?

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
18 days ago

To me the idea of ‘British’ is a bit like ‘Scandinavian’. It means we belong to a distinct bit of geography (i.e. the island of Britain) but that’s it. ‘Britishness’ is an invention of the English to try and absorb the Celtic cultures into their own thus destroying the Celtic cultures in the process.

hdavies15
hdavies15
18 days ago

Mrs May appearing at any conference immediately reduces it to the level of panto, something already achieved the moment Boris arrived with lots of other clowns in his wake.

Quornby
Quornby
18 days ago

The UK (aka England) left the “world stage” as a player of consequence in 1956. Luxembourg has one of the highest standards of living in Europe without meddling in other people’s business,……. oh sorry the “world stage” means chucking your weight around…… all that has long gone which is why London are desperately trying to keep up the pretence of importance, the French in Brittany and even the Spaniards in Catalonia have the same disease. Fortunately despite the reactionary tories and Ms Nandy’s preferred “Spanish methods” this fag end of empire is ending.

Bunny
Bunny
18 days ago

Welsh and european

Dave
Dave
18 days ago

according to the English media we in Wales are scrounging off the mother nation of England, so why the hell do they care if we leave the Union? unless of course we are not.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
13 days ago
Reply to  Dave

They need our water.

Swales
Swales
11 days ago
Reply to  Dave

They need our water and wind power…..on the cheap of course. Create independence and let them pay properly.

Robert G
Robert G
18 days ago

Jingoistic Identity nationalism, that’s all the unionist uk nats have left.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
17 days ago

Why did my comment disappear? I didn’t write anything offensive. There is no point me taking the time to write comments if they are removed.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
17 days ago

That is the hardest thing for you to do, Mrs May – show us the benefits of the Union. If you look at the Republic of Ireland, you’ll see how prosperous a nation can become once independent from the Westminster. We in Wales should have the right to decide for whether we want to create our own future independently, or not.

David Smith
David Smith
17 days ago

Are these ‘leaders’ actually quite thick or deliberately obtuse?
What about the English identity of a Yorkshireman?
We’ll still be British after independence. Britain is an island. An island we all live on.

David Smith
David Smith
17 days ago

In trying to emphasise our interdependence she tips her hand. All it’s really about is England’s Glory on the world stage.

John
John
16 days ago

She’s wrong.
I’m Welsh but British.
A Yorkshireman would be English.

Pete
Pete
13 days ago
Reply to  John

John, I am a Yorkshireman and like many others have never considered myself ‘English’. Get your facts right!

Rob
Rob
16 days ago

Having a Yorkshire identity is the equivalent of having a Pembrokeshire identity. They are counties and not countries. The Welsh national Identity is comparatable to the English identity, and there lies the problem. English national identity is very much frowned upon. Anyone in England caught flying the cross of St George in their back garden will be branded by the woke brigade as being associated with the far right. The same is true among conservatives who see themselves as exclusively British. If they had any sense about saving the union they would allow the English national identity to thrive. Because… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
12 days ago

As long as she never comes back to the Mawddach…

Swales
Swales
11 days ago

When the conservatives treat everyone in Britain equally then they can publish these essays. Because they don’t I would vote for independence. They treat so many areas with utter contempt I.e the way the levelling up money went to tory areas.

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