Tory minister is ‘no fan of four nations expression’ for the union
A Tory minister has said he’s “no fan of the four nations expression” for describing the union.
Alister Jack MP, the Secretary of State for Scotland, has insisted that the UK, which is made up of the countries of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, is “one great nation”.
But the Conservative politician, who represents Dumfries and Galloway in the House of Commons, insisted we “can all take pleasure in the regional variations that make us different” in an essay for Strength in Union.
This included enjoying “local delicacies” such as “Glamorgan sausages”.
Welsh Tory MP James Davies, who represents the Vale of Clwyd, has also complained about the UK being referred to as “four nations”.
In the same publication, he described the term as “divisive” and he suggested that it “pretends to equate our single nation state with an association of sovereign states”.
These complaints come despite former Prime Minister Theresa May using the phrase ‘four nations’ ten times in the introduction to the same book. Welsh Secretary of State Simon Hart and Wrexham MP Sarah Atherton also use it in the book.
Alister Jack said: “I am no fan of the ‘four nations’ expression, for the Union gives us one great nation. Yes, we can still celebrate the differences within our borders.
“Of course, it is possible to be, say, a proud Scot and at the same time be a proud Briton. We can all take pleasure in the regional variations that make us different.
“Across the land there is a rich tapestry of dialects and the vernacular of our cities, towns and villages is as diverse as our glorious countryside.
“We can enjoy local delicacies – Scotch beef is something I am proud to have been a producer of – and specialities. Melton Mowbray pork pies, Northern Irish soda farls, Glamorgan sausages – this land offers a larder of delights for all to savour.
“Yet while the Union has a storied history, and can rightly claim to be the most successful political accord the world has yet seen, its glories are not all in the past.
“Indeed, I believe we stand on the threshold of a new era for Britain, one which draws from the successes wrought by generations long gone and which can benefit Britons yet unborn. It is all built on the bedrock of that living, breathing Union.”