Tory solution for economic woes outside London is to ‘stick a Union Jack on things’ says Plaid Cymru MP
A Plaid Cymru MP has accused the UK Government of simply “sticking an Union Jack” on things rather than getting to grips with the economic problems faced by comparatively poorer parts of the UK outside London.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Liz Saville-Roberts accuse ministers of keeping nations and regions outside south-east England “beyond the pale of economic privilege”.
Criticising the UK Government’s economic approach on austerity, to levelling up, to transport, Ms Saville Roberts said that their approach is to “stick a Union Jack on it and sing a song of praise to past glories” adding that “nostalgia does not an economy make”.
She criticised the Government’s approach to rail infrastructure funding, telling the Commons: “Rather than correct Wales’s under-funding from HS2 of over £5 billion, Wales gets instead, wait for it, Great British Railways.
“Instead, rather than work with Transport for Wales, our own publicly-owned transport body, it seems that Westminster’s solution to historic under-funding is to override our solution while not correcting the underlying problems that need fixing.”
She later added: “It seems that where there is a problem, the UK Government’s answer is to cobble together a UK-branded institution, a wallpapering over the self-perpetuating vortex effect of research funding, public investment and targeted tax relief that keeps the south-east of England within the pale, and the rest of England’s regions, Northern Ireland, and the nations of Scotland and Wales to remain as always beyond the pale of economic privilege”
The Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP also criticise the Conservatives for what she said was breaking their manifesto promises to ensure that “Wales will not lose any powers or funding as a result of our exit from the EU.” She pointed out that the Welsh Government has calculated that post-Brexit funding arrangements for Wales fall short by £772 million of structural funds alone for the period 2021 to 2025.
Conservative decisions from austerity to a hard Brexit are “ideological choices” which “have combined to aggravate the cost-of-living crisis”, according to Ms Saville Roberts.
“From the banking crisis to today, the Conservative Party have sought out every opportunity to impose austerity, to bring about a hard Brexit of their own making, which together have combined to aggravate the cost-of-living crisis,” she said.
“These are ideological choices which will go down in history as Tory creations. Out of ideas other than to centralise what they don’t have and blame what they don’t know, the Conservatives sit on their hands as the economy fails to work for households and businesses across the UK.
“Firstly, the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill is does nothing to correct past mistakes or deliver for the future. The Welsh Government has stated that this Government’s post-Brexit funding arrangements for Wales fall short by £772 million of structural funds alone for the period 2021 to 2025.
“This is not only an “assault on Welsh devolution” – Labour’s Minister for Economy words not mine – but a broken promise. More broadly, sources including Bloomberg illustrate a failure to maintain current standards, let alone deliver any improvement let alone maintain current standards, across most of the UK and especially across Wales.
“This is not what was promised on page 15 of the Welsh Conservative 2019 manifesto – ‘that no part of the UK loses out from the withdrawal of EU funding’ – and certainly not what was promised on page 29 – that ‘Wales will not lose any powers or funding as a result of our exit from the EU.’”
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I think she has described the situation very succinctly.
Now … what are we to do about it
A brilliant analysis, but what else would you expect if you allow your neighbour to manage your affairs ?
Absolutely right. The Tories are bleeding us dry so that the south-east of England can continue to prosper. This is a deliberate ploy to make us feel as poor and impoverished as possible, which allows them to perpetuate the myth that we are too dependent on them to be independent.
Well said, as usual, Liz but, also as usual – it will fall upon deaf ears. Forget about Westmister – it won’t change. Plaid and everyone of us must now focus on creating a vision of Cymru outside the Union. A plan for an independent nation that can be sold to every Welsh man and woman. How ‘we’ can make our country prosperous – with nothing to do with broken down Westminster.
Boris Johnson can stick his Union flag where the sun don’t shine , and no not Port Talbot
She is brilliant, but not entirely correct here. Tory solutions to everything is to stick a Union Jack on it. Look at recent tube projects (started long before the Tories descended to power) Jubilee line Elizabeth line Prince Regent Station he various Victoria Stations etc etc etc. London public structures are ALL a big One Nation VicTORYan Union Jack. Their only desires in life are:-
1. Aggrandising and enriching themselves
2. Punishing the poor and non-beige
3. Pot holing up the royal posterior at every opportunity
I spat my tea at non-beige. Beige is actually a skin tone description in at least one makeup brand.
Thank God that we have Liz to tell it like it is.
Absolutely. Our Liz is better than theirs and costs us far less.
It’s also Sainsburys current solution to higher prices. Flag shagging is vile.
Peter Hitchens wants England to secede from the UK. We should encourage this sort of creative thinking by the English.
Very well said, Liz. Let us stand up and shout for independence.