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‘UK might not exist in 10 years’, says former First Minister

02 Feb 2021 3 minute read
Former First Minister Carwyn Jones. Picture by XIIIfromTOKYO (CC BY-SA 4.0)

A former First Minister has said that the union might not exist in 10 years.

Labour MS Carwyn Jones said the UK needed to “change” in order to survive, but that it might already be “too late” to keep Scotland in it.

Mr Jones added that he would not be in favour of a union of England and Wales, and that if that came to pass “we would have to think about what’s appropriate for the future.”

He said that he is not in favour of independence and that he believes the UK needs to move to a more federal system to stop it from breaking up.

On the Dros Frecwast programme on Radio Cymru he said: “Without some kind of change I don’t believe the United Kingdom will be here in 10 years.

“There isn’t enough flexibility from the UK government at the moment at the moment to secure the future of the nation.

“Independence is an earthquake for any country, if it comes in the form of a referendum or as the result of a war.

“For me there is a different model that recognises that Wales is a sovereign country and that the United Kingdom is a union of countries that are members of that kingdom voluntarily.

“Now is it too late to contemplate that situation – is it too late to offer that model to the people of Scotland, – that’s something that worries. Maybe it is too late.

“Those of us who believe we should keep the best things from the union but want to change the union to make it fairer need to make that argument across the United Kingdom.

“What I would like to see, I am not in favour of independence, but I would like to see a much more federal system and a lot more equal in the United Kingdom.”

‘Whatever it wants’ 

He added: “At the moment the UK government can do whatever it wants, they can avoid the Barnett formula for example, and if they want to give money to Northern Ireland like they did and say to Wales and Scotland ‘you’re not getting a penny’, even though there’s a formula to use, they can.

“We need a much fairer system, that enables people to know what’s happening and of course to ensure more equality.

“I am not in favour of a United Kingdom that follows the vision of Boris Johnson at the moment, which is more or less England, and parts that are tied into England.

“I wouldn’t be favour of that (a union of England and Wales) at all and we would have to think about what’s appropriate for the future.

“That’s why I’m saying now that we have to think about new ways forward in order to avoid that.”

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