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Union could fall apart because of ‘benign neglect’, says Michael Gove

25 May 2021 2 minutes Read
Michael Gove. Picture by Richard Townshend (CC BY 3.0).

The union could fall apart because of “benign neglect”, according to Michael Gove.

The Cabinet Office minister agreed with his Tory colleague Jackie Doyle-Price, who said people in England could turn against the UK.

She told him that her constituents in Thurrock in Essex now griped about Scotland they way they used to about Brussels.

Gove was giving evidence to a joint meeting of the Welsh, Scottish, Northern Ireland and public administration and constitution affairs committees on the Dunlop Review into the Government’s Union capability.

Jackie Doyle-Price told Mr Gove: “Five years ago we had a political establishment that largely took UK acceptance of membership of the EU for granted, and thought it would follow its leaders by wishing to keep it.

“Ultimately the people of England decided they believed in Britain rather than Brussels.

“The kind of conversations I now have on the doorstep, that used to be fruity conversations about Brussels, are now fruity conversations about Scotland.

“So I think those of us who do believe in the union need to do a lot more than just assert it, or else we could end up losing the union by benign neglect just as happened with Brexit.”

Gove replied that it was a “very fair point”.

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
22 days ago

Is this page turning into a rogues’ gallery…filter’s please!

Quornby
Quornby
22 days ago

All four nations are entitled to and deserving of independence. A loose Scandinavian style relationship is what we all need. The UK as it currently exists is unsustainable no matter how long the Empire Loyalist faction man their last ditch and spout refusal after refusal.

Bruce
Bruce
22 days ago

So English nationalism is all our fault.

Bincs
Bincs
22 days ago

If “benign neglect” is the problem, does that mean that malign intervention is the answer? Watch this space!

cudyll
cudyll
22 days ago

Roll on, benign neglect! How do we encourage it?

AnthonyA Coslett
AnthonyA Coslett
22 days ago

At one time Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland were all in a ‘Union’ of one kind either under Swedish or Danish hegemony the traces of which can be found in the flags of Norway and Iceland the colours of the latter being those of the former reversed. In Sweden the region of ‘Mira’, famous for its unique stylised clocks, enjoys a red flag with a yellow Scandinavian Cross symbolising in red the ancient relationship with Denmark and the yellow cross taken from the flag of the country of which it is now part. With a unique language and history, Finland… Read more »

Mandi A
Mandi A
20 days ago

The favourite phrase to learn on the Duolingo Finnish course is “Finland is not in Scandinavia”. Finland also has an interesting linguistic minority who speak a form of Swedish. They work very hard at great cost to maintain a publishing house and literature to support this small language group.

hdavies15
hdavies15
22 days ago

“benign neglect” ? Surely he means “malign negligence” as practiced by the Westminster government.

Shan Morgain
22 days ago

benign neglect =. malign interference. Our Councils are currently being forced to beg Westminster for individual project funding. This uses up expensive staff time. If Welsh taxes stayed in Wales and we paid the UK for a shared defence and some shared overheads we could allocate our own funds as it suits local needs.

Letmeout
Letmeout
22 days ago

Neglect, yes: benign, no.

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