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Wales must prepare for ‘likely’ second independence referendum in Scotland before 2025 says Drakeford

12 Oct 2021 3 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford giving a speech to the Labour Party conference.

A second referendum in Scotland is “likely” before 2025 and Wales must prepare for it by holding its own constitutional convention, the First Minister has said.

Mark Drakeford told the Morning Star that the Welsh Government would be pressing ahead with the convention “to make sure we do the thinking on what choices” would be available to Wales.

“In this Senedd term there is likely to be a second referendum in Scotland,” he said.

“The fragility of the United Kingdom is very real and our convention is designed to make sure we do the thinking on what choices there are on that future.

“The membership and terms of reference will be announced in the next few weeks and will include a very strong strand of citizens’ voices in the work of the commission.”

His comments puts the Welsh Labour leader slightly at odds with Scottish Labour, whose official position is that there will not be another independence referendum until at least the next set of devolved elections.

“While the country is focused on recovery from Covid-19 over the next five years, we will not support a second independence referendum,” their manifesto for May’s Scottish Parliament election said.

‘Unthinkable’

Prime minister Boris Johnson has said he will refuse to approve another independence referendum, setting the stage for a potential court battle with the Scottish Government over whether Edinburgh can legally hold one on its own.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon however told the Financial Times that she hoped the Covid-19 pandemic would have receded sufficiently by early spring next year for “concrete decisions” on when a referendum could be held.

“I can’t look ahead and tell you exactly how this constitutional impasse is going to resolve itself, but it will resolve itself — and it will resolve itself on the side of democracy, because actually, the alternative is pretty unthinkable,” she said.

“I’ve got democracy on my side . . . if they think it’s about playing a waiting game, I’ve probably got time on my side as well. You look at the demographics of the support for independence — well, I’m not sure that’s going to get you out of this conundrum.”

Wales’ present Minister for the Constitution, Mick Antoniw, warned before the election in May that Wales needed its own constitutional convention and “we cannot afford to wait”.

“We need to start thinking about the future of Wales now,” he said. “What should Wales look like in the future and what should its values be? How can government reconnect with the people of Wales and renew confidence in the vitality and accountability of our political institutions?”

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Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
11 days ago

Those of us who believe, start planning!

Antonoir Jacques
Antonoir Jacques
11 days ago

If Scotland get independence, it paves the way for Wales. It would be folly to just think things will stay the same afterwards.

John Gallacher
John Gallacher
11 days ago

” His comments puts the Welsh Labour leader slightly at odds with Scottish Labour, whose official position is that there will not be another independence referendum until at least the next set of devolved elections.

“While the country is focused on recovery from Covid-19 over the next five years, we will not support a second independence referendum,” their manifesto for May’s Scottish Parliament election said. ”

Perhaps you should add how SLab fared at May’s Scottish elections? They were nowhere and as such their manifesto counts for zilch.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
11 days ago

In 2014, the period that led up to and during the Scottish independence referenda, many promises were made based on lies to stop Scotland becoming independent. Unionists used many technics to instill fear & doubt hoping the independence Genie was firmly put back in the bottle. And yes they succeeded at the time but we’re later revealed to be fraudsters & confident tricksters and the case for another vote was seeded. The evidence. Both Tory & Leave campaigns promised Scots DevoMax if they voted no. They lied. In fact, the Conservatives have taken power away from Scotland & Wales. Unionists… Read more »

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
11 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

You have correctly warned us – there’ll be all sorts of goodies; remember Gordon Brown’s “barnstorming” speech (an address to a party rally that the media stumbled upon…) that promised untold riches in turn for a no vote?
And then he didn’t have the courage to defend his Westminster seat…

Arwyn
Arwyn
11 days ago

Sadly I believe Labour’s constitutional convention will be a partisan affair from the start. Welsh Labour are shrewd political operators. Nearly everything they do is done with an eye on their own political fortunes. I can almost guarantee the outcome of this will magically be federalism/home rule. What is truly needed is a UK wide constitutional convention in addition to national conventions in Wales etc. We should look at what will replace the UK. That is where England’s progressives have gone AWOL. Are they clinging on to fig leaves of solidarity and internationalism and weak slogans like “better together”? Are… Read more »

Charles L. Gallagher
Charles L. Gallagher
11 days ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Arwyn, it’s now too late they had their chance and blew it.

John Glyn
John Glyn
11 days ago

In one sense it’s only when Scotland votes yes that our journey in Wales begins proper.

Grayham Jones
11 days ago

It’s time the people of wales stop being little Englanders and and be proud to be welsh start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 kick all English party’s out of wales that’s the Tories Labour and all Brexit party’s

Keith Parry
Keith Parry
10 days ago

Mr Drakeford is a British Nationalist Unionist. If Scotland goes he and Labour will cling to the shirt tails of Tory England. If Wales wants independence it has got to get rid of the Labour Party as the people of Scotland have.

Last edited 10 days ago by Keith Parry
Christopher Blackmore
Christopher Blackmore
10 days ago

I’ve been trying to think of a reason to care whether Johnson “approves” of countries deciding how they wish to run themselves. It’s not as if he has ever run a country properly himself, after all.

Geoff Bush
Geoff Bush
10 days ago

I’d confidently predict that there will be no 2nd referendum in Scotland by 2025, and nor should there be. People in Scotland have started to see the folly of going down the 2nd referendum route, because it is not necessary. The people of Scotland are sovereign, Scotland joined the treaty of union with England in 1707 as an equal signatory to a union of 2 sovereign countries. We can assert our independence by withdrawing from that treaty AT ANY TIME, and hold a comfirmatory referendum AFTER we have done so.

Kevin Morgan
Kevin Morgan
6 days ago

So firstly Wales was denied the same equality as Scotland by England, now we are denied it by Scotland. Since when does Wales need permission to talk about it’s future to decide whether or not whether we will accept anything less than the same equal recognition and treatment as England, Scotland and Ireland? Why is Wales being discriminated against for wanting as much independence as every other member nation of the alleged ‘United’ kingdom. Wales is just treated like a province of China, essentially enslaved and denied any official status and recognition. The irony that England sent warships to China,… Read more »

Tiafi
6 days ago
Reply to  Kevin Morgan

Excellent post Kevin I wish everybody in Wales could read it. People would then take time to think how our nation is treated your comparisons are spot on.

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