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Would be a ‘catastrophic mistake’ to ‘disregard’ independence, says Labour MS

11 May 2021 2 minute read
Mick Antoniw. Picture by the Welsh Assembly (CC BY 2.0)

A Labour Senedd member has argued that it would be a “catastrophic mistake” to “disregard” independence as an issue.

Mick Antoniw, the MS for Pontypridd, said that the push for an independent Wales is a reaction to “an increasingly right-wing, undemocratic, and corrupt centralist Tory government”.

Antoniw suggested in Tribune that people can “see for themselves” that the Conservative government in Westminster is “determined to overturn devolution”.

He labelled the controversial Internal Market Act, which takes away previously devolved powers and centralises them in Westminster, as a “plot” to take away what they “cannot achieve” at an election.

The Senedd member, who does not support independence, but instead wants to see a federal UK, said that the Welsh Labour Party now has a mandate for “Home Rule”.

UK Government minister Michael Gove, recently dismissed a call from Mark Drakeford to devolve more powers to Wales.


Mick Antoniw said: “Although independence barely emerged as an issue on the doorstep in the Welsh elections, it would be a catastrophic mistake to disregard its importance as an issue.

“It represents a number of political undercurrents: a recognition that the current constitutional arrangements are not fit for purpose and need changing, and the reaction of many, particularly among the young, to an increasingly right-wing, undemocratic, and corrupt centralist Tory government.

“People can see for themselves through the Internal Market and the EU Future Relations Acts the actions of a Tory government determined to overturn devolution. This was a plot to secure devolved powers they cannot achieve in Wales or Scotland through the ballot box.

“Radical change is needed. The Welsh party now has a mandate for a radical federalist reform of the UK constitution—in effect, Home Rule—and the starting point is likely to be the establishment of a Welsh constitutional convention to identify and build a consensus for change.”

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Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
3 years ago

100 years ago and federalism might have stood a chance, but the way things are now there isn’t a snowball’s chance of federalism happening – and even if it did stand a chance, it would be a federalism suited to the needs and desires of Westminster. It would also likely require a Labour government to be in power in Westminster, the chances of which, unless it’s of the ‘increasingly right-wing, undemocratic’ variety as popularised by Blair, and now Starmer. And Labour being in government would also remove the need for such a reform, and the whole ‘Home Rule’ federalism move… Read more »

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
3 years ago

Too late for federalism, if it ever was an option. Let’s not waste time on it.

3 years ago

As George Monbiot said ealier today, “When I ask myself what trajectory this country is on, the most likely answer seems to be Orbán’s Hungary” So any wish of Home Rule or Federalism with this Tory gov, is pie in the sky thinking. Therefore, Independence would be the only route to real home rule.

Robin Hill
Robin Hill
3 years ago

The Tories will escalate their putsch in lead up to a quick GE to increase their majority while Labour is in disarray. It will be vital that Welsh progressive partiess (Welsh Lab/Plaid/Greens) agree a free run for the best-placed candidate in each Welsh Constituency held by Tories to expel them from representing us at Westminster. It will take such a signal to register with the anti-Devo plutocrats

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