Welsh first minister’s opinion on independence shows Scottish Labour is out of touch

Mark Drakeford (Welsh Labour) & Anas Sarwar (Scottish Labour)
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On 24 April, Channel 4 News interviewed Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford. The interviewer put the scenario of Scottish independence to Drakeford. He then asked what effect, if any, Scottish independence could have on Wales:

What happens if Scotland breaks away, and there’s a Conservative government not willing to concede any more powers to Wales? Would Welsh Labour be adopting a more pro-independence agenda in that scenario?

Drakeford said there:

are a lot of ‘ifs’ in that question… but if they were all true… then it would fundamentally alter the context of the debate for Wales

But when Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar announced Labour’s manifesto on 22 April for the Holyrood elections, he took an all together different approach. Because Sarwar’s manifesto takes a hardline position against Scottish independence. And this seems to be out of step with key players in the Scottish Labour movement. A point that wasn’t lost on #IndyRef2 supporters:

This article is part of The Canary’s #Independence2021 series.

Drakeford explains

While Drakeford said:

the Labour Party in Wales is focused on securing a successful future for Wales in a successful United Kingdom

He also admitted the UK is:

more in peril than at any time in my political lifetime.

He added that the current Westminster government is effectively fuelling the drive for independence as it ‘fails’ to see:

the fundamental need for reform. They believe that just by flying more Union Jacks around the place will somehow reassert the authority of a Westminster dominant government.

Furthermore, Drakeford has made it clear that there should be a referendum on Welsh independence if Plaid Cymru wins a majority in Wales.

But Sarwar isn’t seizing on this opportunity for a second referendum in Scotland. Instead, he’s backing the status quo. And as statistics are against him in the wider Labour movement, it shows he’s really at odds with the grassroots:

And it’s especially difficult to understand when so many in the Labour party itself support independence:


While the SNP will wait until the pandemic crisis is over before calling for another referendum, it’s still calling one. And it’s doing so regardless of Boris Johnson’s opposition.

Rather than acknowledging reality – like Drakeford – Sarwar’s burying his head in the sand. But strangely, in taking that position, he’s actually not alone. Because Labour Party leader Keir Starmer is doing likewise. This won’t end well for either of them.

Featured image via – Wikimedia – Conference of Peripheral Maritime RegionsYouTube – ITV News

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  • Show Comments
    1. I find it interesting that Sarwar in his discussion about Independence has no idea as to the reasons why one would ever want it. Its upsets Labour about Scotland/Wales for increased autonomy after Brexit making one wonder just what they mean.
      Unity it isn’t, as they refuse to listen/discuss complaints to open up an agreed upon future.
      What is the Tory/Labour plan but fly more flags and increase the miltiary to achieve it?
      A hologram of Churchill to lead the way?

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