Mark Drakeford has been accused of abandoning his responsibilities as First Minister of Wales and leader of a supposedly-unionist party by the Welsh Conservatives following comments made in a far-left newspaper.
The Cardiff West MS told the Morning Star that it is “likely” a second Scottish independence referendum would occur before 2025 – despite the British Government stating would not accede to nationalist demands for one – and Wales must thus prepare by holding a constitutional convention.
He added: “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.”
This is not the first time Mr Drakeford’s has undermined his own supposed unionism. In addition to opening up talks for a “cooperation agreement” with Plaid Cymru, he has:
- Likened the United Kingdom to be being nothing more than “an insurance policy”;
- Said that his support for the existence of the country is “not unconditional”;
- Regularly undermined the fabric of the UK through his many assertions in the Welsh Government’s Reforming Our Union document such as sovereignty no longer resting in the British Parliament; and
- Consistently played up the break-up of the country despite Wales being the most “Unionist” part of the UK.
Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Constitution Minister Darren Millar MS said:
“The constitutional obsession of the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay is a self-indulgent exercise in appeasing nationalism and is a huge distraction from the real issue at hand: recovering from the pandemic.
“The UK is not broken, but the First Minister is beginning to sound like a broken record. The reality is that the First Minister is on a power grab because of his political disagreements with the UK Conservative Government.
“Instead of bewailing the UK and seeking more powers the First Minister ought to focus his attention on using the powers that Wales already has to get to grips with the problems created by his own Government here in Wales and work collaboratively with the UK Government for the benefits of all.
“Wales is going through its worst-ever A&E waiting times, longest-ever NHS waiting list, and second slowest ambulance response times. The families of the victims of Covid and lockdowns are being denied an inquiry. Getting to grips with these issues should be the First Minister’s priority, not constitutional reform.”