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Leanne Wood, Bae watch (September 2014)

(September 01, 2014)

Bae Watch; with Leanne Wood

Leanne Wood

The momentous vote in Scotland on Independence is now close.

The outcome is, of course, in the hands of the people of Scotland. They will decide on September 18. Plaid Cymru contends that the emergence of a new independent state on the island of Britain would be in the interests of Wales.

The argument that the relationships between the countries of Britain are and have been static is nonsense.

The current model of devolution, which led to the establishment of the National Assembly for Wales, arrived in 1999.

Ireland opted for independence and became a Free State in 1922 and then went on to became a republic in 1949. Devolution changed the relationships in 1997. Ties develop and change over time.

A Yes vote will give the people of Scotland the opportunity to build a country based not on policies from the right of the specimen imposed from London. A Yes vote provides the opportunity for Scots to create a socially just society.

A new state on our doorsteps approaching public services in a completely different, more progressive way compared to what would be left of the UK would be good news for Wales.

We can already see the impact of the different education and health policies between Scotland and the rest of the UK. University education is free and the health service is not being privatised. In Scotland, the dreaded bedroom tax would be confined to the dustbin, where it belongs.

Independence would give Scotland the opportunity to develop social protection for its people so that those who are unemployed, sick, disabled or disadvantaged are not pursued by a Westminster-based Government that doesn’t have the interests of those outside the M25 at heart. The Cameron-Clegg partnership has made millions of people poorer since the economic crisis while bankers have carried on abusing their position unabated.

Scotland has the opportunity to become a beacon for the rest of us in these islands – something for us in Wales to aspire to and also show what an independent country can achieve.

I would urge people in Scotland to be wary of politicians bearing gifts. They seem to be promising the earth in the event of a No vote. Wales has learnt that you don’t always get what you were promised. It can be many, many years before they finally arrive, like legislative powers were for Wales. We are waiting for financial and energy powers.

The referendum also provides a new chance to redefine the relationship between the countries of the UK in the event of a Yes vote.

Wales must be a full participant and have a place at the table between the UK and the Scottish government. Decisions made during those negotiations will have an impact on our nation. For instance, Wales doesn’t want to be saddled with a Trident base.

I have advocated a new Council of Ministers for the remaining parts of the UK. This body will ensure that on non-devolved matters, Wales will have a voice, and potentially, an opt-out.

Plaid Cymru believes it is time for Wales to emerge from the fringes, to cease being a spectator nation where we are expected to sit back passively and wait to see what we are given – crumbs from the Westminster table.

Wales needs to be an equal participant in the debate on the future relations of the countries of Britain.

That also means people in Wales having our own national conversation. It should be up to us to decide powers we have over our own affairs. This should be the basis for the partnership we want to build with our neighbours.

Leanne Wood,
Leader of Plaid Cymru and South Wales Central AM, September 2014

Also from Leanne Wood:
     Bae Watch; June 2014

     Bae Watch; March 2014

     Bae Watch; December 2013

     Bae Watch; September 2013

     Bae Watch; June 2013
     Bae Watch; March 2013
     Bae Watch; December 2012
     Bae Watch; September 2012
     Bae Watch; June 2012
     Bae Watch; March 2012
     Bae Watch; December 2011
     Bae Watch; September 2011
     Bae Watch; June 2011

Leanne Wood's contact details:

     Facebook: Leanne Wood
     Twitter: @LeanneWood

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