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Drakeford demands home rule to halt independence

Senedd (Image: Gwalia)

First Minister Mark Drakeford has called on Boris Johnson to ensure home rule for Cymru in a bid to halt the breakup of the United Kingdom.

Drakeford has accepted an invitation from the UK Prime Minister to attend a so-called 'Team UK' summit of the four nations to discuss recovery in the wake of the Covid crisis.

Drakeford said that his party's victory in the Senedd election had provided "breathing space" for the Union, but that action was needed to ensure “long term stability”.

He said that a cross-party constitutional convention should be established to demonstrate the voluntary nature of the Union.

Drakeford has previously called for a federal United Kingdom to fend off calls for independence.

He told the Financial Times, “We need home rule for Wales, more powers, a position where devolution cannot be pulled back by the whim of a prime minister,”

While the Welsh Labour manifesto included promises to pursue the devolution of policing and justice and some taxation powers, the reality is that the UK government is intent on clawing back powers, while bypassing the devolved governments in the process.

Last month, Welsh Government took the UK government to the High Court in London over the Internal Market Act, which Drakeford called a "direct attack on devolution".

The Welsh Government contends that the Act allows the UK government to invest directly in local authorities in Cymru without consultation; effectively bypassing devolution altogether.

Drakeford warns that Johnson's heretofore hostility toward devolution was “adding to the stresses and strains that are undoubtedly on the UK”.

He warned that such an approach "is a recipe to turn the interest in independence in Wales into something more fundamental,”



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