This is a response to a comment posted on my article on WalesHome.
Who asked why Wales needs Independence, why shouldn't we just devolve powers and remain a part of the UK. Here is my response.
Why should Wales be Independent and what would change?, this is a question we should all be asking.
The reason Wales needs Independence in my view stares us all in the face every day. Our general poverty compared to the rest of the UK nations and our relative weak economy. This is normally an argument against Independence, to me it’s almost definitely an argument for.
Shouldn’t we all be evaluating and looking at Wales economic or lack of economic Wealth?. People often fervently proclaim ‘Wales is too poor to be Independent, end of story’ But that is incorrect and naïve, if the argument were that black and white nationalistic movements across the world would have been crushed, yet they haven’t. The point we’re all missing and for some are purposely missing is why is Wales too poor? Are we an inferior bunch of Individuals that cannot run our own affairs and thus our economy has lagged? Are we to modest as a people and not wanting to win one over on the other?
And this is a question that almost certainly ties into why Wales needs Independence, and what I believe would change should Independence come. Welsh economic Policy is on the whole determined by Westminster, UK policy is on the whole determined by Westminster, despite the often protested remarks that it’s the Assembly that retains over all control on economic leavers in Wales, it certainly does not. UK economic policy is largely centred on the London Hub and the south east. As I’ve previously stated the richest part of the United Kingdom setting the table for the poorest, it makes no sense.
People come back and this by stating we need not Independence rather a localised leverage to perhaps further devolve power yet still live happily within the United Kingdom? This cannot work in my opinion, as you’ll always have a messed up package of powers with bits of control existing in different parliamentary houses, this the accountability gets lost. For example UK policy in the past (general policies not just economic) were all determined by Westminster, with over 70% of these MP’s representing English constituencies Westminster is effectively an English parliament in all but name this then meant that Welsh issued were snubbed and there was no accountability on the direction of Welsh policy which needs to be fundamentally different to the UK. Welsh people on average earn less, on average work longer hours; on average pay higher utility bills all this UK policy which is hampering the development and improvement of Wales and the standard of Living in Wales.
Ok so we can devolve things further, tidy things up, whoopee all is good. But then one forgets the all too important international stage. Another argument given against Independence is that Wales is so meagre and small that we would cease to have much international influence. Yet where is our current influence? It is a British influence, as determined by the Westminster parliament which is made up of largely English MP’s that have a different direction and divergence in policy to that of Wales. We have no voice. A small voice is better than no voice, and that if you believe the preconception that Wales wouldn’t have any influence, I disagree.
Now International level politics is vitally important for domestic issues. Attracting Investment from other countries to strengthen the economy, guiding agricultural policy within the EU to suit the needs of your farmers (where was Elin Jones the former Rural agricultural affairs minister for Wales during the discussions with Europe? Sitting outside in the corridor whilst the Minister for the ‘UK – effectively England in all but name, as agricultural issues are devolved’ took centre stage and guided policy in the direction of his governments values, this Welsh agricultural policy must follow suit. All’s good an well proclaiming we can devolve powers to a local level and everything’s hunky dory, yet there will always be that one influential voice from Westminster that has a greater say on issues that don’t affect him/her that do affect us here in Wales. And this is another reason why Wales cannot and should not in my opinion remain in the status quo.
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