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Welsh First Minister: UK must 'reform' to survive

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Mark Drakeford has tried in vain to stop the rise of Welsh nationalism

In an impassioned plea, Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has called on the UK to reform in order to survive.

Addressing the Labour party conference in Brighton, Drakeford claims that the “bonds” keeping the UK’s four nations together were “being torn apart by Brexit” and “couldn’t-care-less Tory governments”.

“Our task under a new UK Labour government must be to build a new United Kingdom”, Drakeford proclaimed.

The First Minister’s warnings come against the backdrop of an increasingly strident Welsh nationalist movement.

The pro-independence movement in Wales has staged three major rallies this year, most recently in Merthyr Tydfil earlier this month.

Following an earlier pro-independence rally in Caernarfon in July, Drakeford warned that Welsh independence had “risen up the political agenda”.

And following a meeting with PM Boris Johnson in late July, Drakeford said that he had raised “concerns” about the future of the UK.  

Brexit uncertainty is only one factor behind the rise of nationalist sentiment in Wales.

Structural issues, notably poor leadership by the Welsh Conservative and Labour parties, are widely judged to be another important factor.

According to the latest opinion poll, support for Welsh independence is on an upward trajectory.

The YouGov poll, based on a sample of 1039 people, and conducted between 6-10 September, indicates 24 percent support for Welsh independence.

But support for independence jumps to 33 percent if it was accompanied by Welsh membership in the European Union.    

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