The Union of Equals, but some are more equal than others.
On Monday this week, the UK Prime Minister decided to block legislation that the democratically elected Scottish Government had brought in. Whatever anyone’s views on the particular legislation, the bonfire of Tory destruction now includes the principle of Holyrood's devolved “sovereignty”.
Imagine, if you will, the democratically elected UK government made a new law. Let’s call it Rishi’s Law, for argument's sake. The law passes with a majority in the House of Commons. While there are solid arguments and strong feelings from those in opposition, the principle of loser’s consent means Rishi’s Law will stand.
Now, imagine the European Union (with the UK still a member) decided they didn’t like Rishi’s Law. They choose to block Rishi’s Law from becoming legislation in the UK. How would the supporters of Rishi’s Law feel? They’d be angry, appalled at the unjustified attack on their sovereignty. They might even start a campaign to leave the EU!
Despairingly, this has now happened to Scotland. They've already been dragged out of the EU against their democratic will and told they couldn’t have a mandated second referendum by another country’s Supreme Court. It now has the laws it makes overridden by a different country.
Back in June 2022, a similar thing happened in Wales. The Welsh Government passed legislation that made it illegal for industries to hire agency staff to cover while the usual workforce is on strike. At the same time, the UK started drafting anti-strike laws, currently going through the motions, if you’ll pardon the pun, at Westminster. The UK Government has stated that these anti-strike laws WILL apply to Wales, even though they contradict the Welsh Government’s legislation.
We’ve seen this before, though. The submerging of Capel Celyn may have been in the ‘60s, but don’t doubt that the UK Government would drown your home today if it benefited them. They would, happily.
Does anyone need reminding that Scotland hasn’t voted for Conservatives since Anthony Eden in 1955? Wales hasn’t voted Tory since before 1885! And yet, in 2023, a government controlled by a party neither nation has voted for is hell-bent on destroying devolution. The only type of equality in this union is if England is placed at the top, having stomped Wales and Scotland into joint last place.
We saw that this is not a “voluntary union” with the fallout of the UK Supreme Court decision, despite Scotland’s ever-growing mandate for independence. Now we know this isn’t a “union of equals” either.
However, Scotland has a powerful, independence-supporting ruling party ready to call out these injustices for what they are. Independence is the obvious answer to the problem of having your own laws trampled by a neighbour. The SNP are in a prime position to fight that battle in Scotland.
YesCymru is in a position to fight the same battle in Wales. If Cymru is to be free to control all of its money and make its own laws, we need independence to benefit Cymru.
Every person in Wales can change the future, so we don't have to deal with this anymore.
This is an article written by David Hannington-Smith of Yes Milford Haven and published in the Pembrokeshire Herald newspaper on 20.01.2023