Scottish independence: Carwyn Jones backs ‘No’

The Welsh First Minister believes there is more chance of change if UK stays together. Picture: Jane Barlow

The Welsh First Minister believes there is more chance of change if UK stays together. Picture: Jane Barlow

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THE Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones yesterday said independence offered a “false prospectus” because no journey to social justice can start by walking away from your neighbours.

The Labour First Minister made an appeal to left wing Scottish voters urging them not to turn their backs on shared values and history.

Appearing on a platform beside the Better Together leader Alistair Darling in Edinburgh, Mr Jones invoked a sense of patriotism saying that as a native Welsh speaker a independent Wales would not make any difference to his sense of Welshness.

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“Like many people of my generation, my politics were shaped during the Miners’ Strike. That calamity, which was visited upon communities throughout the UK, brought people together to fight Thatcherism.

“Thirty years ago today communities in Scotland, Wales and England were facing – together – a long, hard fight back from the policies of the day. And we did it. Together.

“And as the left had done after the Second World War, we rebuilt the country in a different way. We delivered the minimum wage, we delivered devolution. We delivered hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. We delivered peace in Northern Ireland. We increased maternity pay and delivered paternity leave.

“Nationalists delivered none of these things, because these are not the bread and butter issues of the nationalist cause. There is only one bread and butter issue for a separatist, and that is separation.

“As a Labour First Minister, I’m here to say to the left in Scotland that the promise of a socialist utopia post-separation, is a siren call from the “Yes” camp that must be resisted.”

“As a patriotic Welshman and a First Minister in the UK, I can also say to you that seeking independence as a remedy to those tensions and frustrations is a false prospectus.

“It is a false prospectus, because no journey towards social justice can begin by walking away from people who share your values, your struggles and your history. That journey should not begin by walking away from shared victories or shared setbacks, whether on the field of battle, or on picket lines and factory floors.”

Mr Jones added: “I want to say this to those on the left in Scotland who are considering a yes vote: can solidarity really be achieved by walking away from friends, neighbours, and partners?”

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