‘Independence’ for Wales within the Eurpean Union

We are looking for light at the end of the Brexit tunnel. Here it is!

Before the UK negotiates its departure from the EU, Scotland will vote in a referendum to leave the United Kingdom and stay in the European Union.

This will allow us in Wales to claim that our EU referendum took place on a false prospectus. We were offered a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as an alternative to membership of the European Union. Scotland leaving the UK changes the offer.

On this basis the Welsh Government should demand a new referendum in Wales in which we are asked to choose between a union with England or a separate Wales within the European Union.

An ‘independent’ Wales within the European Union would be uniquely placed to have access to markets in an otherwise isolated England and in the EU. In this context Wales would build on its current manufacturing base to be Northern Europe’s key location for steel, the automotive and aeronautic industries, new energy and bio-medical technologies. Former UK university research groups will relocate to Wales to maintain European networks. Key financial services will move from London to Cardiff to maintain a bridgehead into Europe.

Disaffected Welsh voters who have recently voted to leave the EU in a desperate desire for change would instead be persuaded to constitutionally detach themselves from England if the vision of a new future was clearly articulated.

Is this fantasy? Sceptics will point to the large gap between tax revenues and public expenditure in Wales, a gap that will widen so long as our economy is subservient to the needs of London as a beleaguered base for finance capital. If we have the vision to grow our economy through innovation, investment in skills, a march of the makers, a rich mix of small and large enterprises replicating the ownership and banking structures of Germany and Scandinavia, a more equal resource distribution, empowered and purposeful trades unions; our public finances will look after themselves. People of Wales, united with Europe, providing a bridge into England, we have nothing to lose but our chains.

 

 

Staying Local within the European Union

Well done the new Welsh Local Government Minister. Mark Drakeford has given the Williams Report the burial it deserves – no more dreams of a militaristic, top down public service. Local people can retain their engagement with local services with local councils building networks to share what needs to be shared.

The same vision needs to underpin the European Union we will create after a ‘Remain’ vote this Thursday. Throughout Europe we will retain responsive national governments, accountable to their citizens. Through a European Union those national governments can work together to challenge the inequalities of global capitalism, ensure the rights of workers to share control of their own workplace, and sustain an environment we can hand over to future generations.

Outside a European Union, Wales loses its potential to be European centre for advanced manufacturing, lead Europe in energy supply, steel manufacture, automotive supplies, aerospace supplies, bio and medical technology, and much else.

With confidence and vision we can control our own communities and work together across Europe.