In a a speech that he made yesterday Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones, warned that "a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union could “bolster” the campaign to break up the UK.
The First Minister said ...
Imagine a referendum on the European Union which resulted in a vote to leave, carried by the weight of English votes against the preferences of other parts of the UK to remain in membership.
“That would put us under enormous strain, and could only serve the interests of those who wanted the United Kingdom to cease to exist.
“It is ironic that those who are pressing for an ‘in-out’ referendum on the grounds of their commitment to the United Kingdom may actually be imperilling the very future of the UK as presently constituted.”
Mr Jones warned that the break-up of the UK would be “a matter of grave concern to the majority of people in Wales”.
Westermail November 8 2012
Interestingly Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards, also said he expects the independence debate to be transformed if a majority of English voters want to cut links with Brussels but the Welsh electorate votes to stay in the EU.
“If there is an in-out [referendum] and a Yes in Wales and a No in England, my guess is I think that would make the case for Welsh independence clearly. Wales is a europhile country – there’s no doubt about that.
“If there was divergence and the people [of Wales] were removed from the EU as a result of votes of the people of England, that would increase demands for Welsh independence.”
Western Mail November 4 2012
The great Peter Black dismissed this as wishful thinking by Plaid in his Blog
Today the Western Mail reports that on the belief of Jonathan Edwards MP that demand for independence could soar if England votes to quit the EU in a future referendum but Wales and Scotland vote to stay in. he goes on to predict that eurosceptic Conservative MPs may have to choose between fighting to leave the EU or battling to hold the UK together. Really?
The number of leaps in imagination just to get to this point is startling, but yes, I have to admit it is one scenario that might have to be considered at some stage in the future, though I cannot see Welsh voters opting for independence even under those circumstances. The tern wishful thinking was invented for this piece.
Peter Black November 5 2012So what's Peter take on Carwyn depicting the same scenario ? Doom forecasting?
Watching the Europhobe Tories in the recent debate over the EU budget it would not take a great deal of imagination for the party to split over Europe especial if UKIP keep eating into their votes.
The possibility of a referendum on Europe whether in-out or on returning powers could see a vote to leave the EU .
I'm not sure that Wales is as europhile as Carwyn Jones thinks, but I suspect that the Welsh electorate, will largely realise that Wales would probably be more inclined to stay in, than the affluent South East of England.
Carwyn Jones and Jonathan Edwards may think the result may be the same if England votes out and Wales to stay in Europe but have different views on whether it will be good for Wales.
Mind you what would Carwyn Jones think we should do remain part of a Ring Wing Isolationist UK which (or whats left ) would be little more than a US outpost or stay with Europe as an Independent country?
Peter Black seems to think we shouldn't even think about it.