Monday, 31 July 2017

Could "Welsh" Labour split from the UK party

Could "Welsh" Labour split from the UK party if it backs a hard Brexit, ?
The idea has been muted by Leighton  Andrews, who lost his Rhondda Assembly seat to Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, said there was “no question” that it should be ready to contemplate a divorce.
According to the  Wasting Mule he was alarmed by an article by Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade Barry Gardiner’s in which the Labour frontbencher argued that the UK must leave the single market and the customs union.
When asked if Welsh Labour should consider a divorce if UK Labour backed a hard Brexit, he told the BBC: “ Absolutely. No question.
“The reality, I think, is that there is a difference we’re now seeing I think by those parts of the Labour Party who have experience of government and experience of running things, and that’s clearly the case with the Welsh Labour Welsh Government, and those in opposition who have not only no experience of government but also little experience in practice of shadow ministry.”
 “I honestly think that if the UK Labour Party cannot get itself together on this most fundamental of all issues, then I think Labour at a UK level will be in a very dire position. In that case, given the success of Welsh Labour, particularly at the most recent general election, in Assembly elections and the fact that Welsh Labour remains in Government, I think there was a very strong case at the beginning of the week for taking steps to protect Welsh Labour, its identity and its role.“Now, I think that over the course of the week we’ve seen UK Labour moving back towards the Welsh Labour position and I think that’s good news.” 
 “UK Labour leadership has been scrabbling to put its position back together” because it “realised how seriously Barry Gardiner had detonated unity in the Labour party
 When asked if a Labour split could result in two Labour parties competing in Wales, he said: 

“Well, I don’t think that’s how it would play out and that’s not actually at the end of the day the outcome I want to see. What I actually want to see is a strong, clear-sighted Welsh Labour party that is influencing and providing direction for UK Labour.”

Could it happen?

I doubt it.

It assumes that even if there was a sufficient majority of "Welsh" Labour members opposed to an Hard Brexit , would just this issue be enough to see them splitting from the UK party and loosing the financial support it gets from it.

After all Brexit would probably still happen, and in five years time what would be the impetus  of a real Welsh Labour Party?

Certainly not a Federal Labour Party in a Federal UK, there may be currently a move for Carwyn Jones to work with Nicola Sturgeon

The two first ministers are alarmed at what could happen to their nations’ economies if the UK leaves the EU without a deal securing unfettered access to the single market.

Not only do they want to shape the negotiations, they are adamant that powers held today by Brussels in areas such as agriculture and fisheries should be returned to AMs and MSPs after Brexit and not held by MPs.
They are also unequivocal that Westminster ministers should not impose a replacement for the Common Agricultural Policy on the whole of the UK.
In the past the Welsh First Minister  has talked up the benefits of a move to a federal model for the UK and warned that the “days of parliamentary sovereignty are numbered”.
Yet he has done little to encourage his own party to even consider parity with Scotland and the "Welsh Leader" cannot even persuade Welsh Labour MPs  to back the recommendations of the Silk Commission on the devolution  of Policing , Criminal justice ,Water and Transport.
In the May General Election "Welsh"Labour tried to distance itself from the UK party in the mistaken belief (which lets be honest I and many shared) that Jeremy Corbyn  could not win and presented a Faux Nationalist agenda and the impression they would work together as a separate identity in the interest of Wales.
In the event it appears that it was Corbyn and the disastrous Tory campaign that saw Labour in Wales increase their  number of seats.
If "Welsh"  labour were to split from the UK party it will not be due to Brexit  it will be the growth of the YES Cymru campaign and a rise in the Polls of Plaid Cymru.
They will then whilst still backing the Union rehash their 2017 Faux Nationlism . Hopefully  by then it will be to late and Wales will be following Scotland to the exit.

1 comment:

  1. Given Labour's long time dominance of welsh politics if such a split did occur it would be momentous, and potentially a big step on the road to independence for wales.