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Expert: Wales worse off after Scottish referendum

by Owain Phillips

Wales could be worse off - whatever the result of the upcoming Scottish referendum - according to a leading Scottish expert.

Nicola McEwen of Edinburgh University says a 'yes' vote could leave Wales' voice diminished within a reduced UK, while a 'no' vote could see Scottish needs dominate any future discussions of change.

Meanwhile, a new poll for ITV News, in partnership with Cardiff University, shows a clear majority of people in Wales want Scotland to remain within the UK.

Wales wants Scotland to stay in UK

An opinion poll for ITV Wales shows that if Welsh people had a vote on Scottish independence, they would vote 'no' in large numbers. People were asked the question that will appear on the ballot paper in Scotland this September. They were also asked how they would vote in a Welsh referendum.

  • Should Scotland be an independent country?
  • Yes 16%
  • No 63%
  • Don't know/Wouldn't vote 21%
  • Should Wales be an independent country?
  • Yes 14%
  • No 72%
  • Don't know/Wouldn't vote 14%

The answer about Welsh independence didn't change much when people were asked to assume that a referendum in Wales was after Scotland had voted to leave the United Kingdom.

  • Should Wales be an independent country?
  • Yes 16%
  • No 69%
  • Don't know/Wouldn't vote 15%

YouGov polled a sample of 1092 people across Wales, 12-14 May 2014.


Scottish referendum: Wales will be worse off

Wales will be worse off, whatever the result of the upcoming Scottish referendum - that's the verdict of a leading Scottish expert.

According to Nicola McEwen of Edinburgh University, a 'yes' vote would leave Wales' voice diminished in the rest of the UK, while a 'no' vote could see Scottish needs dominate any future change.

It comes as a new opinion poll reveals huge support within Wales for Scotland to stay a part of the UK.

Salmond pledges Welsh economic ties if Scotland says 'yes' to independence

An independent Scotland would establish formal economic links with Wales, the Scottish First Minister has promised. Alex Salmond has pledged to create a 'Welsh-Scottish Economic Forum' if there's a 'Yes' vote in September's referendum. The SNP leader said,

The SNP values our friendship and long-standing relationship with Wales. Independence for Scotland offers us all a chance to rebalance the economy of these islands and to do so in a way that ensures we can all benefit from our strengths and resources.

Following a Yes vote this September, the Scottish Government will seek to build on this relationship by establishing a special economic forum to ensure that we maximise opportunities for business and trade between Scotland and Wales.

– Alex Salmond MSP, First Minister of Scotland

The commitment came following a meeting with Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood during her visit to Scotland this week. She says it supports her argument that Scottish independence is 'in Wales' economic, social and political interests.' She added,

The commitment to building closer economic ties between our two countries has been demonstrated by First Minister Salmond's intentions to establish a joint economic forum between Wales and Scotland.

Such a forum could bring together our businesses and universities to collaborate on a range of economic opportunities such as renewable energy projects and natural resources.

Our countries enjoy a strong relationship and following a 'Yes' vote in September this will be renewed and strengthened further.

– Leanne Wood AM, Plaid Cymru leader

'We fleas ought to stick together' - Rhodri Morgan on the impact of Scottish independence on Wales

by Adrian Masters

Former First Minister, Rhodri Morgan, says Wales would be left in an 'unsustainable' position if Scotland leaves the UK. Writing in the latest issue of Prospect magazine he says Scottish independence would have 'huge implications' for Wales and Northern Ireland, but which would be 'worse for Wales.'

How would the Celts make their voices heard under those conditions? The problem would be worse for Wales than for Northern Ireland. Thirty years of the Troubles followed by the euphoria over the Good Friday agreement in 1998, combined with American interest in the Province have guaranteed that Northern Ireland will never get ignored. There are no such guarantees for Wales.

He writes that the fate of Wales is unlikely to be in the minds of Scottish voters but hopes they'll think about effect of their decision.

Nobody is suggesting a mass rally of Welsh men and women in Princes Street just before Scotland's Independence vote. In the unlikely event that such a gathering were organised, it would probably have the reverse effect of that intended.

We do though, need to percolate that Welsh plea into the minds of the Scottish electorate; a plea that says, 'If you leave the UK, Wales becomes the tail which can never ever wag the English dog!'

You can read Rhodri Morgan's full article if you go to Prospect's website by clicking here. But he ends with another vivid animal metaphor which he was so often associated with during his time as First Minister:

In one of my many conversations with Alex Salmond about the position of the Celtic Countries within the UK, I once upset him mightily by referring to the UK as an 'elephant and three fleas.' He accused me of a form of Celtic self-loathing. I told him that you had to 'clock' the enormous disparity between England and the rest.

And I thought then, as I still think, that we fleas ought to stick together.

– Rhodri Morgan, former First Minister, writing in Prospect Magazine.

UK won't be the same after 2014 says Plaid leader

by Adrian Masters

In an interview for this week's Sharp End, Leanne Wood tells me that Plaid Cymru's 'central and core aim is to achieve an independent Wales.' Long-term Plaid-watchers will say that that aim hasn't always been clearly stated and she agrees.

She also agrees that Wales is a long way from being in the position Scotland finds itself and seriously deciding whether or not to break away from the rest of the UK. But she tells me 'things change and things can change very quickly.'

I'll be discussing what she says and any other ways that Wales could be affected by developments in Scotland with my guests in tonight's Sharp End at 1035pm on ITV Cymru Wales.


Carwyn Jones 'should come clean' about £4bn Scottish budget cut says SNP

The First Minister of Wales should tell Scottish voters that he'd be prepared to see £4bn cut from Scotland's budget to boost the funding Wales receives, according to the SNP. Carwyn Jones will make the case for remaining part of the United Kingdom in a speech in Edinburgh this evening.

The SNP has highlighted the First Minister's repeated calls for fairer funding for Wales by reforming the Barnett formula which works out how much of a share of UK spending devolved nations should received.

But the SNP's Linda Fabiani says that if Scotland remains part of the UK after next year's Independence referendum and the formula is changed it will mean a cut of £4bn. She says Carwyn Jones should make that clear.

Carwyn Jones has never been shy about his desire to change the Barnett formula in a way that would disadvantage Scotland.The Welsh First Minister has the perfect opportunity to use his visit to Scotland to spell out to people here just how much he wants Scotland’s budget cut by if there is a No vote next year.

With a Welsh Commission suggesting that Scotland’s funding could be cut by a staggering £4 billion in a single year, these are major cuts that are being proposed which would have a devastating impact on communities across Scotland.

Scotland already more than pays its own way in the UK, but the dismal future being offered by the No campaign would see people in Scotland disadvantaged even further.

With all of the UK parties lining up to cut Scotland’s budget if there’s a No vote, only the full powers of an independent Scotland will ensure that all of Scotland’s resources are used to benefit people living here.

The fairest solution for everyone is for Scotland to gain full control over our own tax and spending decisions and only a Yes vote next year will secure that for people in Scotland.

– Linda Fabiani MSP, SNP

Scottish independence vote: One year to go

by Adrian Masters

In one year's time the people of Scotland will go to the polls to decide if they want to break away from the rest of the UK and become independent.

Wales is a lot further away from taking such steps itself - but those who support or oppose the notion of independence here will be watching Scotland closely over the next 12 months.

Scottish independence: Implications for Wales

by Adrian Masters
Next year Scottish voters will be deciding whether to remain in the UK Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

There is exactly a year to go until Scottish voters decide whether or not the country should leave the United Kingdom.

Most polls show that they're likely to vote 'No' in the independence referendum, but a large number of voters are undecided.

Here there is great concern about how the result will affect Wales. The First Minister has called for an end to 'constitutional tinkering' and said there should be a written constitution for the UK, with the principle that all matters affecting Wales should be decided by the National Assembly.

The referendum in a year's time will be a crucial vote which could lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom. Whatever the result, it'll change the nature of the relationship between Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

To mark the fact that there is a year to go, I've been in Glasgow talking to campaigners on both sides of the argument and to some of those who will be most affected by whatever decision is taken.


David Cameron launches defence of United Kingdom

David Cameron speaks during Prime Minister's Questions
David Cameron speaks during Prime Minister's Questions Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

David Cameron has launched a defence of the United Kingdom as his government prepares to put the "facts" about Scottish independence to the public.

While people in Scotland will make the decision in autumn next year, the implications will have obvious impacts across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Conservative leader said.

"Britain is admired around the world as a source of prosperity, power and security," he said.

"Those glorious Olympics last summer reminded us just what we were capable of when we pull together: Scottish, English, Welsh, Northern Irish, all in the same boat - sometimes literally.

"If you told many people watching those Olympics around the world that we were going to erect barriers between our people, they'd probably be baffled. Put simply: Britain works. Britain works well. Why break it?"

Cameron spoke out one day before the government publishes the first in a series of analysis papers about Scotland's role in the union.

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