Liz Saville Roberts: 'FM is living in fantasy land if he thinks the UK serves Wales well'

Credit: PA

A Plaid Cymru MP has said the First Minister is living in a "fantasy" if he thinks the UK serves Wales well.

Liz Saville Roberts' comments come following an interview Mark Drakeford did with the Irish Times, during a two-day visit to Ireland.

In the interview, Mr Drakeford said he is a supporter of the UK following a question on Welsh independence.

“My own case is not a sentimental one. I’m Welsh first and British next,” he said.

“I have never stated that Wales could not be independent if the people in Wales wanted it. I never signed up to the idea that we would be so poor. I want to be able to articulate that positive case for the current arrangements we have of strengthened devolution.

“The case is that it is a great insurance policy that we pool our resources and share the rewards where it is necessary at the UK level.”

However Ms Saville-Roberts has hit out at the First Minister's comments saying Wales should be looking beyond the parameters of the UK.

“The idea of a family of nations pooling resources for the common good is delightful in theory, but it bears no relation to the grim economic reality of the UK in 2022.

"I am afraid that the First Minister is living in fantasy land if he thinks there is a positive case to be made for current arrangements.

“I would invite the First Minister to tell families facing extortionate mortgages that the UK is a ‘great insurance policy’. Tell households facing real terms cuts to wages and benefits while the super-rich get richer that we ‘share the rewards where it is necessary at the UK level’.

“I hope that during his visit to Ireland, the First Minister gets a glimpse of how Ireland is succeeding outside the stranglehold of Westminster rule.

"Ireland is currently an elected member of the United Nations Security Council. Síofra O’Leary has just become the first Irish judge and first woman to lead European Court of Human Rights. Dubliner Tony Murphy has just been elected president of the European Court of Auditors.

“Ireland is punching well above its weight on the international stage. There is no logical reason why Wales should be denied the same opportunity."

During Mr Drakeford's visit to Ireland he is having discussions on the cost-of-living crisis with Ministers from both countries sharing their approaches to supporting people.

Climate change is also on the agenda as well as ports and border control following Brexit.

It is the second Wales-Ireland Forum which aims to raise the profile of Wales with business leaders, academics and cultural partners in Ireland.