Scottish independence: Mark Drakeford says Westminster should approve Indyref2 after court ruling
The Scottish Government has the right to hold an independence referendum despite the Supreme Court ruling consent needs to be given by the UK Government, Mark Drakeford has said.
The First Minister for Wales repeated his view after the UK's highest court ruled the Scottish Parliament cannot hold one without Westminster's consent.
Last week the five justices sitting in the Supreme Court gave a unanimous decision in relation to a plan by Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP government to hold a vote next year.
The court ruled that without the backing of the UK Parliament, “the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to legislate for a referendum on Scottish independence.”
Mark Drakeford is opposed to holding a referendum and believes Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom, but he has previously stated that any devolved government which has won a clear mandate in an election should be able to make its own decision.
He was asked about his view by the leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price, during his weekly First Minister’s Question session in the Senedd.
Mark Drakeford told members that “the position of the Welsh Government remains that set out in “Reforming our Union" - a document published last year which contains a 20-point plan by Mr Drakeford to save the UK from breaking up.
“It's been our position for a number of years and colleagues here will remember that what we said in that document was that, provided a government has secured an explicit electoral mandate for the holding of a referendum and enjoys continuing support from its parliament to do so, it is entitled to expect that the UK Parliament will take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the appropriate arrangements can be made.
“So that's been our position and it remains our position.”
Adam Price challenged him about a difference that exists between the view expressed by the First Minister and that set out by UK Labour leader Kier Starmer.
Mr Price asked about recent a discussion between the two leaders, asking “In that conversation you had with Sir Keir Starmer, did he reiterate the comments that he made... that he would not agree to an independence referendum in Scotland following the next general election?"
“Is that not a denial of democracy?”
The First Minister did not directly answer that question but said that the Labour Party was building up to the publication of a report by the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown which would shape the party’s position on future devolution to Wales and Scotland.