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More powers for Wales and Scotland pledges Shadow Scottish Secretary

Labour's Shadow Scottish Secretary tells our Political Editor Adrian Masters that 'in the first year of power [Labour] will be passing more powers for Scotland and for Wales.'

Margaret Curran is due to speak at an event in the National Assembly for Wales organised by the Institute of Welsh Affairs. She's expected to promise that if Labour wins next year's UK Election it 'will not take the Union for granted.'

And she's due to acknowledge that September's independence referendum has been a 'wake-up call' for those who think the United Kingdom's nations are stronger together.

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

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Welsh MP's protest over committee 'abuse'

Newport West MP Paul Flynn has walked out in protest from a Commons committee after accusing the chair of turning its enquiry into a political 'stunt.'

MPs were questioning the head of the UK Civil Service, Sir Bob Kerslake about the service's role in the Scottish independence referendum debate.

Paul Flynn claimed he was being 'silenced' and that the Public Administration Committee session was an attempt by its chair, Bernard Jenkin to 'embarrass the Scottish parliament and the idea of devolution.'

The two men had locked horns on a different matter during a session of the committee last week. The video below shows the latest exchange and Paul Flynn stating that he'll leave the hearing. He's since confirmed that he left shortly afterwards.

Welsh politicians urged to fight independence

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies is urging fellow Assembly Members to be more vocal about the benefits of being part of the United Kingdom. Ahead of a debate in the Senedd tomorrow, the Opposition leader said 'some senior Welsh politicians have been reluctant' to make the case for the UK.

September’s referendum on Scottish independence is a major threat to a union, which has been a major factor in the economic success of the UK nations.

I hope that all politicians who believe in the union will take the opportunity to argue for it and actively make the case to protect the UK from separatist wishful thinking that the grass might be greener.

– Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Opposition

Carwyn Jones criticised ahead of Scotland speech

Carwyn Jones has been criticised by the SNP ahead of his speech in Edinburgh this evening in which he's expected to make the case for Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom. But MSP Linda Fabiani says Carwyn Jones had until recently had his own concerns about the treatment of Wales.

And she said he should 'come clean' about the cost to Scotland of changes to the way Wales is funded. She said reform to the Barnett formula would lead to a £4bn cut in the Scottish budget if it votes to remain part of the UK.

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Welsh Tory chief to tell Scots devolution can work

Opposition leader Andrew RT Davies will speak to Scottish Conservatives at their conference in Stirling later. He'll use his speech to highlight the benefits to Wales and Scotland of being part of the United Kingdom.

He's expected to acknowledge that there has been hostility to devolution in the party in both countries but will argue that devolution suits Conservative values.

We must be honest with ourselves. Devolution has not been a universally popular process in the Conservative Party. We know it has not been a process that we have universally embraced, but time has shown that people want locally made decisions. Conservatives want locally made decisions. But we have dusted ourselves off and we have changed. I believe that is a good thing.

Devolution is not left wing or separatist, but it won’t be Conservative unless we make it so.

– Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Opposition

And to back up that claim he's expected to tell the Scottish Tories that recent policy launches by his group here in Wales show how a centre-right agenda can be promoted in a devolved context:

Over the past few months, my team and I in the Assembly have set our face to the task of doing Conservative things with devolution – and what a refreshing change it’s been. Whilst other parties have been determined to speak of nothing other than the constitution, the Welsh Conservatives have been setting out tax cutting agendas, small business financing schemes, even the privatisation of an airport. Conservative policies in a devolved setting, putting our values at the heart of everything we do: Localism, individual empowerment and economic liberty.

– Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Opposition
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David Cameron launches defence of United Kingdom

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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