Wednesday, 2 January 2013

What is he on?

That was the question which struck me when I read what the First Minister had to say about the possibility of England seceding from the RUK in the wake of a yes vote in Scotland.  He described it as ‘highly unlikely’, admittedly, but that’s still more than a little understated.

In the process of engaging in speculation for which the word ‘fanciful’ is another gross understatement, he may – inadvertently, I’m sure – also have torpedoed one of the arguments being put forward by his own party in Scotland.  They have been arguing that any part of the UK which secedes from the rest would find itself outside the EU, with all the rights and privileges of membership remaining with the bit of the UK that’s left. 
So, following that rather dubious logic to its inevitable conclusion, if England seceded from the RUK, it too would find itself outside the EU, whilst the United Kingdom of Wales and Northern Ireland would remain inside as the successor state.  (We might need to borrow a monarch from somewhere else though if we want to go on using the word ‘kingdom’).
It’s nonsense, of course.  The reality is that who seceded from whom would be only one factor in determining EU membership status.  And English ‘secession’ is just a euphemism for the expulsion of Wales and Northern Ireland.  I suppose that being expelled might help to overcome the little problemette that independence remains such a deeply unpopular idea, but only in the strange world inhabited by the First Minister is such an outcome conceivable.
Still, if supplies of whatever he’s been taking over the Christmas period could be made more widely available, Welsh politics might become more imaginative in 2013.


Welsh not British said...

England would never voluntarily secede from it's colonies. We subsidise them far too much. Where will they get all their free water and energy from.

Ha! Next they'll be saying they are going to build all those dams and power stations in their own country.

No country would voluntarily pay another countrys way. The sooner WE are rid of that leech the better off WE will be and the poorer England will be.

Anonymous said...

Good spot, John. I thought exactly the same. His comments make no sense and play into a false belief (shared by some here) that Wales is a 'burden' on England or the UK and that a right-wing rUK (driven by so-called 'Little Englander' politics) would cut Wales off. This is fundamentally untrue. Even with our lack of revenues and economic activity, Wales is a useful appendage for the UK or rUK when it comes to electricity generation, ports capacity, recruits for the armed forces, military sites etc. And we aren't really any more of a drain on UK finances than any of the other post-industrial economic regions. Aside from that, imperial-style states never want to lose territory if they can help it, because losing territory puts their prestige and integrity into question. Whatever people say about Scottish independence helping the Conservatives, no Tory wants to be the PM who loses part of the UK, and the union itself is deeply and emotionally important to Conservatives. The idea that Wales would be 'forced' into independence is a non-starter for me. It might be made easier or more likely by other events, but it will only happen when we democratically secure it for ourselves.