UK on the brink: ‘If Northern Ireland and Scotland go, Wales should go too’

GB News: Sinn Fein will break up UK if they win in Northern Ireland

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Sinn Féin’s victory in Northern Ireland was historic for several reasons, perhaps the most salient being that it marked the end of a unionist party being in control of the country for more than 100 years. Crucially, it called into question the future of the UK, adding to the already uncertain union with the prospect of Scottish independence on the horizon. This is because Sinn Féin campaigned on a manifesto that promised to hold a referendum on reunification with Ireland.

While party leader Mary Lou McDonald said her focus would be on helping people with the squeeze of the cost of living crisis and Brexit fallout, she added that the party would seek to hold a ballot in the next five years.

Just across the Irish Sea in Scotland nationalist fervour is also brewing, where the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) further cemented its power by gaining 22 council seats, bringing the party’s total to 453 councillors, the closest other outfit being Labour with just 282.

The appetite for independence there is thought to be split 50/50, although the SNP’s continued growth in support suggests more and more Scots want to see a UK breakaway.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon holds her first First Minister’s Questions (FMQs) since the results on Thursday, and will likely use it to reinforce her calls for Scottish independence.

In Wales, meanwhile, the question of independence, though growing, remains minuscule compared to the other devolved nations.

Welsh Labour gained 66 seats taking their number of councillors up to 526, while independents came in second with 316, and Plaid Cymru in third at 202.

With constitutional developments in Northern Ireland and Scotland, many political figures in Wales are looking to the future and questioning what place the country might have in a two-state union — and whether this scenario could seriously damage its status.

Adam Price, Plaid’s leader, told that he feared the prospect of Wales and England “becoming some kind of rump UK” should Northern Ireland and Scotland split.

He suggested that Wales would be even more outvoted at the parliamentary elections than it is today with Northern Ireland and Scotland acting as a counterbalance to England.

He said: “[If Northern Ireland and Scotland leave the UK] at that point I would hope that we would want to be our own nation.

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“I don’t think it would be very politically appealing because the kind of conundrum that I refer to is that Wales will effectively get outvoted in Westminster because of larger support for the Conservative party in England — something that already happens.

“It would be even more the case in a circumstance where Scotland left the union and Northern Ireland did, albeit in a slightly different way.

“It’s all part of the challenge when you have one nation which is significantly bigger than all the others combined.”

Many have hit out at the first past the post system used in UK General Elections as undermining the vote of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


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In 2020, analysis by the Electoral Reform Society found that 68 percent of votes in Wales alone made no difference to the result of the 2019 Westminster election.

Only 500,077 of the 1,544,357 votes cast in Wales, or 32.4 percent of the total, were decisive in electing the nation’s 40 MPs.

Fifty-two percent of votes went to candidates that were not elected, and another 15 percent were classed as “surplus votes” that were not needed to elect the winning MP.

Organisations like the Electoral Reform Society (EFS) have long campaigned to introduce a proportional representation system used in many countries around the world where all votes count towards the result.

Welsh Labour, for example, won a majority of seats in the Senedd despite only securing 41 percent of the vote.

Mr Price said he hoped to see a future in which countries of the isles worked together as “equals”.

He continued: “I look forward to the day when we’re all independent nations in these islands and when we find a different way of working together.

“There are deep historic links between England and Wales, and indeed all the other nations in these islands, and I think one of the things we need to do as independent nations is create a new architecture of cooperation where we can work together.

“We share so much in our history, and also in practical terms, we do need to create a way whereby we cooperate, but that doesn’t have to be through the old way, through the structure of the existing UK.

“We can reinvent Britain and Ireland as well, and create a new way of working together as equals.”

Wales is now the only devolved nation in the UK that does not have a pro-independence party in its devolved government.

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