he first minister of Wales has warned that the UK could split unless it is rebuilt as a “solidarity union”.
Mark Drakeford said the social bonds that tie different parts of the UK together have come under “sustained assault” following decades of free market neoliberalism by the Conservatives.
The Welsh Labour leader called for the UK to “rebuild the safety net” to help individuals who are sick or out of work.
Speaking to the Guardian, he said: “We have to rebuild the safety net, so you know that your membership of the United Kingdom entitles you to that collective security that it represents.
“If you move from Scotland to Wales, you know that you will take those fundamental rights with you as part of your citizenship. Those have all been eroded progressively by Tory governments, particularly since 1979.
“The long years of neoliberalism have been a sustained assault on the notion that citizenship means rights and the next Labour government needs to rebuild those rights, to do it explicitly and to say to people, this is what you get – that’s why it is worth belonging [to the UK].”
It follows reports that Labour is under pressure to end its pact in Wales with Plaid Cymru after the leader of the nationalist party resigned over a damning report into its internal culture.
Plaid and Welsh Labour signed a co-operation agreement after the last Senedd election to ensure that Mr Drakeford could implement his legislative agenda despite falling short of a majority.
But Mr Drakeford has now suggested that the agreement is under review and some in his party want him to end it now .
While the two parties are not in formal coalition, under the terms of the agreement Labour pledged to implement dozens of specified policies in return for Plaid keeping the administration in power.
It is due to end next year, giving the parties a year and a half to prepare for the next Senedd election.
Wales has experienced an uptick in support for independence, but levels still remain far below the near 50 per cent support for independence in Scotland.