Welsh politicians debate Scots vote impact on Wales

  • Published
Media caption,

Members from Wales' four main political parties took part in the debate on Monday night

Extra powers for Wales, how it is funded and whether Wales would be weaker if Scotland left the union have been the subject of a special debate on the impact of this week's referendum.

The four main political parties in Wales joined an audience discussion on BBC Wales' Wales Report programme on Monday night.

Key to the debate was how Wales should move forward after the vote.

People in Scotland will take to the polls on Thursday.

The discussion brought together the Labour Welsh government cabinet minister, Leighton Andrews, leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies, and Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams who are supporting a No vote.

Plaid Cymru's leader Leanne Wood was the voice of the Yes campaign, arguing that Wales would be stronger following a vote in favour of Scottish independence.

Leighton Andrews said it was an "exciting time" and whatever the outcome, he believed the vote had sparked the beginning of extra powers for Scotland, Wales and the English regions.

Mr Andrews said his party wanted "fairer funding for Wales" and said the people of Wales wanted to see devolution here grow.

'Create prosperity'

Kirsty Williams said the referendum was a "wonderful opportunity to gain extra powers for Wales" but said it was down to the parties in Wales to come up with a consensus on what they wanted for Wales going forward and to "speak with one voice".

Andrew RT Davies said he wanted to see a more economically active Wales that could generate more of its own wealth - using both its own powers and the support it gets from the union to create a more viable Wales that creates its own prosperity.

He said a transfer of more powers to Wales should should only be made where it can be proved that they will improve people's lives.

The main Westminster parties have already promised to transfer further powers to the Scottish parliament if Scotland rejects independence on Thursday, but Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood said she was not convinced those extra powers would come.

She said there was currently too much concentration of power in London acting mainly on behalf of the south east of England and the referendum was an opportunity to move some of that power elsewhere - which Wales could benefit from too.

She added the vote was the only way to give Scottish people the government they want.

"Both Wales and Scotland voted Labour in the last UK general election and they still got a government that they didn't vote for and that is what people are voting for in Scotland next Thursday,

"If they [Scotland] vote Yes it means that whatever government that they vote for in Scotland that is the government they will get and they won't get a government imposing policies like the bedroom tax, like austerity, on them against the mandate that they did not have in their own country."

Around the BBC