15/09/2014 The Wales Report


15/09/2014

With just days to go to the Scottish independence referendum - what will a yes or no result mean in Wales? Join Bethan Rhys Roberts for a special Wales Report audience debate.


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Transcript


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In three days time, the people of Scotland head to the

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polls and decide whether or not to break away from the United Kingdom.

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Whether it's a Yes or a No, the status quo is not an option.

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So what will the result mean for Wales?

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Sit tight for a lively half hour here on the Wales Report.

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Good evening, welcome to a special edition of the Wales Report,

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live from the Senedd on BBC One Wales and BBC Radio Wales.

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On Thursday, the people of Scotland will head to the polls to cast one

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of the most important votes in the democratic history of the

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United Kingdom and the polls suggest it's going to be very close indeed.

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Tonight we'll be asking representatives from the four main

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parties here for their take on how the result of the referendum could

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shape our future here in Wales; will it mean further devolution?

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Speaking for Welsh Labour we have Leighton Andrews,

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just re-appointed to the cabinet as the minister for Public Services.

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We have the leaders of all three oppostion parties

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in the Aassembly, Andrew RT Davies of the Conservatives, Kirsty

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Williams of the Liberal Democrats and Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru.

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Our audience tonight is split between those who support Scottish

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Independence and think it's a good thing for Wales, those who oppose,

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You too can join the debate on social media using

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And straight after this programme the debate

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continues at nine on BBC Radio Wales when we'll be taking your calls.

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So to kick us off, let's get straight to

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the first big question, and it comes this evening from Alex Bird.What

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will be the impact of Thursday's vote on the UK as a whole?

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Leighton Andrews. It is an exciting time and we will see change across

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the UK whether Scotland votes yes or no. I hope Scotland will vote no. I

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think we're better together. There will be more powers for Scotland,

:02:23.:02:26.

more powers for Wales. People will look at the situation in England as

:02:27.:02:31.

well and will have to be a reform of the second chamber in the House of

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Lords so represents the nations and regions of the UK. There is a big

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offer available from all the Westminster -based parties. Leanne

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Wood for what Cymru. Things have changed already. What we have seen

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in Scotland is that people have become engaged and well-informed. I

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would say that democracy has been reborn. If we could emulate a

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similar national conversation in Wales to which they have had in

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Scotland, not only would this be good for Welsh society that I think

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it would be good for Welsh democracy. Andrew RT Davies, where

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do you stand on this? You used the word impact. It has had made an

:03:22.:03:32.

awareness through the UK. There will be changes, there is no doubt about

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that. The offer on the table should the people of Scotland vote no is

:03:37.:03:42.

for a dramatic transfer of responsibility north of the border.

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You can't take Scotland in isolation but you shouldn't read Scotland for

:03:47.:03:51.

Wales. I think we have a whole host of different arguments and debates.

:03:52.:03:56.

We will come onto those. Kirsty Williams, on this point. I think

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whatever the results, and I hope Scotland decide to stay with us, I

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think they will be a new union, they will be new politics taking power

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out of Westminster and bringing it closer to people whether that be in

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Scotland, Northern Ireland, in the regions of England and from my

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perspective, more importantly, we need home rule for Wales. We have

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three parties against independence and we have one in favour. What has

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gone wrong with your campaign? Who is to blame for the fact you were 20

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gone wrong with your campaign? Who with you. It is easy to sell a

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positive. I don't think with you. It is easy to sell a

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gone wrong. Those people have had put before them by the no campaign

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is the stark reality of what will put before them by the no campaign

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happen if you vote yes on Thursday. Have you got that message across? I

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have always thought that is Have you got that message across? I

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get closer as we got Have you got that message across? I

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vote. That was inevitable. That has always been the emphasis. I expected

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to see those polls close. I think it'll be just enough. Leanne Wood.

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Has the momentum shifted? Is shifting to know? This has been

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Has the momentum shifted? Is David and Goliath battle. Nobody

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expected the yes campaign to be neck and neck as the out

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expected the yes campaign to be neck campaign. What we have had is the

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established, Westminster parties campaign. What we have had is the

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against the meetings in the Townhall. We have had the corporate

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media against social media. It has been a David and Goliath battle and

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the Yes been a David and Goliath battle and

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possession they are, but they are. I been a David and Goliath battle and

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think the time to dissect what went right and wrong will come

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afterwards. What is absolutely clear is we have two, those who believe in

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a union, have to make a positive case of fight the union should be

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reformed, yes, case of fight the union should be

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question. For balance, your pro independence. I am definitely

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pro-independence and independence. I am definitely

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goes, Wales should follow. I feel that we will still be

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goes, Wales should follow. I feel The European Union. Independence in

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a union? It works in the same way the UK's independence within the

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European Union. We're not going completely alone. We are working in

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partnership with all the other countries of Europe. Let's move on.

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Now let's move away from Scotland and the rest of the UK,

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Our next question is from Charlotte Walmsley.

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Whatever the result on Thursday, should Wales get more devolved

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What do you think, Charlotte? I believe this is a great opportunity

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for us to re-examine our position in the UK and I think whether Scotland

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stays or goes, it is important we take this opportunity to look at the

:07:10.:07:14.

situation. The gentleman in the back row. More powers? Who is speaking

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situation. The gentleman in the back Carwyn Jones, says he

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situation. The gentleman in the back pound that he has no power. He said

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he wanted the lockstep, he didn't want it. The Welsh Labour MPs voted

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against it. He wanted a want it. The Welsh Labour MPs voted

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constitutional convention, Ed want it. The Welsh Labour MPs voted

:07:37.:07:41.

for the people of Wales? We will take that as a point. In the back

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there, the lady in the back. More powers for Wales? No, I would

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definitely say no. I would also ask the politicians of keeping the union

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together whether the parties the politicians of keeping the union

:07:58.:08:06.

the verge of break-up perhaps. All respects to Leanne Wood, I don't

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support your views. The Nationalists have been putting forward arguments

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support your views. The Nationalists of 15 years in favour of separation.

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Unionists have not done the same. I think, really, there is lot of work

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to be done to bring the UK back together. Let's kick this one off,

:08:25.:08:30.

Andrew RT Davies. That is constant debate about the responsibilities of

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this institution and whatever government should come out of it

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should use as an executive. I don't think responsibility should be

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transferred just for the sake of responsibility only if it improves

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peoples lives. What powers through July as a Westminster government? We

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have The Wales Bill going through the House of Commons at the moment

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which is dealing with the recommendations in the Silk

:09:00.:09:05.

Commission. The bill of that for those who aren't familiar, it was a

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commission that was set up to look into the financial responsibility

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that should be transferred. Number two is currently in discussion. That

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would be manifesto commitment territory. We talking about

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policing, justice, Assembly Members? Leighton Andrews, they are

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offering and David Cameron is saying take these powers and Carwyn Jones

:09:30.:09:33.

doesn't want to take them. We want the reserve powers model of

:09:34.:09:38.

devolution rather than the system we currently have. Is that going to get

:09:39.:09:44.

people going? We want the borrowing powers that are coming, there are

:09:45.:09:49.

changes underway. What has been good about the debate since the 2011

:09:50.:09:57.

referendum where we campaigned where laws affecting only Wales should be

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made in Wales. I think the people of Wales like devolution and wants to

:10:05.:10:08.

see it grow. What is now on offer is a debate that we have to have an

:10:09.:10:12.

it'll be resolved through parties in the next general election. It is in

:10:13.:10:18.

the long grass in a way. The next general election is six months away.

:10:19.:10:27.

We have got The Wales Bill. Which powers would relate to see here

:10:28.:10:32.

now? This is a wonderful opportunity to advance the cause of gaining

:10:33.:10:37.

extra powers for Wales. What is really important is we are sending a

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clear message to the people in Whitehall, who are not going to hand

:10:43.:10:45.

this stuff over. The conservative with a small c. We have two speak

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with one voice. We have to establish a consensus on how we want Wales to

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look in the future. For my perspective that is implementing the

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Silk Commission and using the opportunity The Wales Bill has to

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bring forward the second part. We need to go into the general election

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with a very clear look on the second part. Let's avoid the jargon tonight

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if we can. Ian Ward, do you acknowledge if more powers come here

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less money comes in from the Treasury. -- Leanne Wood. Can I

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first of all stay in the -- if that is a no vote, team Westminster have

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come up with promises full Scotland to have additional powers. I am not

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convinced that will happen. If we go back to 1979 where there was a

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referendum in Wales and Scotland, Margaret Thatcher said if Scotland

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voted no they would be additional powers on the table and they didn't

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happen. The timetable for Westminster is very tight. Also, a

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letter I received from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury outlined

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why it wasn't possible for Wales or indeed any other part of the UK to

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have a different tax regime to place any part on an advantage to another

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part. If it is a yes on Thursday, what does that do for independence

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for Wales? It opens up the question throughout the whole of the UK. We

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have got a concentration of power and wealth in London. It is acting

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mainly upper half of the south-east of England. We have the opportunity

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the power to be transferred out of London and if that happens there is

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an opportunity for us in Wales to have some of that power. A quick

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word from the man in the back. What happens to Wales if Scotland votes

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Yes in the referendum? Scotland produces about as much renewable

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effigy city as the whole of England despite having a small population.

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That will leave those with a mountain to climb. -- renewable

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energy. We will take another one. The lady in red. I wanted to pick up

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on the point that Leanne Wood made. She doesn't believe the Westminster

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government will follow through on the promises. I think recent events

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in politics will show what happens to politicians who don't keep their

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promises especially when they are made as publicly as that. I think

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they will do their best to implement what they say they are going to do.

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On that, Leighton Andrews, there is a promise to Scotland in a way. If

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you vote no matter, you can have the Barnett formula, this many formula.

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But you can have more powers to. How does that add up? Let's be clear

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about something, Leanne Wood tries to claim that only London benefits

:13:58.:14:03.

from the UK. Billions comes to Wales through welfare support, through a

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whole series of other transfers. We'll know the benefits that brings

:14:09.:14:13.

us. The gentleman there talked about renewable energy. Scotland is well

:14:14.:14:18.

in renewable energy through subsidies from London. What we have

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got to do now is to ensure we get a fairer funding formula for Wales,

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that is critical. On that point let's bring in another point about

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the so-called banners for Miller. You are worried about the way it

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translates to the many we have. -- the so-called Barnett formula is. In

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a yes or no vote, how will that affect our health and education?

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I wonder about what it means for our hospitals and services. We have to

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look at the financial arrangements. We have already in the government

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established the principle of Barnett formula so that all sorts of things

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can't get worse but I think we can go further. We can have Wales on

:15:15.:15:18.

fairer funding because we have not so far had the resources from

:15:19.:15:22.

Westminster because of an outdated way of looking at that funding. We

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have made a commitment to address that so that we can look after

:15:27.:15:33.

schools and hospitals. Andrew RT Davies, could that lead to more

:15:34.:15:36.

privatisation of the health service here if the money coming London

:15:37.:15:40.

means we don't have it to spend on public services. Ultimately, we are

:15:41.:15:46.

in a union and our transfers resources around the union. Wales

:15:47.:15:50.

benefits, we are beneficiaries of it. We would not have the health

:15:51.:15:53.

service or the education system that we have today if we did not have

:15:54.:15:58.

those resources coming in from the union to support Wales. But what I

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want to see is a more economic early active Wales which can generate more

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of its own well. So it is working in parallel with the support the union

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has given us and with support -- and with ideas coming out of this

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building and government ideas coming out of this building and government

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idea is that create its own perspective. Can I bring you in on

:16:21.:16:24.

public services, how could they improve? I agree with the Tories on

:16:25.:16:34.

this question that we need to create more of R.N. Wealth and reduce

:16:35.:16:38.

dependence on London. But the way we are funded at the moment is not

:16:39.:16:43.

fair. There is consensus on that. I think the best chance of getting the

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Barnett formula reformed is if the Scots vote yes because then it would

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exist as far as Scotland is concerned. Leighton Andrews, you are

:16:52.:16:57.

the minister for public services, why you making contingency plans?

:16:58.:17:06.

The SUV gentleman up and the -- the issue that the gentleman brought up

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is... We need to ensure that at the next general election we get a

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Labour government elected. We had a Labour government before, why did

:17:25.:17:29.

you not sorted out? We did sorted out, spending increased massively

:17:30.:17:32.

and has been cut by the Conservatives. But there is this

:17:33.:17:39.

constant dependence on government giving us the money. If we have

:17:40.:17:43.

fiscal devolution syllabic of create some of R.N. Wealth and having the

:17:44.:17:47.

right policy options, we kept some of that wealth here, there would be

:17:48.:17:51.

an incentive for Leighton Andrews and the worst government to get

:17:52.:17:54.

things right. And the moment, they can make terrible mistakes with the

:17:55.:17:57.

economy because it has no consequences. We are getting

:17:58.:18:06.

devolution for some taxes already. If we have financial devolution

:18:07.:18:08.

there would be an incentive to get things right and keep the money

:18:09.:18:13.

here. You as a party would love to get rid of the Barnett formula,

:18:14.:18:17.

wouldn't you? Lots of other parties would too. But one way of getting

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rid of it is by Scottish devolution. -- Scottish

:18:24.:18:28.

independence. Barnett would die. Some would argue that is the best

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thing. I think there is intrinsic value in this union and I think that

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there are other Aleutians to the Barnett formula. Hiding of Scotland

:18:39.:18:44.

-- there are other solutions. Hiding of Scotland is a drastic solution.

:18:45.:18:51.

We have other ideas. Let's go to the audience. I am supportive of

:18:52.:18:59.

devolution but there is confusion as to who is accountable. Are you going

:19:00.:19:04.

to your MP or your AM if there is a problem. There is a problem. Any

:19:05.:19:08.

Stiggy clarity for the everyday person to know -- there needs to be

:19:09.:19:17.

clarity. And independence, does that make you think let's have the one

:19:18.:19:21.

lot of politicians? No, not necessarily. The gentleman down

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here. I think if Joel Barnett were alive today he would be one of the

:19:30.:19:32.

campaigners against the formula. alive today he would be one of the

:19:33.:19:36.

Talk about it has been going on for decades, it is a clear indication

:19:37.:19:41.

that we have no real power here in Wales

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that we have no real power here in Parliament in the UK

:19:44.:19:47.

why should they change the Barnett formula? Is Scotland does well to

:19:48.:19:51.

leave the union and does so, the fact is that Westminster and

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Whitehall will do everything they can to keep

:19:57.:19:59.

Whitehall will do everything they Ireland part of the UK's leading

:20:00.:20:01.

think Welsh independence would happen. But I

:20:02.:20:07.

think Welsh independence would would have any and -- an even

:20:08.:20:13.

greater presence. There would be Tory MPs and we would never have a

:20:14.:20:17.

Labour government. So what really happens to public services in Wales

:20:18.:20:20.

is that they would get happens to public services in Wales

:20:21.:20:24.

that is what the English and the Tories like to do. I think that is a

:20:25.:20:30.

bizarre thing to say. When you were faced with the financial cliff that

:20:31.:20:35.

we were faced with in 2010, what you do? You have to rein in spending to

:20:36.:20:39.

retain confidence of the markets. But going back to the point of the

:20:40.:20:43.

union and English MPs wishing to take resources away, if you look at

:20:44.:20:50.

the Barnett formula, England does pretty poorly. So that does not show

:20:51.:20:52.

that English MPs pretty poorly. So that does not show

:20:53.:20:56.

in the House of Commons. They appreciate the strength of the

:20:57.:21:01.

union. -- and MPs do not vote selfishly. I hope that everyone will

:21:02.:21:07.

appreciate it as they do in Northern Ireland. Scotland voted Labour in

:21:08.:21:12.

the general election Ireland. Scotland voted Labour in

:21:13.:21:16.

got a government that they did not vote for. That is what people are

:21:17.:21:21.

voting for in Scotland. If they vote yes, it

:21:22.:21:23.

voting for in Scotland. If they vote government they bid for an Scotland,

:21:24.:21:26.

that is what they will get. They will not get a government imposing

:21:27.:21:28.

policies like the bedroom tax, will not get a government imposing

:21:29.:21:33.

mandate that they did not have in their own country. If David Cameron

:21:34.:21:39.

will to ring you, Leighton Andrews and Andrew RT Davies, and ask you

:21:40.:21:43.

what Wales wanted, what does Wales want? Want more power, a fairer

:21:44.:21:49.

funding formula? Which power is exactly? We have made it clear in

:21:50.:21:57.

our response to silk that we want powers to be made

:21:58.:21:59.

our response to silk that we want reality is that we are in this

:22:00.:22:03.

situation because David Cameron did a deal with Alex Salmond to have a

:22:04.:22:07.

referendum in Scotland without consulting any other part of the UK.

:22:08.:22:12.

referendum in Scotland without A big mistake. The

:22:13.:22:15.

referendum in Scotland without put the union in jeopardy. A

:22:16.:22:20.

majority SNP party won the election. So what are you saying, that they

:22:21.:22:25.

should not have respect for the devolved settlement? It is not just

:22:26.:22:30.

about Scotland. Leighton Andrews said that what we want is more

:22:31.:22:32.

powers, I would be said that what we want is more

:22:33.:22:36.

whether that is the Labour position or the Welsh governments position?

:22:37.:22:40.

Because there is a chasm between the Labour Party and the worst

:22:41.:22:42.

government plasma position especially on criminal justice and

:22:43.:22:48.

policing. What worries me is if we don't get our act together in Wales,

:22:49.:22:53.

Wales will be left out of the debate. There is a responsibility on

:22:54.:23:00.

all of us to come together and speak with one voice to make it clear to

:23:01.:23:03.

the Westminster government about what we want for Wales. This kind of

:23:04.:23:08.

arguing will end up with Wales being left on the sidelines and we will be

:23:09.:23:13.

losers. We need clear consensus moving forward with a clear message

:23:14.:23:17.

to Westminster about the aspirations of people here in Wales to have more

:23:18.:23:22.

say over their government. Comments from the audience, the gentleman

:23:23.:23:29.

here? I had 15 years of what you are saying. You

:23:30.:23:34.

here? I had 15 years of what you are powerful Wales, you can't have

:23:35.:23:36.

response military unless you have the power. Unless you can raise the

:23:37.:23:42.

money. I believe Scotland should vote yes, but now I've changed my

:23:43.:23:46.

mind because now I believe that if Scotland goes, Wales will be

:23:47.:23:51.

sidelined altogether. Now I'm for a configuration of states within the

:23:52.:24:01.

UK. A friend -- federal UK. Let's move on to our final question.

:24:02.:24:10.

It is from Sahar Faifi. My question is, whatever the result on Friday,

:24:11.:24:14.

will it be the end of the British identity as we know it? Let's go to

:24:15.:24:23.

Kirsty Williams first. I think how people perceive their identity is a

:24:24.:24:26.

complex thing and I don't dig it has a great deal with lines on maps. --

:24:27.:24:32.

I don't think it has a great deal to do with lines on maps. I am a Welsh

:24:33.:24:37.

person but I'm comfortable with describing myself as British or

:24:38.:24:41.

European. That has nothing to do with the lines on maps or even where

:24:42.:24:47.

power lies. That is how I feel. I am not sure that the vote on Thursday

:24:48.:24:52.

will change that for many people. I'm frightened that the tone of the

:24:53.:24:56.

debate has made people choose and that is an uncomfortable place to

:24:57.:25:00.

be. In terms of Welsh identity, what will it mean? I don't figure for

:25:01.:25:08.

mean anything at all? The refreshing thing about the debate in Scotland

:25:09.:25:11.

is that it has been a civic projects and people have been told that

:25:12.:25:15.

whether they live in Scotland, or regardless of where they live --

:25:16.:25:20.

where they are from originally, they have a stake. From Plaid Cymru's

:25:21.:25:26.

position, that is the same. Could Wales become independent if Scotland

:25:27.:25:33.

goes? It would be a matter for us to assert ourselves and say what powers

:25:34.:25:38.

we want. For me, it is about holding power in the hands of the people.

:25:39.:25:42.

There has been commissioned after commission and politicians have

:25:43.:25:46.

caused more problems than they have helped. Now it should be fully

:25:47.:25:50.

people to decide what we want to hold and what powers we to share. In

:25:51.:25:58.

2016, we should have our own referendum and our own written

:25:59.:26:01.

constitution to be held in the hands of the people. I am proud to be

:26:02.:26:06.

British and to be Welsh. Most people in Wales do not have problems with

:26:07.:26:11.

those dual identities. Others have dual -- al identities they are happy

:26:12.:26:17.

to talk about as well. I worry that if Scotland were to vote yes, that

:26:18.:26:22.

would be the end of what we know as the British identity. And the final

:26:23.:26:27.

words to Andrew RT Davies. Being British has always been an evolving

:26:28.:26:33.

concept throughout the ages. And I believe that we will continue to do

:26:34.:26:38.

so throughout the 21st century. Very proud to be, Cornish, London... That

:26:39.:26:45.

is the beauty of these islands, you can travel the length and breadth of

:26:46.:26:50.

them and you can pick out where you are from the accident that people

:26:51.:26:53.

speak and the culture in that part of the union and above all the

:26:54.:26:58.

freedoms that people enjoy. That is something we give up at our peril.

:26:59.:27:04.

Can I ask everybody, if Scotland says yes, will Wales be because

:27:05.:27:09.

stronger? I think Wales would be weaker in Scotland voted yes. We

:27:10.:27:12.

work well with our Scottish colleagues and with Northern Ireland

:27:13.:27:17.

and England. I hope very much that Scotland won't do that, but whatever

:27:18.:27:21.

does, Wales needs to step -- step up to the plate to make it clear about

:27:22.:27:28.

what our destiny is. I want Scotland to be with us around that

:27:29.:27:31.

negotiation table to shape a union for the 21st-century. I very much

:27:32.:27:39.

think that we will be stronger and what the representatives of the

:27:40.:27:43.

Unionist parties have failed to answer, if we would be better

:27:44.:27:49.

together, why will -- why are we not better already together? Thank you

:27:50.:27:53.

to our panellists and our audience. I don't know of any review has

:27:54.:27:57.

changed their mind in the middle of the undecided voters.

:27:58.:27:57.

Unfortunately that?s all we have time for tonight,

:27:58.:28:05.

On social media, use the hashtag The Wales Report to have your say.

:28:06.:28:10.

We?ll be continuing this discussion over on BBC Radio Wales for

:28:11.:28:13.

the next hour, so you can call me with your thoughts on 03700 100110.

:28:14.:28:19.

And we'll be back with another debate next Sunday to discuss

:28:20.:28:22.

the result of the referendum, whatever that might be,

:28:23.:28:28.

but for now, thanks for joining us. Nos Da i chi - good night.

:28:29.:28:38.

With just days to go to the Scottish independence referendum - what will a Yes or No result mean here in Wales? Join Bethan Rhys Roberts for a special Wales Report audience debate.


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