THE First Minister of Wales has said that the UK could break apart unless it is rebuilt as a “solidarity union”.

In an interview with The Guardian, Mark Drakeford said that social and political bonds across the UK have come under “sustained assault” for 40 years through the reigns of Margaret Thatcher as well as after Brexit.

“In order to persuade people in all parts of the United Kingdom that their futures lie together within a restructured United Kingdom, we have to recreate a solidarity union.”

It comes after the CEO of YesCymru, writing for The National, said it is “abundantly clear that we are living in the final chapter, or possibly the epilogue, of the once great British Empire”.

Gwern Gwynfil believes that Wales can help pave the way for Scotland to become an independent country.

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Drakeford said rebuilding a “solidarity union” would mean rebuilding a “safety net” for those sick and out of work as well as protecting the environment and consumer and trade union rights.

He continued: “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 say to people, this is what you get – that’s why it’s worth belonging (to the UK).

Drakeford is one of the Labour Party’s most prominent advocates for the wholesale reform of the UK, arguing it is the most credible response to the desire for independence in Scotland.

The Welsh First Minister said that, since Brexit, the Conservatives have shown a “fundamental disrespect” for the Welsh and Scottish parliaments by imposing internal trade rules and failing to recognise that the two countries had autonomy over health policy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He is due to speak on June 1 at a conference hosted by Gordon Brown on reforming the UK.

 “What we should do is think of a United Kingdom in which sovereignty rests in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and then we choose voluntarily to pool that sovereignty back for certain important key shared purposes”, he added.

“We have to find new ways that suit the 21st century to make sure that when decisions are made, the voice of the public is at the table to assert those interests – and that you get that by being members of the United Kingdom.

“So my solidarity union is of building up a union based on those rights of citizenship.”