Strength of the Union

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Ross Thomson Ross Thomson Conservative, Aberdeen South

What steps the Government are taking to strengthen the Union.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

This Government are a Unionist Government firmly committed to strengthening our United Kingdom. My noble Friend Lord Dunlop is conducting an independent inquiry to ensure UK Government structures are configured to strengthen the working of the Union, while respecting and supporting the current devolution settlements.

Photo of Ross Thomson Ross Thomson Conservative, Aberdeen South

Does my hon. Friend agree that all four nations of our United Kingdom benefit from the close bonds of our Union and that, as we leave the EU with powers returning from Brussels, we can strengthen those bonds even further?

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

I totally agree with my hon. Friend. Seeing powers coming back to this United Kingdom and going to the devolved tier of government will help to bring our four nations closer together. That is why it is so strange that those people who call themselves nationalists actually want to take powers back so they can give them away again to Brussels.

Photo of Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Arts and Heritage)

Is it not the case that the real nationalist party in this Chamber now, after last night’s events, is the Tory party, which is rapidly turning into the right-wing English nationalist party?

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

Well, what a load of rubbish. This party is absolutely firmly committed to being a Unionist party, and we will not be fanning the flames of division by raising the prospects of second referendums, including second referendums on separation.