Preparing for the crunch ahead

Dark skies for the Welsh economy Dark skies for the Welsh economy

Apologies. Christmas has not come early.

I've been caught in the pincer of what the BBC is calling "Crunch Christmas" - a week of pieces looking at inflation, unemployment and retail price figures that will, I suspect, tell you what you've worked out already: times are tough.

To that list I'll add another set of figures that will tell us in Wales a great deal - regional Gross Value Added figures. If you're up for a night of swotting in preparation for some compare and contrast in the morning, here are last year's figures. We'll see how 2010 measured up for the Welsh economy compared with other parts of the UK at half past nine tomorrow.

In the meantime - Carwyn Jones has been putting pen to paper to the Prime Minister once again - this time in the wake of last weekend's European summit.

His concern - that the UK Government's decision not to sign up to a new European treaty could fuel the independence movement in Scotland.

Leaving aside the slight incongruity of a pro-devolutionist First Minister lecturing a Unionist Prime Minister about the dangers of the breakup of the Union, it's clear that the Welsh Government is increasingly turning its mind to where Wales might stand in a UK where Scotland, if not fully independent, is standing alone in all but name.

Mr Jones also makes clear his fears for Wales' position too:

"For the first time, I am now seriously concerned about whether the interests of Wales can be advanced effectively in Europe by the UK Government. For those of us who are committed to the United Kingdom, and the place of the UK within the European Union, this is a deeply concerning position to be in."

Perhaps the First Minister is looking down the tracks and seeing a much bigger pincer coming his way.

Tomorrow is also a red letter day for another reason - explained here in another, somewhat less impassioned letter from Carwyn Jones, this time to the Deputy First Minister. The Queen will officially approve the new Welsh Seal, to be affixed to all new pieces of Assembly legislation.

One suspects a bit of history and tradition will be more than welcome in such an uncertain world.

Betsan Powys Article written by Betsan Powys Betsan Powys Former political editor, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    Instead of playing at politics Carwyn should spend all his time giving the weak and helpless of Wales the best public services he can. He should spend a few hours in NHS outlets around Wales to see the price being paid by the vulnerable for the lousy leadership of the NHS since 1999. What waste - what a disgrace! He has nothing to say but to blame anybody and everybody else..

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    Thank you Cythraul. I agree our destinies are intertwined
    Our nationalist views are no longer welcome on BBC Scotland. They don't like us questioning or disproving their propaganda so they have closed our blogs for comment.
    Wee Eck is only a mascot, it's the people of Scotland that are making the difference. I believe an independent Scotland would be good for both Wales and the north of England

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    RE.42 X_Sticks

    Given that constitutional developments and politics in Scotland ultimately have a bearing on developments and thinking in Wales, your comments are welcome as far as I'm concerned.

    By the way, any chance we could clone Wee Eck?

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    Also why don't the scotch nats, obviously chucked off their own board clear off from here !
    You're obviously not Welsh then. I've always found the Welsh to be welcoming and hospitable. And by the way we're Scots not scotch. Scotch is a drink.

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.


    Belgrade refused Slovenia's peaceful, democratic declaration of Independence. In a move typical of oppressive states, the tanks were sent in. All hell broke loose. After the fighting had died down and the international community had restrained Belgrade, Montenegro eventually achieved independence via the ballot box. Kosovo likewise. The wars achieved absolutely nothing. Belgrade lost.


Comments 5 of 45



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