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EXCLUSIVE Mark Drakeford rules out coalition deal that would lead to independence referendum

by David Nicholson

WELSH First Minister Mark Drakeford has ruled out any coalition deal with Plaid Cymru that would lead to an independence referendum.

Speaking to the Morning Star over the weekend, the Welsh Labour leader made it clear that the only way an independence referendum could happen in Wales was if Plaid Cymru won an overall majority.

“I am very clear that if a party has a referendum in its manifesto and wins enough seats in the Senedd to put that into practice, it would have won the democratic right to have a referendum,” he said.

The latest opinion polls show a tight race for seats on Thursday, with Welsh Labour probably having to look to other parties to support its programme for government. 

In that event, Mr Drakeford made it clear he would not entertain a policy deal that includes an independence referendum.

He said: “In the long history of devolution we have never had a government with a majority, and we have had to work with other parties where we can form a progressive policy programme.

“I am not going to do a deal with another party on the basis of who gets what. It is about seeing whether there is another party in the Senedd with whom we can agree a progressive policy programme.”

But the Welsh Labour leader pointed out that out of all the parties standing in the election only Plaid had an independence referendum in its manifesto.

“Unless Plaid win a majority, then short of that there is no democratic mandate for a referendum,” Mr Drakeford said.

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