The first minister of Wales has called on Scots – particularly Labour supporters – to resist the “siren call” of a “socialist utopia” after a Yes vote.
Carwyn Jones said the social benefits of the past were all achieved by people working together across the UK.
The Labour first minister made an impassioned plea against independence during a campaign visit to Scotland yesterday.
He told an audience in Edinburgh that like many of his generation, his politics were shaped during the miners’ strike and the “hard fight back” against Thatcherite policies.
The fluent Welsh speaker said after World War II, people working together rebuilt the country, delivering the minimum wage, devolution, peace in Northern Ireland, increased maternity pay, paternity leave and taking hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty.
Mr Jones said some Labour supporters were open to the idea of independence to “break the shackles of a Tory-led Westminster government”.
“As a Labour first minister, I’m here to say to the left in Scotland that the promise of a socialist utopia post-separation, is a siren call from the Yes camp that must be resisted,” he said.
Mr Jones added: “I want to say this to those on the left in Scotland who are considering a Yes vote: can solidarity really be achieved by walking away from friends, neighbours and partners? I don’t think so.”
Mr Jones said a Labour-run Wales had had its fair share of run-ins with the coalition government, but seeking independence as a remedy to those tensions was a “false prospectus”.
He said the tensions that existed between Wales and Westminster over the NHS “gives lie” to the suggestion that only independence will protect the Scottish health service.
The Welsh Assembly had voiced “a firm no” to privatisation – and no one could force them to accept it.
Mr Jones said Wales had doubled investment in the NHS since devolution, providing more nurses and doctors, cutting waiting lists, reducing infant mortality, and providing free prescriptions and hospital car parking.
“We didn’t need to become independent to do that and you don’t need to be independent to borrow those ideas, either,” he said.