Scottish independence: Calls for more Welsh powers

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones giving a lecture at the Old College, Edinburgh University. Pic: Jane Barlow
First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones giving a lecture at the Old College, Edinburgh University. Pic: Jane Barlow
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CALLS have been made for the Welsh Assembly to have more powers following the No result in Scotland’s independence referendum.

In the run-up to the big vote, Westminster leaders appeared to try to sway the electorate by saying they would expand the Scottish Parliament’s powers.

And with that option on the cards, Assembly politicians said Wales should not be left out.

First Minister Carwyn Jones tweeted: “Pleased the people of Scotland have voted to remain in the Union - together we will shape a new constitutional future for the UK.”

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, whose party threw its weight behind the Yes campaign, said the status quo could no longer remain.

“Wales can no longer be a spectator in its own national journey,” she said.

“The Westminster parties made specific vows during the referendum campaign and in Wales the London parties have suggested a change of pace in terms of decentralising power to the people of Wales.

“Any offers to Scotland must be offered to Wales too. That’s the very minimum we should expect.

“Wales should not be treated as second class to Scotland.”

Secretary of State for Wales and Conservative MP Stephen Crabb said he was “relieved” about the result.

He said: “This is the outcome that the overwhelming majority of Welsh people were hoping for. We now look forward to continuing to work together to improve the lives of all the peoples of the Union.

“There is no question that this has been a moment of constitutional trauma for our country.

“There is now a joint endeavour to work to improve our constitution. We must find a way to foster unity and stability, while enabling the ambitions and aspirations of each nation to be satisfied.”

Meanwhile, Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams said the referendum showed the need for more unity.

“I’m absolutely clear that all parties must unite and speak with one voice as we call for power to be brought closer to the people of Wales,” she said.

“If we don’t, there is a huge threat that our nation could be marginalised and our voice diminished.

“Wales needs its own say on taxation, policing, rail franchising, large energy projects and much more. Any further dithering on these powers will cost Wales dearly.”

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