Welsh FM calls for constitutional shake-up
WELSH First Minister Carwyn Jones will today renew his calls for a constitutional convention for the UK just days after MPs clashed over Lords reform.
In his first major speech on the issue outside Wales, Mr Jones will ask how the different territories of the UK should be governed, and how their governments and legislatures should relate to each other within the UK.
He has already proposed an idea where a reformed House of Lords could have equal representation from the four nations, similar to the model used by the US Senate.
He will also appeal to Scots to reject independence and choose a future for the United Kingdom which is politically diverse, looser, and combines several centres of democratic accountability.
The Labour politician will also say the relationship between the devolved nations and the UK government needs to be reset.
Mr Jones will say: “Devolution is now the settled will of the Welsh people. In common with the vast majority of the people of Wales, I have no interest in independence for Wales. While Scotland’s constitutional future is a matter for the people of Scotland, Wales would enormously regret any decision by the Scots to opt for independence.”
He will set out the case for a Constitutional Convention arguing that it is pointless to wait for a decision by voters in Scotland on their future.
He is due to say: “Those of us who are committed to the UK cannot pretend that, if Scotland goes, the remaining truncated Union could simply carry on as before. So, rather than simply allow events in Scotland to unfold, and to react passively to whatever happens when it happens, I believe that political and civil society across the UK should be talking now about what kind of UK we want to see.”
“If the Scots decide to stay within the UK, we know that there will be adjustments, by which I mean more powers, for the Scottish Parliament.
“Could that simply be a matter for discussion and agreement between the Scots and the UK government, or should the other members of the UK club be involved? I believe that all parts of the UK should be involved in that discussion.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
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