Monday, 1 February 2016

Reject Devolution Dipyn bach proposals and insist of parity with Scotland.

Yesterday I was taken to task for referring to the  St David's Day Agreement.

As an anonymous commentator  noted

You (and the BBC) shouldn't call it the St David's Day "Agreement". It was an announcement by a Tory Secretary of State for Wales which none of the other parties agreed with.

The "agreement" was announced on 27 February 2015, by David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister and Nick Clegg, the UK Deputy Prime Minister at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales

It will be interesting to see the reaction of La Pasionaria AKA Kirsty Williams the leader of the Welsh the news that

Plans to give more powers to Wales are so flawed AMs should reject them altogether, a team of academics and former senior civil servants has said. as her party signed up for this when they were Bag Carriers for the Tories in the previous coalition government.

Indeed is it not about time we heard more from a Federal Party which sometimes claims to still back "Home Rule All Round" on where  it stands today?

More say over energy, transport and the assembly's own elections are on offer.
But a report said the draft Wales Bill was "constricting" the assembly, by the way it was reserving many matters as the responsibility of Westminster.

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb said he was open to changes amid accusations the bill may reduce Welsh power. 

It proposes moving to a "reserved powers" model for Wales, by which all policy areas are assumed to be devolved unless specified as remaining with the UK government.
Opposition parties have claimed the list of reservations is too long.
Monday's report from Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre and University College London (UCL) said the UK government's latest devolution proposals were "clunky and short-sighted".

The report warns of a “pervasive sense of rush” and describes the draft Bill as “incomplete”.

It states that some of the areas reserved for Westminster are “inexplicable” and cautions that “simply jettisoning the stranger ones will not suffice”.
The present list of reserved matters, the report argues, “both begrudges devolved power and will in practise create very substantial and unnecessary constraints on policy-making and legislation in Wales.”
The authors say that the so-called St David’s Day process which sought to find cross-party agreement on the Silk Commission recommendations “allowed any political party to veto proposals” and “was followed by an internal Whitehall trawling exercise that sought further to delimit devolved competence.”

Professor Richard Rawlings from UCL said Wales had experienced "three deeply problematic devolution settlements" since 1999, and there had been hopes of a process putting Welsh devolution on a "sustainable constitutional basis".
But he warned: 

"The draft Wales Bill does not do what was promised.
"All too often, the Secretary of State's fine policy objectives of a stronger, clearer, fairer and more robust devolution settlement are frustrated by provision that is constricting, clunky, inequitable and constitutionally short-sighted.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said: #

“This report echoes many of the concerns Plaid Cymru has already raised regarding this flawed draft Wales Bill. The legislation in its current form is complex and incoherent.
“The ‘necessity test’ in particular is a stumbling block, given the likelihood that this will result in lengthy court battles between the Welsh and UK Governments.
"The only way of securing a robust and sustainable devolution settlement is to give Wales parity with the other nations of the UK.
“At present, Scotland and Northern Ireland are being handed significant tax powers while English cities will gain control over policing – all of this without a referendum. Time and again, Wales is forced to jump through more hoops than any other part of the UK, only to end up with less control over our own affairs.
“The Prime Minister’s much-lauded ‘respect agenda’ lies in tatters. Plaid Cymru has already warned the UK Government that we are prepared to vote down the bill in the National Assembly and the UK Parliament if it proposes clawing back powers.
“Wales needs a new government that is ready to stand up for Wales’ interests and demand a fair deal from Westminster. Plaid Cymru is the only party ready and willing to deliver this.”
Since the formation of the Assembly back in 1999 it has struggled with it limited  powers and constitutional flaws.

We have a model for solving this in Scotland . Why are Welsh  politicians  and academics and former senior civil servants still arguing over the crumbs we are being constantly offered from both the Tories and Labour in Westminster?

We should reject reject this Devolution Dipyn bach sham outright.


  1. There were of course those who refused to back the 1997 devolution campaign because the devolution on offer didnt in their view go far enough - had we listened to such people wales would never have had devolution and we'd still be ruled entirely from london. No one would suggest this bill is perfect but it does give wales some important new powers - among them tax varying powers and the powers to ban fracking in wales outright.

    If senedd members follow the opinion of these self appointed 'experts' we will be able to do nothing to prevent fracking in wales - licenses will continue to be issued by a non devolved body, and we will still have no meaningful fiscal powers. Furthermore dont imagine that if the senedd rejects this bill anyone is going to come along and offer wales anything better - certainly not a british tory government or a british labour government for that matter.

    Doubtless the remnants of the devolution hating rabble of true wales and the equally devo hating kippers will be delighted if this bill is rejected.Plaid and its supporters need to think very carefully before opposing this bill.

  2. This must be the hardest hitting report on Welsh devolution since its inception in 1999 and raises many of the same issues the Assembly’s Constitution & Legal Affairs Committee report did.

    The Assembly should reject it in its current form because today’s report essentially tells the UK government to go back to the drawing board and draft the bill again; it will be interesting to see the reaction to it.

    Anyone wanting to read it, links here executive summary on pages 7 & 8