Wednesday, 18 January 2017

It is time the Devolution Agenda to be made in Wales not Westminster.

Yesterday may well have been a pivotal day in the future of Wales
In a long-awaited speech, Mrs May said Parliament would get a vote on the final deal agreed between the UK and the European Union.
She promised an end to "vast contributions" to the EU, and said the devolved administrations would be "fully engaged" in the process of negotiating Brexit.
"I should equally be clear that no decisions currently taken by the devolved administrations will be removed from them," Mrs May.
But is clear that Ms May is taking us to a Hard Brexit 

Brexit speech: Key points

  • The UK should leave the European single market
  • Ministers will work for the "freest possible" free trade
  • A customs agreement with the EU, but has no "pre-conceived position"
  • Maintain the "common travel area" between the UK and Irish Republic
  • Continued "practical" sharing of intelligence and policing information
  • "Control" of immigration rights for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in EU
  • A "phased approach"
  • The final Brexit deal agreed between the EU and the UK to be voted on by both Houses of Parliament before it comes into force
A number of things are  including the fact that Ms May seems to believe that control of immigration was the main reason why people voted to leave and the Tories will use Brexir to create a seeming low Tax but defiantly low wage economy that wilt see erosion of workers rights.

Labour AM Eluned Morgan said

“The PM’s pronouncement on Brexit will slit the wrists of the Welsh economy and lead to a decade of instability for the UK. Most leading economists have recognised that leaving the single market will lead to a 5% shrinkage in the economy which will dramatically reduce public expenditure and have dire consequences for our hospitals and schools in Wales...
“Welsh businesses will find no comfort In this speech, there is no assurance that we will not fall off a cliff edge within two years. This will hit investment and jobs hard.
“The tone of the speech will make it more difficult for us to recruit doctors and nurses to serve in our hospitals in Wales.
“There were no assurances for our poorest areas who have benefitted from EU investment in the past and no guarantees to farmers.
“Of course we should honour the result of the referendum, but there is more than one way to leave the EU, she has chosen the most damaging for our country.”

But largely unnoticed  was the  Welsh Assembly agreeing  for the controversial Wales Bill to be passed – despite huge reservations expressed by Labour and Plaid Cymru AMs.
With a majority of AMs voting in favour of the Bill, the way is now clear for the devolution of income tax varying powers to the Assembly, as well as new powers over fracking, energy projects, water and the Assembly’s own voting system.
But Plaid AMs voted against the Bill because some powers will be taken back by Westminster.
Earlier, explaining Plaid Cymru’s decision to vote against it, the party’s Assembly group chair Dai Lloyd
“This is an undemocratic bill which represents a significant roll-back of powers. Plaid Cymru cannot, in good conscience, support a bill which undermines the democratic will of people in Wales who voted for more powers in the 2011 referendum.“If this Wales Bill was already enshrined in law, the National Assembly would not have been able to pass key legislation such as the organ donation act and laws on education, the environment and the Welsh language.“The Westminster government is forcing Wales to choose between a bad bill and no bill. Plaid Cymru refuses to settle for that.“While the Wales Bill may deliver a fair fiscal framework, this should never have been conditional upon a deeply flawed bill which simultaneously takes powers away from our National Assembly.“If this legislation passes, the debate must immediately move on to focus on the real empowerment of the Assembly with responsibility over areas such as justice, policing, and welfare.“The days of Wales gratefully accepting crumbs from Westminster’s table must come to an end.”
Yesterday we saw a future  that Welsh People seemed to vote for last may, handing power to the Tory party who will scrap Workers rights and will many of the people here.

This together with a New Welsh Bill which continues  Third Rate devolution will leave us helpless .

When we look at Scotland we will see a Nation confident and preparing to take its place in the Wales.

Plaid's decision however not to support a devolution bill may well indicate that they are no longer prepared to make the current devolution settlement work and to take a more aggressive  approach.

For to long the devolution agenda has been set by Parties in Westminster .

When the SNP called the Independence Referendum it was they who decided on it and although it was lost it changed the Scottish Political scene possibly forever.

The contrast between a Scottish approach to how they should be governed to a Westminster one is stark.

Is it not time Wales followed  their example?


Leigh Richards said...

Personally i thought Plaid were wrong to vote against the bill, as while it wouldn't be the bill many of us on the pro devolution side would put forward it still included enough for me to want to see it passed in the Senedd. We can now ban fracking in Wales, give votes to 16 year olds, adopt PR for local elections, ban hitting children and most significantly of all vary income tax. And despite the bill's limitations - highlighted by dai lloyd - to see Plaid AMs trying to vote down something that would give Wales powers over income taxes for the first time in our nation's long history was frankly hard to comprehend.

Also it has to be conceded that people like Eluned Morgan were right when they pointed out if this bill was rejected it might be a long time before Wales was offered anything similar again - the tories certainly wouldnt return to it again in a hurry and labour looks like being out of power at westminister for many years.

Certainly when compared to Scotland Wales is a 'poor relation' in terms of devolved powers but this is probably due to the fact that popular support for devolution and self government is alas simply not as strong in wales as it is in Scotland. I'll skip over the nightmare of '79 but we only just squeaked over the finish line in '97 and while our victory in 2011 was emphatic turnout wasn't great. No UK government will feel under any pressure to give substantially more devolution to Wales until our countrymen and women's hitherto somewhat half hearted support for devolution changes.

You are right Glyn to point out that it was the Scottish government who called the shots over the staging of the 2014 indie referendum but in the absence of any sudden and massive surge in support for plaid cymru (and there are simply no signs of any such thing happening at present) the welsh devolution agenda will continue to be made in westminister. That's why we should take whatever is on offer to us powers wise until such time as the people of wales start to exhibit a greater desire to govern their own country.

East Neuker said...

Parliament will only be able to vote on the Brexit deal in a very limited way, i.e. Do they accept this negotiated deal or will The UK leave without any deal.
There is no option being offered to send them back to renegotiate, and definitely no option to say that parliament prefers to stay in. This has been explicitly stated by both David Davis and May.
The choice will be which version of catastrophe do you prefer.
I only hope we can convince folk here in Scotland to go for independence. There's work to do on that yet, as there are still many who would not do so is the Westminster government sold their children into slavery.
We have take this... It will be the last chance before being suppressed and held by force from London. They have already put armed (English run) MOD police on civilian streets in towns near their military establishments, without even asking Police Scotland or the Scottish government. Policing is supposed to be a wholly devolved matter.
What next? I wouldn't put anything past this shower of fascists.

Anonymous said...

We've already seen what happened when 'little green men" appeared in Crimea. I'm sure there are many who would be happy to see the same in Scotland.

Be wary Scotland!