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Welsh First Minister sets out his vision of a ‘new’ United Kingdom
In his first major speech on the issue outside of Wales, the First Minister 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 will reject independence for Wales by setting out his vision of a United Kingdom which is politically diverse, looser, and combines several centres of democratic accountability. He will also say the relationship between the devolved nations and the UK Government needs to be reset.
He will call for the creation of a Constitutional Convention to agree a new constitutional settlement for the UK which is fit for the 21st century.
Carwyn 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:
“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.
“One major advantage of establishing a Convention is that it will enable a more specifically English contribution to the debate. The discussions in recent years on constitutional matters within the UK have been primarily, and perhaps disproportionately, about the governance of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The English voice has yet properly to be heard. I certainly regret the lack of an English contribution so far, and urge that we find a way to rectify that.”