Bill which would give Wales power to create St David’s Day bank holiday tabled
A new Bill which would give Wales the power to create a St David’s Day bank holiday is to be introduced today, 23 November.
The Bill, which would give Wales the power to create bank holidays, is being introduced by Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson for Wales and former Welsh Assembly Member for North Wales, Baroness Christine Humphreys.
This is a power that is already held by Scotland allowing St Andrew’s Day.
The UK Government has also already declared St Patrick’s Day in Northern Ireland to be a designated bank holiday.
If this new piece of legislation makes it through the Houses of Parliament, it would allow the Welsh Government to make the decision on whether or not to designate St David’s Day as a bank holiday.
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson for Wales, Baroness Humphreys, said: “It is deeply unjust that the people of Wales cannot celebrate our nation’s culture, heritage and status as the people of Scotland and Northern Ireland can.
“Liberal Democrats have taken the first step towards giving the Senedd the power to create bank holidays, now the Conservative Government must allow our Bill to pass.
“Everyone in Wales deserves the opportunity to celebrate who we are and our unique culture which unites us.”
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS added: “St David’s Day is the day we all come together to celebrate the huge tapestry of Welsh culture and remember our collective history.
“It is only right therefore that St David’s Day, Wales’ national day, is made a public holiday just like St Andrew’s Day in Scotland and St Patrick’s Day in Ireland.
“The UK Government needs to back this Bill and give the Senedd the power to legislate for this to happen and recognise that Wales is a proud nation with much to offer, and St David’s Day is a time for us to celebrate all that is great about Wales, from our rich history and culture, to our entrepreneurial spirit.”
Support for a St David’s Day bank holiday for Wales has come from a perhaps unexpected source – the Telegraph newspaper.
The strongly Conservative and Unionist-leaning newspaper said that “with Scotland and Northern Ireland granted a day off to celebrate their patron saints, it’s only fair that Wales gets one too”.
Former Welsh Secretary Robert Buckland has previously said that Wales can have St David’s Day off – but only if it scraps another bank holiday.
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