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Citizens of Wales encouraged to ‘use their voice’ over the future of Wales

31 May 2023 4 minute read
The Commission has been established by the Welsh Government to make recommendations on Wales’ constitutional future

A Commission established by the Welsh Government has launched a new online platform to help boost engagement with communities across Wales.

The Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales has launched useyourvoice.wales – an online engagement space for citizens to share their views on how Wales is governed.

The Commission wants to talk to as many people as possible to find out what matters to explore options for change that will improve people’s lives and give people a voice in Wales.

Anyone can visit and browse the engagement space, and everyone in Wales is encouraged to sign up and join in the conversation and participate in surveys, discussions, and polls until October 1, 2023.

Following last year’s Dweud Eich Dweud survey ahead of its interim report, the conversation will continues with a new survey, that will be considered as evidence for its final report, to be published in December 2023.

After 1st October, useyourvoice.wales will remain ‘open’ and visitors will be kept up to date on Commission news and plans for publication of the final report.

The Commission will also be travelling across Wales to as many different communities as possible and attending a variety of in-person events.

Commission co-chairs Dr Rowan Williams and Professor Laura McAllister joined the likes of Stormzy, Richard Osman, Tracey Emin, Dua Lipa and Margaret Atwood on Tuesday (May 30) at a discussion event at the Hay Festival.

Hosted by the Institute of Welsh Affairs, three of the commissioners tasked by Welsh Government with looking at options for Wales’ constitutional future will explain the work they have led and the options set out in the interim report.

Representatives from the Commission are also set to attend the Urdd Eisteddfod in Carmarthenshire between May 29 – June 3, where thousands of young people and their families from across Wales will be in attendance.

In July, the team will be at the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells and other roadshow and engagement events are also set to take place throughout the summer.

In its interim report released at the end of 2022, the Commission stated that the ‘status quo’ is not a viable option for providing stability and prosperity for Wales.

The report concluded that there are three feasible and alternative constitutional routes for how Wales could be run that could improve the lives of the citizens of Wales.

These routes are:

  • Strengthen and secure the current devolution settlement.
  • A federal approach with a new UK constitution which creates equality between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • Independence, where Wales would become a sovereign country, eligible to apply for full membership of international organisations, such as the UN?

Power

Dr Rowan Williams, co-chair of the Commission, said: “The Commission’s job is to think about how Wales is governed, and consider options for change. This is an open invitation for people in all parts of Welsh society to share what is important to them and how we can improve the lives of people living in Wales.

“We’re living through a time of immense political change and there’s growing recognition across the UK that the Union needs to reform, with movements for more radical change – including independence – gaining traction.

“If the UK should change radically, Wales must be ready and be on the front foot. You don’t have to be an expert or have a background in politics – simply having an opinion is enough.”

Professor Laura McAllister, co-chair of the Commission, said: “The Union has been allowed to function without fixed checks and balances on power, and this has never been more evident than in the last three years with a UK Government that has a large majority and has been less willing to share power with other institutions.

“Our exploratory work over the last year has given us a sharp reminder that the lack of written constitution does not guarantee stability for Wales nor good governance.

“More than ever, it is clear that the challenges with the way Wales is governed can only be addressed by acknowledging the inter-dependence with wider constitutional issues in the UK.

“We’re very realistic that two of three constitutional routes we’ve outlined in this report are only achievable with a written constitution.”


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Gwyn Hopkins
Gwyn Hopkins
11 months ago

In the second proposal of the Commission’s interim report, by far the most important necessity is for any alliance between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to be voluntary. This implies Confederacy between the 4 home countries rather than the Federal association proposed. This would signify that the 4 countries would join the Confederacy voluntarily and would be able to leave it voluntarily. A Federation would legally mean membership by compulsion for each country and overwhelming dominance by England that has 84% of the UK’s population.    

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