Drakeford promises ‘national conversation’ about Wales’ constitutional future
The First Minister has promised to lead Wales in a “national civic conversation about our constitutional future” as part of his programme for the next government.
The conversation would “give our country the strongest possible voice on the world stage,” the Welsh Government said.
The commitment would include the establishment of an independent, standing commission to consider the constitutional future of Wales.
After the election, Senedd member Mick Antoniw, who has said that he favours a ‘Home Rule’ federal Wales over independence, was appointed as Minister for the Constitution in the Cabinet.
The push for reform comes after a poll in March showed the highest support for independence ever recorded with 39% of Welsh people saying they would now vote ‘yes’ in a referendum.
The First Minister Mark Drakeford described his programme for government as a “transparent and achievable plan but recognises the need for radical action and innovative thinking in the face of unprecedented challenge”.
Some of the other eye-catching pledges include:
- Establishing a new medical school in the north of Wales
- Develop a Tidal Lagoon Challenge Fund and support ideas that can make Wales a world centre of emerging tidal technologies
- Launch a new 10-year Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan for a zero-carbon economy
- Upgrade our digital and communications infrastructure
- Create a National Forest to extend from the north to the south of Wales
- Ensure the history and culture of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are properly represented by investing further in our cultural sector and museum network
- Pilot an approach to basic income
- Put in place a £65m international learning exchange programme.
- Introduce a Cymraeg 2050 Welsh Language Education Bill to strengthen and increase Welsh language school provision
- Develop plans for a museum for the north of Wales.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We will build a fairer, greener, stronger and ever more successful Wales that we all want for ourselves and for each other.
“But I am determined that as we move Wales forward, no one will be left behind and no one will be held back.
“People in Wales look after each other, and this programme is built on exactly that principle.
“These plans will help move Wales forward beyond the pandemic which has affected every part of our lives. They focus on the areas where we can make the greatest difference to people and communities.
“We will help our learners catch up and help people into new jobs. We will restore capacity in the NHS and help our industries and businesses prepare for the opportunities that lie ahead of us.”