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Drakeford promises ‘national conversation’ about Wales’ constitutional future

15 Jun 2021 3 minutes Read
First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by the Welsh Government.

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”.

‘Forward’

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.”

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William Dolben
William Dolben
3 months ago

“as we move Wales forward, no one will be left behind and no one will be held back……”

Sounds like Boris!

Shan Morgain
3 months ago
Reply to  William Dolben

Drakeford is not a liar/ Tory.

Josh Foster
Josh Foster
3 months ago
Reply to  Shan Morgain

Aaaaaaaahahahahahahaha

CJPh
CJPh
3 months ago
Reply to  William Dolben

Boris would have claimed that for England and Scotland, forgetting we exist…maybe not the worst thing!

Ann Swindale
Ann Swindale
3 months ago

Please proof read your articles before publication! Second word paragraph 2 – I assume you mean conversation not conservation!
I know I occasionally do typos online but I assume this article was drafted in another format originally.

Robin Hill
Robin Hill
3 months ago
Reply to  Ann Swindale

Look on the possitive side – that is now imbedded in your memory

Gill Jones
Gill Jones
3 months ago
Reply to  Robin Hill

Memory is a wonderful thing Robin

Quornby
Quornby
3 months ago

Mark, the “strongest possible voice on the world stage” is as an independent country and member of the UN in our own right. Right now Jersey has more clout than us and if Johnson has his way we’ll disappear from history. Westminster is NOT our friend, colleague or willing equal. How about kicking off by making “Welsh” Labour an autonomous, proud and self funding force.

Shan Morgain
3 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

I think his favoured policy of Home Rule is pragmatic. (It means we govern everything inside Wales, but have a federal relationship with the other nations for foreign policy, some transport, etc)

Home Rule can appeal to a lot of people who are nervous of full independence so it can get a large following with these plus Indies easily over 50%. But it can also serve as a major practical stage towards independence – systems, taxes, infrastructure, consulting with the other nations, needs to be in place in the same way.

Quornby
Quornby
3 months ago
Reply to  Shan Morgain

You make some good points Shan. We need however to put the spurs to the Labour cart horse from time to time.

Last edited 3 months ago by Quornby
Shan Morgain
3 months ago

Delighted to see Home Rule up there. (Control of all matters inside Wales) Home Rule can appeal to a lot of people who are nervous of full independence so it can get a large following with these plus Indies easily over 50%. But it can also serve as a major practical stage towards independence – systems, taxes, infrastructure, consulting with the other nations, needs to be in place in the same way.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
3 months ago
Reply to  Shan Morgain

I agree, Home Rule sounds like a great – and winnable – plan that a majority of people could get behind (it could also be a stepping stone to independence, if that is the direction the people of Wales wish to go in, or it could remain a settled model of government). It is wonderful to have Mr Drakeford leading on this and I hope we all give him our full support, whichever political party we support – we can achieve much more if we stand together. Diolch Mr Drakeford.

Last edited 3 months ago by Mr Williams
CJPh
CJPh
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

Federalisation is a bit like UBI, a noble goal, could work, but the worry is that it’s impractical and will most likely result in achieving the inverse result versus the intended aim. Size matters in this sort of arrangement – given the relative sizes of each proposed constituent member state, we’d be at a serious, immediate disadvantage (unless England decided to fragment into regions, thus diminishing their own sense of nationhood for the sole purpose of appeasing the celtic fringe, thus fostering a far deeper animosity). Home rule, should it occur, also fosters an immediate split withing Cymru – ‘next-steppers’… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by CJPh
Josh Foster
Josh Foster
3 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

Correct. It’s DESIGNED to fail. He’s a trenchant unionist, but stupid, gullible little nashis will fall over themselves with excitement at this, because they think he’s some big soft grandad, and he’s got them all moist with his UBI and BAME history. Oooooo….lovely.

Complete waste of time.

CJPh
CJPh
3 months ago
Reply to  Josh Foster

I disagree with your position here, I’m afraid. I don’t think that either UBI or the proposed system of home rule is designed to fail, I think they are likely to fail in achieving what they seek to achieve. I agree that to hang ones hopes for a better Cymru on Mark Drakeford is folly, given his unwavering support for the Union, but his current stance against Westminster shows that the barometer is moving the way we want it to move. Your final allusion to the teaching of BAME history in Cymru – our pre industrial history needs to be… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by CJPh
Josh Foster
Josh Foster
3 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

I disagree re the federal policies and UBI. To me, there’s clearly designed obsolescence in those plans.

On education, I absolutely agree, and may have given the wrong impression with my comment. I won’t bother explaining myself. What you say is bang on.

CJPh
CJPh
3 months ago
Reply to  Josh Foster

Thanks for the clarification, Josh. It’s quite refreshing to read a commentary that isn’t to littered with sh*tposting and reflexive rage. Bant a ni i faes y gad.

Josh Foster
Josh Foster
3 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

Oh, I definitely disagree with you there. 🤣

Alas, at a time where very few will hear sense, sh*tposting and reflexive rage is all that’s left. I have vacated the battlefield, I’m afraid. It’s a complete waste of time when you can’t even trust those next to you in the trench, who would rather shoot themselves in the foot than go over the top.

Good luck to you. I fear you will achieve the square route of f**k all though. The ‘generals’ are on the make.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
3 months ago
Reply to  Shan Morgain

Likelihood in my opinion is, that federalism will make it harder to leave the United Kingdom. They will not willingly grant us federalism, it would likely come with some conditions attached. Westminster could easily stipulate that federalism must be underpinned by a constitution that states that secession requires two thirds of parliamentary approval, as is the case with Congress in the United States and France, for instance. I think it’s naive to assume this would be a stepping stone, it would in effect, “marry” us to an increasingly unstable and right-wing political union. And, with Westminster having already ruled this… Read more »

Josh Foster
Josh Foster
3 months ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

Exactly. Well said.

j humphrys
j humphrys
3 months ago

The “North to South” forest should be along the border.

Last edited 3 months ago by j humphrys
j humphrys
j humphrys
3 months ago

No proposals for OUR history. then?

Josh Foster
Josh Foster
3 months ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Exactly. And as gas and coal prices soar, we want to go carbon neutral (impossible). China and Russia and ME countries treat zero carbon with the disdain it deserves. We can make no difference whatsoever to global CO2, but we CAN be rich…or poor. We’re choosing the latter…again. And the useful idiots on the left will be cheering “zero carbon!” as the boat sinks.

Did there ever exist a more stupid, spineless people than the Welsh?

Josh Foster
Josh Foster
3 months ago

It’s a steaming pile of horse manure, with glitter on top.

Zero carbon will kill us. Coal and gas could pay for all this and more.

UBI is a non-starter.

How about we just start by teaching Welsh history in schools?!

Anyone who falls for this (and many will, as we’ve seen) is an absolute idiot. We’re heading for an economic depression, and assimilation into England. Everything here speeds those two things up, rather than doing anything to avoid them.

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