‘Is a union of Wales and England where anybody really wants to be?’, asks ex-Archbishop of Canterbury
A former Archbishop of Canterbury has asked if a union between Wales and England is “where anybody really wants to be”.
Rowan Williams, who is co-chair of an independent Constitutional Commission to consider Wales’ future, suggested that the possibility of it, were Scotland and Northern Ireland to leave the union, “just concentrates the mind”.
The Swansea-born religious leader, who heads up the Commission alongside Professor Laura McAllister, made the comments in an interview with The Spectator magazine.
He said: “Scotland, we all know about that… The relationship with Ireland is complicated, which has been made more complicated by Brexit.
“The question of the future of Ireland as an island is on the table in a way which it hasn’t been for quite a while. And really, the question then is: is a union between Wales and England, with nothing changing, where anybody really wants to be, were the rest of the Union to change radically or dissolve?
“You can rationalise a four-nation system. A very small nation and a much larger one… That just concentrates the mind.
“If indeed you are committed to the Union and want it to work, you can’t assume it will work by doing nothing.”
The aim of the Commission, according to the Welsh Government, will be to develop options for fundamental reform of the constitutional structures of the UK and how it can best improve outcomes for the people of Wales.
But Laura McAllister said that all options would be in the table – including independence.
On the Commission, Williams said: “It’s to do with people’s self-image of Wales,’ Williams observes. ‘What do they think we are? What do we think we are? Where do we want to be?”