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‘Is a union of Wales and England where anybody really wants to be?’, asks ex-Archbishop of Canterbury

13 Dec 2021 2 minutes Read
Rowan Williams visits The National Assembly for Wales. Picture by the National Assembly (CC BY 2.0).

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.”

‘Fundamental reform’ 

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?”

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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago

What union? It’s an occupation. Wales never signed up to England’s union with Scotland.

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Wales never signed up to England’s “union” with Wales.

Lusardi John
Lusardi John
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Wales in the year2021 is still dominated by Edward the 1st. This ethnic cleansing of a Country, and Culture should not be allowed too happen in this day and age. Other countries around Europe have freed themselves from Conqueres but sadly Wales is still just an annex of England.

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
1 month ago

The English government have never had any interest in Wales we have just been raped of our massive amount of assets for a small country we should be one of the richest countries in the world if All that welth had not taken out of Wales and for all that the Welsh people have given and died for the British empire we aren’t represented on any emblems the sooner we get to be independent the better

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Malcolm rj

We owe England nothing

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

A think the main task of the Commission at this stage is it’s own street cred. I’m sure the main views of those reading this will be that Wales needs to move forward along a path leading to greater self determination or independence- with of course a few of the usual suspects taking a divide and rule course. The Commission in reality as we all I guess know – does not reflect modern , diverse and inclusive Wales. It’s demographic make up , political balance and geographic structure is of concern to many with whom I speak. Having the great… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

leafy suburbs of Carmarthen ? The town itself is hardly big enough to be a suburb. Apart from public sector activities it has no visible means of support so it warrants that level of engagement you think is fair for Dowlais etc etc.

Last edited 1 month ago by hdavies15
Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I remember as a boy visiting my Aunt Norah Issac in a very leafy 🌳area nr Coleg y Drindid @ Caerfyrddin – perhaps global warming has hit town 👍🏼

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

Who are “the suspects” who take a divide and rule course?

Last edited 1 month ago by j humphrys
Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Like many regular readers – who have commented across a range of articles and topics / those few who see little positives in Wales continuing nstional journey pop up regularly offering little positives but rehashed negative messages of ‘ Can’t do Cymru’ .

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Wales had never been part of any British Union. Fact! We were invaded in 1282 , then in 1535-1543 with an act of ethic & cultural cleansing by the English state who by royal decree enacted into law the removal by force a native people’s culture, law & language in an act that today would be deemed genocide. The definition of a Union is a marriage of equals, not one absorbing another like a flesh eating bacteria as done with Wales by England. This is why we as a nation lack control in many areas other normal nations take for… Read more »

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

this was no Union but an act worthy of the Hague.

___________

I was going to add, in a jocular fashion, “And I don’t mean William of that Ilk”.

And then I remembered. “William of that Ilk” was one of our previous Tory Viceroys and the Act is indeed worthy or typical of himself and all his Tory forefathers and successors.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Welsh_Siôn

Did you mean Will who married a native and whisked her off to safety in a nicer bit of Engerland ?

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

You might think that, I couldn’t possibly comment.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I think you may find them a touch nearer my friend 👍🏼
I would suggest a car
trip just outside Newtown if you are thinking about sending Christmas Greetings.

Hannergylch
Hannergylch
1 month ago
Reply to  Welsh_Siôn

We may have reservations about the former Secretary of State’s political allegiance, but we know for sure that he was very attentive while learning Hen Wlad fy Nhadau. How do we know? Because he’s now married to the woman who taught him the words. As Virgil wrote, Omnia vincit amor et nos cedamus amori.

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
1 month ago
Reply to  Hannergylch

We may have reservations about the former Secretary of State’s political allegiance, but we know for sure that he was very attentive while learning Hen Wlad fy Nhadau

… you mean as opposed to the goldfish impersonator?

John Redwood ‘sings’ (1993) – YouTube

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Welsh_Siôn

Could we crowdfund a Hague inquiry?

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
1 month ago
Reply to  j humphrys

What are you thinking of?

We could be thinking of the ECHR as well, perhaps.

Note, as I’ve mentioned many times before, the Laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542 (the so-called “Acts of Union” between England and Wales) have been repealed by Westminster as far back as 1993.

(Welsh Language Act 1993, Sch. 2.)

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Long question……… Short answer…… No.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago

Dissolve and Cymru back in the Union asap……………the European Union.

Grayham Jones
1 month ago

It’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh

Jones Huw
Jones Huw
1 month ago

As the grandson of one of the very first teachers to be ALLOWED to teach in our own language, i am very well aware of the historic context, and the yearning for self determination. However, the current problem ( and one that must be urgentky addressed) is that the Union just does not work any more. London dominates the whole United Kingdom to such an extent that nowhere north of Manchester or Westbif Bristol is ever considered by central Government. Its not aboutvself image its about practical considerations. All roads and railway lines head to London. It is therefore verybdifficult… Read more »

Howard Edwards
Howard Edwards
1 month ago

The term ‘United Kingdom’ is highly misleading. It would only be a truly ‘united’ kingdom if the citizens of each constituent nation had democratically voted for it. And even if they had, it wouldn’t be united unless there would be some federal system where the head of state was democratically voted in. As things stand, we have a head of state who is forced upon us. Wherever one lives in the “UK”, no-one can cast a vote for the head of state. In Welsh, we have a term for “UK” which accurately reflects the state of affairs: Y Deyrnas Gyfunol… Read more »

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