UK ‘status quo simply can’t survive’ says co-chair of Wales Constitutional Commission
The constitutional status quo in the UK “simply can’t survive” according to the co-chair of a commission looking at Wales’ future relationship with the rest of the UK.
Prof. Laura McAllister of Cardiff University is co-chairing the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales alongside former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams.
In comments reported in the Scottish National newspaper, she said that to break up “it only has to be one” part of the UK that needed to want to leave.
And even if that did not happen, there needed to be a discussion about how the future UK would work.
“Don’t forget there are a whole host of problems with federalism that we all know about – not least size and balance and appetite for regional devolution in England, and confederalism essentially requires independent nations to want to come together and pool parts of what they are responsible for,” she said.
“But I do think the status quo simply can’t survive and think we are getting close to that point now.”
She made the comments at a conference organised by University College London’s Constitution Unit.
“If you draw the parallel with a failing partnership in one’s personal life, a marriage and so on, both partners don’t have to agree they want a divorce, it only has to be one,” she added.
“The problem at the moment is that if there is one partner in the arrangement who feels very strongly it isn’t working for them, then it derails and undermines the whole Union itself.”
Sarah Sackman, public and environmental lawyer at Matrix Chambers, who spoke at the conference about the work of Labour’s constitutional commission headed by Gordon Brown, was also reported to have said the status quo of the Union was “not sustainable”.
“We might muddle through for another few years, depending on the electoral landscape, but it is not sustainable,” she said.
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