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The union should recognise Welsh sovereignty, says Tory Senedd member

27 Jan 2021 2 minutes Read
David Melding. Picture by the National Assembly (CC BY 2.0)

The union should “recognise the domestic sovereignty” of Wales, according to a Conservative Senedd member.

David Melding, an MS for the South Wales Central region, has argued that unionism needs to “renew its consent in the wake of Brexit”.

Mr Melding, who is stepping down at the next Senedd election, believes an offer of greater of autonomy needs to be made to Scotland in order to keep it in the union, and that an offer to the “whole UK” should be made at the same time.

According to the Member of the Senedd, “proclaiming” the “financial advantages” of union will not be sufficient and neither will the “muscular unionism” of the Internal Market Act, which has been branded a “power grab” on the devolved parliaments both in Wales and in Scotland.

‘Risk’ 

Mr Melding said: “To break free of this jeopardy unionism needs a mixture of statecraft and calculated risk. IndyRef2 could be neatly sidestepped with the offer to the whole UK of UnionRef1.

“A new Union that would recognise the domestic sovereignty of Scotland, Wales and NI while offering the cities and regions of England greater autonomy. If the people of Scotland vote d to reject such a settlement then the Scottish Government could start to negotiate secession.

“What affects all should involve all in the decision making process. This would be the great advance of a UnionRef1.

“And nothing would mark its authenticity more than assuring the people of Scotland that the spirit of unionism could continue in another guise should they alas still choose to pursue political independence.

“Brexit after all does not mean we are no longer European. Unionism needs to renew its consent in the wake of Brexit. To deny this principle is to race to the redoubt from which nothing but fleeting refuge can be secured.”

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