‘Trojan horse’: Tory minister defends voting against Welsh devolution
A Tory minister has defended voting against Welsh devolution.
David TC Davies, a minister in the UK Government’s Wales Office, said he did so “on the grounds that it was a Trojan horse” that would be used by nationalists to achieve Welsh independence.
In an article for the Monmouthshire Beacon, the Monmouth MP hit out at the Welsh Government for its creation of an independent Constitutional Commission to consider Wales’ future.
The Commission is headed up by co-chairs Professor Laura McAllister, and Rowan Williams, a former Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Conservative politician claimed that the co-chairs are not “objective” and predicted that the report would call for the Senedd to receive a “vast range of extra powers”, and for the First Minister of Wales to be given the power to “block” non-devolved laws from Westminster.
He also suggested that if the UK Government did not accept this demand that there would be a “threat” that “independence will be the only option left for Wales.”
The Conservative MP said: “Back in 1997, I was one of those who voted against having a Welsh Assembly on the grounds that it was a Trojan horse which would be used by nationalists to achieve their dream of breaking Wales off from the Union.
“The means to independence would be to continually seek further powers until independence has been achieved. On 1 December, the Welsh Government announced that Labour and Plaid Cymru had signed a ‘co-operation agreement’ on how we are to be governed.
‘Former Plaid Cymru activist’
“An ‘independent’ commission, led by a former Plaid Cymru activist, has also been set up to look into constitutional reform and the current system of devolved powers. The former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams is playing a leading role too. He describes himself as an ‘old lefty’ and recently questioned whether ‘a Union of Wales and England is where anybody wants to be’.
“I have nothing against either of these people. But asking them to lead an inquiry into whether the Welsh Parliament (Senedd Cymru) needs more powers, or Wales needs independence, is likely to be as objective as asking Nigel Farage to produce a report on the benefits of EU membership!
“Without a crystal ball on my desk, I can make the following prediction: Later this year, having spent much time and money travelling around Wales and meeting with various activist groups and enthusiastic nationalists, a glossy report will be produced.
“It will call for a vast range of extra powers for the Welsh Parliament, it will want First Minister Mark Drakeford to have the ability to block the UK Government from making laws on anything that is not devolved, and there will be a threat that unless the report is signed up to then full independence will be the only option left for Wales.”
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