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‘UK Government mostly governs for England’ says Lib Dem leader – but ‘federal union’ the way forward

15 Jul 2020 3 minute read
Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Jane Dodds

The leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats has said that the UK Government “mostly governs for England” and that Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are an “afterthought”.

However, Jane Dodds said that independence for Wales was not the way forward and that a federal union between the four nations and regions should be considered instead.

She added that the current union was not working for Wales and that the status quo was no longer an option.

Her comments came as the Senedd prepare to debate asking Westminster to transfer the power over holding an independence referendum to Wales.

The motion backed by Plaid Cymru is expected to be voted down by Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party.

UKIP and the Abolish the Assembly Party have introduced motions calling for the transfer of all powers back to Westminster.


‘Not working’

Jane Dodds said that recent polls showed that the majority of Welsh voters did not want independence or to abolish the Senedd – with both options polling 25% respectively.

“People are rightly frustrated with the way things are right now” she said. “They see two Governments, one at each end of the M4, constantly arguing and trying to delegitimise the other, all while failing to make a real change to their lives.

“While many tout independence as this perfect solution to all of Wales’ problems, the truth is it will not solve any of them. Whether we are part of the UK or not, we still have to face up to the same problems that have dogged us decades – a lack of well-paid jobs, under-investment in our communities and patchy healthcare services.

“That is not to say that the current union is working for Wales either. We know that the UK Government mostly governs for England, leaving Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland almost as an afterthought. It’s clear we need to change the way things work, to rebalance the UK and build a truly equal family of nations.

“The UK Government should govern for the whole of the UK, focusing on addressing the big issues that affect everyone. Meanwhile, National and Regional Parliaments should have control over day to day life – empowering people and communities to have a greater say in the decisions that affect them most.

“The status quo is not an option, but the Welsh Liberal Democrats think that independence is not the answer. We need to focus on reforming the way things work so we can build a stronger and fairer federal union.”

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