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UK Parliament should retain power to ‘abolish’ the Senedd, Lords report recommends

20 Jan 2022 4 minutes Read
The House of Lords. Picture by the House of Lords (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

A report by the House of Lords Constitution Committee has recommended that the UK Parliament should retain the power to abolish the Senedd.

In its report, Respect and Co-operation: Building a Stronger Union for the 21st century, which has been published today, it is argued that “Parliamentary sovereignty remains a fundamental doctrine of our constitution”.

Ultimate control over laws in Wales is held in Westminster, not in the Senedd, under this system.

The committee says it is calling for the creation of a revitalised, better-functioning and less rancorous Union. The report set outs how such a Union of respect and co-operation can be achieved, it says.

According to the report, improving the shared governance of the UK will require a greater degree of respect and partnership between the different layers of government than exists at present.

The committee argues the UK’s constitutional arrangements can provide the best of both worlds for its constituent nations. It says this requires significant devolved autonomy complemented by the pooling of resources and sharing of risks, to ensure greater resilience in its collective response to challenges, such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

The committee has expressed concern about what it calls the tendency to ‘devolve and forget’, and while it welcomes the Government’s stated commitment to the Union, it believes it needs to set out a clearer vision about how it will be shaped in the 21st century.

The report says: “Parliamentary sovereignty remains a fundamental doctrine of our constitution. While the UK Parliament could, in theory, legislate to abolish the devolved institutions; in reality, it would not do so, and certainly not without the express consent of relevant voters in a referendum, as recognised in the devolution statutes.

“This illustrates the political constraints which in practice circumscribe the legislative supremacy of the UK Parliament. As with other political
constraints, there may, from time to time, be tensions in their operation.

“Parliament’s legislative authority must continue to be exercised with respect and restraint if the Union is to be strengthened.”

‘Reset relationships’ 

Baroness Taylor of Bolton, Chair of the Constitution Committee said: “The United Kingdom, The Union, marks its centenary in 2022. After the challenges of Brexit and COVID-19 there is a clear need and a clear opportunity to reset relationships between its constituent parts to achieve a better functioning Union.

“This will help us to keep pace with the rapid changes and many challenges that confront all of us and which every layer of government will have to address in the 21st century.

“The UK Government needs to articulate a compelling vision and narrative for the United Kingdom in the 21st century. The committee’s vision is of a more co-operative Union based on a renewed sense of respect and partnership between the different layers of government and a new emphasis on shared governance in the interests of all its citizens. But for this to be a success requires good faith and a constructive approach from central, devolved and local government.

“We believe a significant culture change is required in Whitehall, including the end of its top-down mindset. This will be critical if the new intergovernmental arrangements and any extension of devolution across England is to be a success. Fostering greater respect and co-operation between Whitehall and the different parts of the United Kingdom will be even more important in strengthening the Union.

“We believe that the Union’s strength historically has been its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. The Union should continue to do so, so it can achieve its full potential in the 21st century and fully demonstrate its benefits to all its nations and regions.”


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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
4 months ago

So these unelected freaks want the occupying country to be able to wipe out Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish democracy.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
4 months ago

Do we have the power to Scrap the Lords, first?

Tabor
Tabor
4 months ago

Yes your honour I bow to your wise words as the corner stone of English democracies. Stay in your subsidised bar and get pickled again.

Kurt C
Kurt C
4 months ago

The only power should be with the electorate of Cymru. Anything else in undemoctatic

Andrew
Andrew
4 months ago

Picked and preserved in the juices they have squeezed out our nation for centuries. These pickles are well past their sell by date so throw em out. Unelected parasitic old boy networks are a blight on democracy.

Elfed
Elfed
4 months ago

Do they want to cause troubles in Wales.? These are people who have little understanding of the Welsh political situation. Statements like this will cause problems and make Yes Wales more determined. This is not helpful. Look up Lloyd Georges view on the House of Lords.. For their own sake take heed of them.

Dafydd
Dafydd
4 months ago
Reply to  Elfed

Yes Wales?

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
4 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd

No Lords!

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
4 months ago
Reply to  Elfed

What are you trying to say?

Arwyn
Arwyn
4 months ago

I proposed to YesCymru following the Senedd elections, given that Abolish were utterly trounced and that pro-Senedd parties had a super-majority that we should campaign to ensure that the power to wind up the Senedd should rest with the democratically elected Welsh Govt and not Westminster. Sadly I was turned down. It is ludicrous that 326 English Tory MP’s could at any time pass a new Act of Wales and abolish our democratically mandated Senedd at their whim. We cannot trust the Tory UK. We must take our political power away from it and build our own State. This is… Read more »

Doctor Trousers
4 months ago

This just demonstrates why the case for independence has nothing to do with nationalism. It’s just the only rational position for anyone to take if they believe Wales should have any kind of meaningful autonomy at all. Any other route to further devolution, or to home rule, just cannot be trusted to be permanent, or to not be riddled with hidden clauses that render it impotent. It cannot be trusted not to be designed to fail. And I don’t believe a westminster labour government can be trusted on this any more than the tories can. Post independence, a working relationship… Read more »

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
4 months ago

Best chance of anything like an equal footing, is to get back in the EU, for all it’s faults.

Last edited 4 months ago by I.Humphrys
Popsie
4 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

I understand a majority in Wales voted Leave.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
4 months ago
Reply to  Popsie

That was before Johnson started shoving his weight around in Wales and Scotland and using the devolution settlement as toilet paper. Now the EU seems at the very least the lesser of two evils compared to muscuar unionism.

Doctor Trousers
4 months ago
Reply to  Popsie

I think some people need to learn the difference between the percentage of people who turned out to vote for something, and the actual percentage of the population.
The leave vote was less popular in Wales than it was in England, was skewed by English retirees voting in Wales, and within months polls were showing that a second referendum in Wales would’ve gone the other way. None of this is opinion, you can see it all for yourself by looking at the official published figures.

GarethW
GarethW
4 months ago

Unelected English lords deciding the future of their little colony of Wales

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
4 months ago
Reply to  GarethW

.

Last edited 4 months ago by Wrexhamian
Gareth
Gareth
4 months ago

Dress it up any way you will, but this is not democracy and we do not, like most western countries, have a constitution that is written down, with rules that need to be adhered to, even the USA has that. Any law or rule can be changed at the whim of the sitting gov without any consultation, or the agreement of the electorate. We need to be an indy state with a written constitution to protect democracy and the people at the same time. All this talk of sovereignty and constitution is nothing but smoke and mirrors, if it is… Read more »

Grayham Jones
4 months ago

That’s wye it’s time for a New Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
4 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Dai iawn Grayham bach!!!

Rab
Rab
4 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

You sound like one of those ‘keep Wales white’ types. I don’t want Wales run by a load of people who model themselves on English fascist nationalists.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
4 months ago
Reply to  Rab

He doesn’t sound like anything of the sort. And who are “those ‘keep Wales white’ types” that you have invented?

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
4 months ago

When the noble baroness talks of a “compelling narrative”, she seems more interested in compelling than narrating.

Mark
Mark
4 months ago

Well there it is, if you ever needed proof that the Senedd only exists with the tolerance of the Inglish elite, and can be removed at their whim. Until the independence movement becomes more belligerent, independence will be nothing more than a dream.

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
4 months ago

Fascists, only one word for them

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
4 months ago

We need pragmatism until we gain independence and there are interesting ideas in the report having just had a brief glance over it. Firstly the whole thing begins with; Introductory remarks1.This Committee believes in the United Kingdom. So there are going to be no radical concepts revealed though anyone expecting the feudal English to voluntarily act like lemmings is naive. They do make a lot of noise about the Sewel Convention, how it is a political thing and legislating for it could well rebound making England even more dominating. They find that the Union would benefit from a great deal… Read more »

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
4 months ago

Am willing to fight for it…

Quornby
Quornby
4 months ago

The “union” is over, even if some empire loyalists are in denial.

Quornby
Quornby
4 months ago

There have been long periods of Labour rule in London but there are STILL hereditary peers. Democracy?

Neil the Rousler
Neil the Rousler
4 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Blair’s government got rid of most of them. Biggest reform of the Lords since Lloyd George. There’s a limit to what can be done all at once, at least without a credible replacement (democratically elected) and a referendum

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
4 months ago

Let’s scrap the appalling Lords, who greedily waste taxpayers’ millions – AND the failing union. Independence for The Welsh Nation!

Neil the Rousler
Neil the Rousler
4 months ago
Reply to  Mick Tems

Scrap the Lords, certainly, and I think the public would back that, but most of those in the House of Commons are just time servers, awaiting a peerage. Unless of course they can dodge the queue with a £3 million donation…..

Down With Westminster and That Sort of Thing
Down With Westminster and That Sort of Thing
4 months ago

Beyond the great headline, the real news here positive in that the Lords accepts Whitehall is to blame for everything and expects to see more divide-and-rule in England:

We believe a significant culture change is required in Whitehall, including the end of its top-down mindset. This will be critical if the new intergovernmental arrangements and any extension of devolution across England is to be a success.

Richard
Richard
4 months ago

The Lords itself is a very considered and moderating place – perhaps a touch far too full of ‘ experts ‘ though. We owe it a great deal in recent years as it is the only place where governmental over reach can be checked. Not a popular view with regular scribblers here – and I expect flack for this comment – but some justification in its track record on Europe, oppressed minority groups, free speech and incursions into press and public rights. The lack of a whip system and the large number on the cross benches and liberal pews does… Read more »

John Howard Edwards
John Howard Edwards
4 months ago

The Lords should keep their unelected beaks out of our affairs.
I wonder what Welsh members of the House of Hangers-on think of this?

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
4 months ago

It’s all guns blazing these days by the Unionist. I see they are doing it to the Scots too. Sadly they have fallen flat on their face this time round though by using the unelected Lords – no credibility there ! What we have to make sure of is that we gain independence before the Senedd and Holyrood are shut down as that might be the Unionists last throw of the dice.

Arwyn
Arwyn
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

If that happens I’d be urging Plaid to stand on a platform of “Vote Plaid, we’ll UDI” at the next General Election and set terms along the lines of 50% of the Welsh electorate or 2/3 of the popular vote as a mandate and go hell for leather for it.

Argol Fawr!
Argol Fawr!
4 months ago

“Parliament’s legislative authority must continue to be exercised with respect and restraint if the Union is to be strengthened.”

Respect! Good grief, the only UK country who wants an Union is England. Who also have an grossly unbalanced number of MP’s to wield decisions favouring themselves from Westminster.

R W
R W
4 months ago

The only way to guarantee the future of our Senedd is by choosing independence. That is the only way to free ourselves from Westminster interference.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

This is absolutely rediculous. I’ve always stated that Westminster is the enemy of Wales not the EU. Never embrace your abuser, as the abuse & grooming continues.

Wales sovereignty is ours and ours alone. It’s not something to be owned by diktats at Westminster, House of Lords or England. They are playing dangerous games.

Last edited 4 months ago by Y Cymro
Mr Williams
Mr Williams
4 months ago

They are behaving like an occupying power.

Popsie
4 months ago

Reading comments below, I’m wondering if I’ve made a mistake in thinking Elenud Morgan is a member of the House of Lords.

Iain Graham
Iain Graham
4 months ago

Something needs to give. Now if Wales is to survive has an emerging democratic society. Take back Control perhaps!!!

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