‘Welsh devolution has become a project of nation-building’, Tory MP complains
A Tory MP has complained about Welsh devolution becoming a “project of nation-building”.
James Davies, who represents the Vale of Clwyd, is unhappy about the way in which the parliament in Wales has been given more control of Welsh laws.
In an essay for Strength in Union, in which he makes the case for preventing the breakup of the UK, he hit out at the “ever-increasing transfer of national powers” to the “power base” of the Senedd that is “competing” with Westminster.
The practicing GP, who was educated at King’s School, Chester, suggested that the “consequence is an increasing divide between Wales and England”, which is leading to the UK Government “becoming less relevant”.
In his essay he said: “Real devolution should be about harnessing the benefits of truly local decision making. While it was not intended as such by Tony Blair, Welsh devolution has become a project of nation-building, whereby an ever-increasing transfer of national powers to a competing and centralising power base in Cardiff is sought.
“The consequence is an increasing divide between Wales and England, with the UK Government, British institutions and ultimately British identity all becoming less relevant.”
He added: “Whitehall has not always been cognisant of this reality when faced with apparently anodyne requests to gift another tranche of competencies. An ever-inward-looking mentality within devolved politics also results in Wales exerting increasingly less influence on British and foreign affairs.
“Evidence from polling suggests that a significant proportion of the electorate have been oblivious to the extent of ongoing constitutional change.”