Welsh Secretary rejects calls for Wales and Scotland be given the ‘right to self-determination’ in proposed Bill of Rights
Welsh Secretary David TC Davies has dismissed calls for Wales and Scotland be given the “right to self-determination” in the UK Government’s proposed Bill of Rights.
Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts sought a commitment from Mr Davies in the House of Commons this morning, after the UK Supreme Court had unanimously decided that the Scottish Government does not have the power to call an independence referendum.
She said: “Today of all days we must look forward to how democracy of these isles will best serve our people, and the people of Wales particularly.
“In June, I asked the Deputy Prime Minister whether his so-called Bill of Rights would include the right to self-determination. He didn’t give me a direct answer, so I will ask the Secretary of State.
“Will he support the inclusion of the right to self-determination for the peoples of the devolved nations within the Bill of Rights? Or doesn’t he believe that Wales should have the right to decide our own destiny?”
Mr Davies replied: “Wales has decided its own destiny in several referenda recently, it has decided it would like a devolved administration, which is something that this Conservative administration will fully support.
“Wales, of course, also voted to leave the European Union, something that I fully supported, but I am not fully sure she or her party did. I fully respect the self-determination of the Welsh people to leave the EU and I look forward to her support on that one in future.”
Accusing the Welsh Secretary of failing to answer the question, SNP MP Deidre Brock asked: “The right to self-determination is set out in Article 1 of the international covenant on civil and political rights.
“Will the proposed British Bill of Rights uphold this by enshrining the right of self-determination for the peoples of Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland?”
Mr Davies said: “The Bill of Rights is a reserved matter. A matter clearly reserved for the UK Government. The UK Government will always respect the right of devolved administrations to legislate in areas for which they are responsible.
“We would assume that the devolved administrations will respect the right of the UK Government to legislate in areas in which it is responsible. That is what respect and self-determination is all about.”
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