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Welsh Secretary says Wales can have St David’s Day off – but only if it scraps another bank holiday

07 Oct 2022 2 minute read
Children in the Senedd on St David’s Day. Picture by Senedd Cymru (CC BY 2.0). Robert Buckland picture by the UK Government.

The Welsh Secretary has said that Wales can have St David’s Day off – but only if it scraps another bank holiday.

Northern Ireland and Scotland get their own bank holidays, St Andrew’s Day and St Patrick’s Day, in addition to the bank holidays enjoyed by Wales and England.

But South Swindon MP Robert Buckland told S4C’s Y Byd yn ei Le programme: “My personal view would be get rid of May Day, and have St David’s Day as our bank holiday, and it would be a nice quid pro pro.”

Wales and England only have eight bank holidays, the fewest in Europe, while Scotland has nine and Northern Ireland 10, as both are given their own national days off.

The Welsh Government said that they had asked “time after time” for the power to denote 1 March a bank holiday, but the request has so far been denied by the UK Government.

But the campaign has gathered steam this year as a series of councils and public bodies in Wales backed the idea.

Gwynedd Council, Aberystwyth town council and Snowdonia National Park have already announced that staff will be given the day off.

Neath Port Talbot Council have also agreed to compile a report into giving council staff a day off on St David’s Day and also to lobby both the Welsh and UK Government to devolve the power to the Senedd. Caerphilly Council has also said that it would lobby both governments.

The move was originally backed by Gwynedd Council after Cllr Dafydd Meurig, the council’s deputy leader, said that he believed that Wales could “benefit economically” if St David’s Day celebration became widespread in the country.

“That would be the ideal and ensure that all workers from all sectors have a national holiday to celebrate St David’s Day on the first of March,” he said.

“If Ireland’s St Patrick’s public holiday is anything to go by, there is the potential there for Wales to benefit economically.”


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Ceramike
Ceramike
1 month ago

It appears we are going to be forced into a bank holiday for the upcoming coronation of the new King. How about dropping that in Wales and taking it on St David’s day if the loss of a day’s productivity is Robert Bucklands real concern.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Ceramike

We could turn that day into a day of national protest, couldn’t we? Every year on the anniversary of King Charlieboi’s ascension to the throne of blood and racism and hatred we could have a day of protest and agitation.

Windy
Windy
1 month ago

if the government is serious on levelling up let them start with bank holidays and all four nations have the same number of bank holidays as Northern Ireland, I look forward to the Welsh secretary championing this idea as he is so committed to levelling up, then we in Wales would have a national holiday to celibate our patron saint as our fellow Celtic nations celebrate theirs and still have one day left to fit in between August and Christmas

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

That’s Tories for you. Giving with one hand and taking away with the other.

GPB
GPB
1 month ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Obviously at odds with his boss the new ‘head’ of the Tories in Wales who is now in favour of St David’s day as a bank holiday.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

I would swap it with a UK Bank Holiday, although possibly not May Day due to its’ symbolism of celebrating workers’ rights.

However, I thought they said that they didn’t want to impact on cross-border business? Wouldn’t swapping these dates cause just that?

Last edited 1 month ago by SundanceKid
Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 month ago

“South Swindon MP Robert Buckland”….
Is that deep in the valleys somewhere or near Anglesea?… because I am trying to find it on my map of Cymru, but I can’t seem to find South Swindon on it anywhere…. I’ve tried googling it but it keeps on showing me a map of England. Bloody Google, we get things like this happening all of the time, they think EVERYTHING on this archipelago is England.

Last edited 1 month ago by Cathy Jones
Lli
Lli
1 month ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

It is on Ynys Enlli…..

Gareth Cemlyn Jones
Gareth Cemlyn Jones
1 month ago

Thanks Robert!
St David’s day in exchange for scrapping a Labour day. That’s the way to win friends with both Nationalists and the Welsh Labour Government!!
Yet another divisive strategy.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

The stupidity of this man is unlimited. The things he comes out with is unbelievable.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

He is the MP for Swindledon…I wonder if God knows he/she has a rival? May Day or Labour Day…Pagan or Socialist, so bit of a sub-text there…

Alan Jones
Alan Jones
1 month ago

So, the governor general has adorned his plumed hat & started dictating to the colonial serfs what he seems would be best for them on behalf of his imperial masters, just what is the point of this role anymore? The only tangible thing we’ve seen the last few years is the renaming of the Severn Bridge, the very idea that this role was/is to put forward the case for Cymru at every turn seems to have escaped the last few incumbents making the position of Secretary of state virtually irrelevant ( which you would presume is the thinking of the… Read more »

Mary-Rose Sinclair
Mary-Rose Sinclair
1 month ago

Why doesn’t our new Welsh Secretary like the May Day Bank Holiday? Is it because it is  also called Workers’ Day or International Workers’ Day, and commemorates efforts made by our predecessors and people today in their attempts to gain shorter working hours, safety in the workplace for all, better pay and conditions . fair wages and workers involvement in management. Of course we should have a bank holiday on St David’s Day as well. It is a time of celebration largely confined to schools at present as everyone else is at work, but it could be a wonderful opportunity… Read more »

Windy
Windy
1 month ago

Perhaps because it’s Workers Day, and that makes him feel guilty

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Wales and England have by far the least number of Bank Holidays in Europe, how stingy can you get? Is he seriously expecting Welsh people to work on May Day whilst everyone in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland has a day off? I can see the resentment this could cause in Wales towards the Welsh identity, which is exactly what the Tories want. It reminds me of growing up in the 1980s, we couldn’t get Channel Four because of S4C, and this was somehow the fault of the Welsh language. If Bank Holidays are devolved in Scotland and Northern Ireland… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Talking of Channel 4 there is a very interesting interview with Marina Hyde on C4 YouTube today…

Geraint
Geraint
1 month ago

So this is an official proposal from the government’s representative in Wales. That means in his opinion all the reasons that are trotted out why we can’t have a different bank holiday to those in England are not significant and are not reasonable excuses. The only reason for us not having St David’s day as a bank holiday is fairness to England. If this is the case I’m pretty sure that is an easy bridge to cross. Let us have St David’s day and England can have St George’s Day as a bank holiday. Problem solved and we are all… Read more »

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Geraint

I agree with you. The problem is mainstream parties are actually more hostile to a distinct English national identity than they are to the Welsh or Scottish ones. Those on the right (ie Jacob Rees Mogg) who see themselves as exclusively British, and those on the left who shout racism whenever they someone flies the St Georges Cross. They can then make the argument that Scotland and Wales are ‘privileged’ because they have devolution and their own identities. But the reality is, its not Wales or Scotland’s fault that England’s identity is discouraged. In fact England being treated synonymously with… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

They are afraid that if they start displaying English identity, England will start demanding independence. Also, colonialism is deeply embedded in the average Westminster politician’s mindset. They see themselves as colonisers and rulers. They can’t do that if Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are no longer part of the unionist “family”.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

Forget Buckland. The only way we are going to get a bank holiday on March 1st – is if we do it ourselves as an independent nation.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
1 month ago

With the Tories running the economy, we will soon have the rest of our lives off?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

However short they may be…

Vyvyan
Vyvyan
1 month ago

Another Dic Sion Dafydd and/or a See You Next Tuesday

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 month ago

Another contemptuous and dastardly comment from another Tory politician, who obviously hates us!

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Thanks for nothing…… Sod off.

Last edited 1 month ago by Quornby
Keith Gogarth
Keith Gogarth
1 month ago

Should take matters into our own hands and do it

The original mark
The original mark
1 month ago

Of course a tory would suggest cancelling what is the closest thing to the workers May Day celebrations we have in the UK, they really do think we’re a bunch of idiots.

Adrian Meagher
Adrian Meagher
1 month ago

I suggest taking up Mr Buckland’s offer and swapping May Day in favour of Gwyl Dewi. After all, it is certain that the next UK Labour government would reinstate May Day asap whereas they might, for reasons I cannot comprehend, be reluctant to make Gwyl Dewi a bank holiday. Why Llafur Cymru have not yet persuaded their UK counterparts to make such a manifesto committment remains mysterious.

George Thomas
George Thomas
1 month ago

Up until this point the argument against it has been that business in Wales and England too closely linked to have separate days off. Well, the “Welsh Secretary” has just rubbished that argument.

Giving England St George’s Day and Wales St David’s Day as bank holiday is easiest and most sensible decision so that mainland UK all have 9.

It’s such an easy decision and one I’m sure Keir Starmer can be persuaded to take as he continues to try to prove to English voters his party cares about England.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

Happy togive up any English royal family based days. They offer boredom at best.

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

So we get rid of Hart and get this creature instead.

Last edited 1 month ago by Quornby

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