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Welsh Labour Government’s new commission to look at constitutional change – including potential Welsh Independence

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The Welsh Conservatives however claim that the creation of the commission is a “waste of time and resources”.

Professor Laura McAllister and Dr Rowan Williams will be co-chairs of the independent Constitutional Commission.

The Welsh Government say that the commission will develop options for fundamental reform of the constitutional structures of the UK in which Wales remains an integral part, and will also consider all progressive options to strengthen Welsh democracy.

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Dr Williams and Professor McAllister will lead the Commission in making recommendations on how Wales’ constitutional settlement can best improve outcomes for the people of Wales. It will aim to engage with the public for a national conversation about the future of Wales.

The establishment of an independent commission to consider the constitutional future of Wales was a commitment in the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government. Following the appointment of the co-chairs the remaining members will be confirmed next month and its first meeting is expected to be in November.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and Professor Laura McAllister will co-chair the commission.

Professor Laura McAllister is a Welsh academic and former international footballer. She said: “Serious contributions to our constitutional debate are greatly needed and I’m looking forward to our work contributing to filling that space. We’ll think boldly and radically about all potential options for the future of Wales, in the context of the increasing pressure on the Union.”

Dr Rowan Williams, born in Swansea, served as the Archbishop of Canterbury from 2002-2012. He commented: “This Commission’s job is to ask what structures and constitutional provisions will best release the potential of Welsh communities and Welsh people.

“We want to make sure that the governance of Wales is effective, accountable and imaginative, and look forward to hearing what hopes and visions are animating people around the country.”

The creation of the new commission has been criticised by the Welsh Conservatives.

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Darren Millar MS

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for the Constitution, Darren Millar MS said: “People in Wales overwhelmingly rejected independence at the recent Senedd elections; and why the Welsh Labour Government would want to waste it’s time and resources discussing the topic is beyond me. 

“Instead of prioritising discussions on independence and constitutional change the Welsh Labour Government should be using the powers it already has to get to grips with the challenges facing Wales. 

“Talking up independence and talking down the Union won’t do anything to address the waiting list backlog in our NHS, the months of lost education experienced by our young people, or the adverse impact of severe restrictions on our economy and society.”

(Lead image: Llewelyn2000 / Wikimedia)

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