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Liberal Democrats table bill to give Wales the power to create Bank Holidays

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Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson for Wales and former Welsh Assembly Member for North Wales, Baroness Christine Humphreys has introduced a new Bill which would give Wales the power to create bank holidays.

Wales is the only UK nation not to have the power to decide its own national holidays.

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This is a power that is already held by Scotland allowing St Andrew’s Day. The UK Government has also already declared St Patrick’s Day in Northern Ireland to be a designated bank holiday.  

If this new piece of legislation makes it through the Houses of Parliament, it would allow the Welsh Government to make the decision on whether or not to designate St David’s Day as a bank holiday.

Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson for Wales, Baroness Humphreys, said: “It is deeply unjust that the people of Wales cannot celebrate our nation’s culture, heritage and status as the people of Scotland and Northern Ireland can.

“Liberal Democrats have taken the first step towards giving the Senedd the power to create bank holidays, now the Conservative Government must allow our Bill to pass.

“Everyone in Wales deserves the opportunity to celebrate who we are and our unique culture which unites us.”

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS added: “St David’s Day is the day we all come together to celebrate the huge tapestry of Welsh culture and remember our collective history.

“It is only right therefore that St David’s Day, Wales’ national day, is made a public holiday just like St Andrew’s Day in Scotland and St Patrick’s Day in Ireland.

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“The UK Government needs to back this Bill and give the Senedd the power to legislate for this to happen and recognise that Wales is a proud nation with much to offer, and St David’s Day is a time for us to celebrate all that is great about Wales, from our rich history and culture, to our entrepreneurial spirit.”

Previous attempts to make St David’s Day a bank holiday have been denied by the Conservative UK government, however former Welsh Secretary, Robert Buckland MP was supportive of the move.

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, Andrew RT Davies has also called on St David’s Day to be a Bank Holiday in Wales.

(Lead image: Andrew Hazard / Creative Commons 2.0)

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