A FORMER MP for Carmarthen is calling for the founding of a Welsh Constitutional Convention and says that it is necessary to review the various applications of a partially sovereign, and sovereign, Wales within a range of available potential isle-wide frameworks.
Gwynoro Jones who was MP for Carmarthen in the 1970’s said that these include devo-max, federalism, confederalism, confederal federalism, and what is understood as Welsh independence within Europe.
Although retired the former MP has been very active on social media floating his observations and views which include the suggestion that powers and functions of governance are pooled, or shared centrally, to varying extents within these options, having different implications for the way in which individuals relate to their respective national parliaments and to that of the centre. It is now necessary to explore the nature of the UK going forward, so that it, and Wales’s place within it, can be made modern for the 21st Century.
Gwynoro Jones, who has convened this first meeting of interested parties acting as facilitator, states:
“Over the last two to three years a number of people from various political parties, and no party affiliation at all, have been speaking and writing on the need for a Convention. Along with a few others I have been advocating the establishment of such a standing body to advance the need for significant and major constitutional reform in the UK. And of Wales’s place within it.’
“Despite all this, whilst there has been encouraging noises, even from a past Prime Minister and a former First Minister for Wales, nothing has happened. Fundamental reform will not advance by accident, it has to be planned for. I am clear that without the development of a Convention, Wales could be caught out and possibly left behind as constitutional change is advanced in other parts of the UK.’
“I see it as a catalyst for the way ahead and am happy to be the facilitator in the Convention’s early development. Of course, as the months progress it is hoped that it will become a much more significant body with Westminster and Senedd politicians, local government, academics, voluntary organisations and a wider representation of Welsh civic society participating. It is imperative that our approach is diverse and all-Wales in design’.
“The aim is to, methodically and sensibly enable participants to discuss and share opinions as to the best constitutional future for Wales. The first meeting will be agreeing aims and objectives, possibly considering a small number of papers, and setting the programme of work to come. For instance, the most effective modern constitutions articulate the essential framework of governance and are open to modifications in time, such as the pooling of sovereignty in supra-national bodies. Exploration is required of areas such as:
- Internal workings of Wales as a nation state within a range of possible constitutional options available, including various applications of sovereignty
- Institutional relationships within these constitutional frameworks
- Allocation of powers, rights and laws
- Fiscal decentralisation and economic performance
The former MP is also claiming that if we leave the EU it will strengthen the call for self governance in Wales, it will be the end of the UK Union as we know it and that David Cameron will go down as the man who destroyed our link with Europe and the United Kingdom Union.
Gwynoro Jones spoke to us about what promises to be one of the most turbulent weeks in the history of British and European politics.
As well as discussing the implications of Brexit and the turmoil within the halls of Westminster Gwynoro looks ahead to a meeting in Merthyr this Saturday, which plans to sow the seeds of a new cross party platform, which will look at the UK becoming a confederation of countries with the ability to self govern and possibly rejoin the EU.
You can watch the full interview with Gwynoro Jones here.