The FIRST Minister, the Leader of Plaid Cymru and Mick Antoniw MS, Counsel General recently met the Co-Chairs of the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales to receive an update on their work.
The Commission was established with two broad objectives:
To consider and develop options for fundamental reform of the constitutional structures of the United Kingdom, in which Wales remains an integral part; and
To consider and develop all progressive principal options to strengthen Welsh democracy and deliver improvements for the people of Wales.
The Commission launched their call for evidence on 31 March in order to gather information to inform their work. The Commission is also developing a fuller engagement strategy to meet our request for them to develop a programme of inclusive engagement with civic society and the Welsh public to stimulate a national conversation.
The commission met for the first time on 25 November 2021, and has now met to hear evidence on 5 occasions.
To date, it has heard evidence at its meetings from the following people and organisations:
The Lord Dunlop; Rt Hon Simon Hart MP, Secretary of State for Wales; Rt Hon Professor Carwyn Jones; Rt Hon Lord Paul Murphy; Neil O’Brien MP, Minister for Levelling Up, the Union and Constitution, UK government; Angus Robertson, Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture, Scottish Government; CBI Wales; Chambers Wales; Children’s Commissioner for Wales; Federation of Small Businesses, Wales; Future Generations Commissioner for Wales; Future of Devolution and Work Commission, Wales TUC; Independence Commission, Plaid Cymru; Institute of Directors, Wales; Neath Port Talbot Council for Voluntary Service; Older People’s Commissioner for Wales and Wales Council for Voluntary Action.
The commission is holding technical workshops to consider some issues in more depth. To date, these have covered the current devolution settlement; fiscal devolution; and engagement. Future workshops will include further examination of fiscal devolution.
An expert panel is also being appointed to provide support to the commission on a range of specialisms, such as governance, law, constitution, business, economics, and finance, to help it make informed recommendations.
It was also reported that as of mid April 607 completed responses has been submitted via Have your say: the constitutional future of Wales.
The Chairs indicated the Commission will publish an interim report by the end of 2022, and its full report, including recommendations, by the end of 2023.
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