Wales already has the powers it needs to deliver a better economy, better schools and better hospitals, but sadly the Labour Party has spectacularly failed to use them to achieve those aims. Gordon Brown’s devolution report
Gordon Brown has published his Commission on the UK’s Future report as part of its 40-point plan, the recommendation of further devolution to The Welsh Parliament.
Commenting on the report, Shadow Minister for the Constitution, Darren Millar MS said:
“There is no great public appetite in Wales for further powers to be devolved to the Senedd.
“Wales already has the powers it needs to deliver a better economy, better schools and better hospitals, but sadly the Labour Party has spectacularly failed to use them to achieve those aims.
“Instead of its obsession with constitutional tinkering, the Labour Party should be using the existing powers it has to improve the lives of the people of Wales.”
Gordon Brown’s report recommends:
- Enhanced protection: Welsh devolution should be constitutionally protected by strengthening the Sewel Convention and protecting it from amendment through the new second chamber.
- Enhanced role for Members of the Senedd: the Welsh Senedd’s members should, if desired, enjoy the same privileges and protections as Members of Parliament in relation to statements made in their proceedings.
- Enhanced powers: new powers should be made available to the Senedd and Welsh Governments, including embarking upon new powers over youth justice and the probation service.
- Enhanced access to economic resources for Wales: the British Regional Investment Bank should maximise support for innovation and investment in Wales, in conjunction with the Welsh Development Bank and the European Investment Bank.
Additionally, the report states that: “there is no constitutional reason why matters which are devolved in Scotland, including the new powers we propose above, could not also be devolved in Wales.”
Crucially, this could involve the devolution of international deal-making powers, allowing for deviation in Welsh trade policy from the rest of the UK, which the Welsh Conservatives strongly oppose.