Liberal Democrats vow to push a Labour Government on more Devolution for Wales

19 Jun 2024

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have announced their plans today for safeguarding and expanding devolved powers to Wales ahead of their manifesto launch on Monday.

The Party has promised it would push an incoming Labour Government to go further and faster on devolution, highlighting the key role the Liberal Democrats played in securing previous rounds of devolution for Wales.

Party Leader Jane Dodds criticised Labour for going back on previous commitments for devolution in Wales describing the Gordon Brown report on devolution as “clearly dead in the water” and Wales as an “afterthought” to UK Labour.

The Party has also highlighted that given Plaid Cymru will have a maximum of three to five seats after the General Election the Liberal Democrats stand a much better chance of proactively influencing any incumbent Government.

Among the Liberal Democrats’ key promises on devolution and constitutional reform are:

1.          Completing the next stage of devolution in Wales by implementing the remaining Silk proposals, substantially reducing the number of powers reserved to Westminster, and increasing borrowing powers.

2.          Creating a distinct legal jurisdiction for Wales.

3.          Devolving responsibility for rail services and infrastructure to Wales, with fair funding.

4.          Devolving powers over youth justice, probation services, prisons and policing to allow Wales to create an effective, liberal, community-based approach to policing and tackling crime.

5.          Strengthening the devolution of powers over broadcasting.

6.          Creating a United Kingdom Council of Ministers to bring together the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with regional leaders across England.

7.          Removing the ability of the UK Parliament to unilaterally change the powers of the devolved parliaments or pass laws in their areas of responsibility.

8.          Moving towards the introduction of a written constitution for a federal United Kingdom.

9.          Ensure every vote matters by introducing proportional representation by Single Transferable Vote for electing MPs, and strengthen democratic rights and participation by scrapping the Conservatives’ voter ID scheme and giving 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in all elections.

10.        Reform the House of Lords with a proper democratic mandate.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

“Everything we have heard from Labour over recent weeks suggests that Wales will merely be an afterthought to a UK Labour Government and that Gordon Brown’s proposals on further devolution are essentially dead in the water.

The Liberal Democrats are proud of the previous key roles we have played in securing devolution for Wales over the last few decades and intend to keep pushing for more decisions about Wales to be made in Wales and for power to be as close to communities as possible.

A strong team of Liberal Democrat MPs across the entire UK will continue to push Labour to do the right thing by Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We have used our influence to successfully push for more powers in the past and we can do it again.

Every Liberal Democrat MP elected in Wales will be a strong voice for fair funding for our communities and a voice to ensure Wales is not ignored by a disinterested UK Labour Government.”

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