Shaping Devolution in Wales

Tuesday, 23 January 2024

On the 18th January 2024, the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales published its long-awaited report.

It came as no surprise that one of the key findings of the Commission is that devolution is close to collapse without change and that radical reform is needed both in the Senedd and in Westminster.

The interaction and communication between devolved nations and Westminster needs emergency repairs that must not be dodged. You can’t heal a critical injury with sticking plaster. You must have the will and the skill to effect change and inspire others to do the same.

There is no doubt the commission have listened to the views of participants across the political spectrum.

We are delighted that the insights shared by myself and True & Fair Party supporters in Wales appear to have been taken on board in full. We now urge our supporters to answer the call from the report chairs to raise your voices in this electoral year.

Many of us are pleasantly pleased to see that the conclusions so clearly represent the vision of True & Fair Party supporters and of other like-minded voices across Wales.

The report presents a clear 360 view calling for citizen engagement on critical constitutional challenges and opportunities facing Cymru over the short, medium, and longer term. The report also presents a clear roadmap for further consultation and collaboration.

It is heart-warming to see that the younger generation believe that providing the Senedd with more powers, and an openness to some form of independence, offers bridges over our troubled waters on our journey towards a better future.

67% of young people who engaged in the Commission’s process believe that Wales should have more powers or should move towards independence.

We must act to respect their views and reflect the recommendations of the report.

We must ask voters to have hope, to vote and to break down the barriers to change by choosing MP’s who will work for Wales with passion, pragmatism, and robust reforms to fix our broken politics.

All True & Fair Prospective MP’s will influence change and amplify the voices for democratic reform and renewal in Westminster.

The Party will work for Wales to challenge Labour and the Tories to deliver this commission’s recommendations and call out any refusal to act in the best interest of the people.

Our priorities include:

  1. Replace the outdated and inadequate Barnett formula with a needs-based system and act to oppose those in the next government and all opposition parties that resist this change.

    We will work with other smaller parties including Plaid Cymru and the Green Party to achieve this if Labour sits on the fence.
  2. Act to Shore up the Sewel Convention through legislation – there is no better advocate for standing up for this than Gina Miller, our party leader whose legal challenges to the government in 2017 and 2019 delivered a long-term legacy that will represent case law and studied case studies in the landmark Miller action on the Sewel Convention.
  3. We support the calls to implement an urgent review of the devolution settlement examining energy and reform of crown estate management. Devolved control of crown estate revenues is the key to unlock the accelerated potential for creating a fairer, more prosperous Wales, a Wales that can freely capitalise on rich natural resources.
  4. We will prioritise building a technologically robust and sustainable energy resource infrastructure fit for the future.
  5. Democratic innovation & Literacy through participation. Encourage more citizen centred democracy, citizen assemblies and civic participation to bring more talent into political and civic life.
  6. Devolution of transport in the next parliament to redress imbalances and transport poverty. The unjust Barnett consequential is exemplified by the HS2 train robbery which has left Wales with an unjust shortfall in funding to the tune of £3 billion.
  7. Devolution of Justice and Policing by 2030 “policing, probation and youth justice, devolution could be achieved with minimum disruption in the space of the next Parliament”.
  8. Stronger collaboration mechanisms between Westminster and the Senedd on tax reform and welfare reform.
  9. Work relentlessly to bring Wales closer to the EU and campaign to rejoin, to deliver the strength and power needed to redress the injustices of a broken Brexit. Being part of a shared regulatory framework will make the commissions’ roadmap more robust and deliver a powerful plan for regenerating Wales.

Enhanced devolution must be our priority over the next 10 years and the Commission’s recommendations provide a way marker for the people to choose between a federal future or an independent Wales further down the road. It will become clearer which path the people should take when the brambles of poor governance from Westminster are systematically removed and reformed over the next ten years.

Change for the better is also however dependent on an injection of new talent to the Senedd and local government. The importance of encouraging more people to get involved in the conversations is critical and change must happen at grassroots level to restore trust in politics.

As a prospective MP for Monmouthshire, I am acutely aware that this year choices made at the ballot box have the potential to accelerate change across all Wales. We cannot be led by those who are tied to old ways of thinking or who sit on the fence.

It is time to vote for something different and stand up for our nation and our children’s futures.

This year offers all voters a chance to choose to fix our nation, to reject the lies and broken promises of Labour and the Tories who in equal measure but in different ways have let the Welsh people down in government and in opposition.

We deserve better and our children deserve better than the status quo in Wales which is not sustainable.

The future is ours to own.

June Davies

True & Fair Party Parliamentary Candidate for Monmouthshire

To get involved in my campaign get in touch directly with me here [email protected].

Read the full report from the commission here.