The Constitutional Future of Wales

As you may know, two of our Fellows, Dr Rowan Williams and Professor Laura McAllister, are co-chairing an Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales.

The Commission has two broad objectives:

  • The first is to develop options for the fundamental reform of the constitutional structures of the UK, in which Wales remains a part.
  • The second is to consider and develop all progressive principal options to strengthen Welsh democracy and deliver improvements for the people of Wales.

The Commission has posed 7 questions and invited comments by 31 July 2022.

Your Society will be commenting and is preparing a submission.

The Commission aims to work from the bottom up. It intends to look at the operation of an area under devolution and investigate how it can be better delivered for Wales. It will then see what constitutional arrangements would correspond to the optimal delivery of that particular competence. That will include existing and potential competences devolved to Wales. A good example would be Lord Thomas review of judicial arrangements in Wales which received little consideration in London.

The Society’s primary interest is the research and academic performance in Wales and the environment for attracting talent and investment to Wales, not least to foster economic development. At the same time it is important to help project internationally an attractive, responsible and competitive nation. We will also want to comment on the intergovernmental machinery between the nations and with London, and the manner in which cooperation currently works and its effect on Welsh research and academia.

Individual Fellows have particular expertise which will be germane to the Commission’s work and to the questions it has posed. The Co chair has told us that informed comments, based on experience and knowledge, will be very welcome and should be forwarded direct to the Commission.

Separately as the Learned Society prepares its contribution, we would appreciate broader comments from Fellows on the above and on any points which may be relevant to the Commission’s role. It would be helpful to receive these by  15 July. Thank you