Thursday, 22 October 2015

Tryweryn and Welsh Devolution

It has been fifty years since the flooding of the Tryweryn valley in Wales in order to create a reservoir for the city of Liverpool. This week also saw the publication of the planned reserved powers for the Welsh Assembly.

The planned reserved powers when coupled with the planned English Laws plan introduces an scenario where it becomes possible for English MPs to veto a Welsh Law in cases where there might be a perceived affect upon England. The reverse situation can not happen however.

This then raises all sorts of strange constitutional questions; such as does this invalidate the results of the 2011 referendum of law making powers for Wales?

Another point then in the definition of what sovereignty means.

If we place the above into the EU-UK then this becomes the heart of the debate about whether the UK should in in or out of the EU.

To give a more concrete example of the convoluted ideas of sovereignty and national responsibility there's the point made by John Elfed Jones, former chairman of Welsh Water that Wales should be allowed to sell its water to England. The analogy drawn between food and crops from eastern England and 'Scottish' oil should spawn a very interesting debate.

To finalise, we have confusion in the UK about what sovereignty and responsibility means. At one political-economic level we demand responsibility and sovereignty, but at others not at all. So where does the boundary exist between these concepts?


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