1. Wales

Devolution differences

The Welsh Secretary claims the current devolution settlement does not need major changes but urges the Welsh Government to use its powers more effectively. Meanwhile all three devolved governments have called for more borrowing by the Treasury.

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Welsh Secretary opposes major devolution changes

Welsh Secretary David Jones has rejected Wales moving to a system where all powers are devolved to the Welsh Government and Assembly except for those explicitly reseved to Westminster. The Welsh Government had called for a shift to the 'reserved powers' model used in Scotland.

I support the current arrangements for devolution in the UK as providing the constitutional flexibility with which the peoples of all the British nations are comfortable, rather than a one size fits all approach which I believe would satisfy few.

– Welsh Secretary David Jones MP

In a speech in Cardiff Bay this evening, Mr Jones said wales has a "long and close (if sometimes difficult)" relationship with England. He claimed the fact that it was founded on conquest made it "subtler" than the negotiated union of England and Scotland.

Wales, like Scotland, benefits from having two governments and two legislatures, but the relationship between the devolved institutions in each country and the UK Government is rightly quite different. In Wales’s case, it is right that our model for devolution confers specific powers on the devolved institutions in Cardiff given the close-knit nature of the relationship, and the extent of the interdependence between Wales and England.

A devolved settlement for Wales would always need to be more subtle, more finely tuned and, yes, more complicated, than its Scottish equivalent.

– Welsh Secretary David Jones MP

He also rejected the idea of a separate Welsh legal jurisdiction, even in the longer term. He called on the Welsh Government to make the existing settlement work, saying that since devolution the prosperity gap between Wales and the rest of the UK has grown wider.

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