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Peer set to move amendment which could see Wales given ‘dominion’ status

A crossbench peer will today move an amendment to the Wales Bill that could see Wales granted self-governing “Dominion” status.

Lord Elystan-Morgan, a former Plaid Cymru Parliamentary candidate who joined Labour and was MP for Cardiganshire between 1966 and 1974, will also propose that a review should take place within three years of the list of powers reserved to Westminster by the Wales Bill.

The House of Lords is currently considering the Wales Bill, which would, if passed, give the Welsh Government the power to vary income tax. It has been criticised for other proposed measures which would see a return of some powers to Westminster.

‘We should think big’

Before 1939, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ireland, all had Dominion status.

Although there was no formal definition of it, the Imperial Conference of 1926 described Great Britain and the dominions as “autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations”.

Lord Elystan-Morgan, who went on to have a distinguished legal career as a barrister and judge after ceasing to be an MP and was made a life peer in 1981, has put down an amendment to the Wales Bill obliging the Secretary of State for Wales to establish a working party on the issue of the possibilities of Dominion status for Wales as a land and nation.

He said: “My motivation for this is that we the Welsh people should think big. For far too long we have begged for the crumbs of devolution and it is highly necessary that we should raise our expectations to be worthy of our status as a mature national entity.” … … …

 

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