Tuesday 24 April 2018

Wales gets power to pass own laws after referendum

Nigel Morris in Cardiff

WALES will get the power to pass its own laws, putting it on a par with Scotland and Northern Ireland, following strong backing for the proposal in a referendum.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones described the result as an historic moment after 517,132 people (63.5pc) voted in favour, compared with 297,380 (36.5pc) who were against.

Twenty-one out of 22 constituencies voted in favour of giving the Welsh Assembly the right to legislate without first obtaining approval from Westminster in devolved policy areas such as health, education and transport. The only No vote came from Monmouthshire, where voters narrowly opposed the move by 50.6pc to 49.4pc.

The turnout was 35pc, which was higher than forecast after the campaign failed to catch fire in Wales.

Victory

Plaid Cymru, in a coalition administration in Cardiff with Labour, said it was delighted at the victory. Its leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones, the Deputy First Minister, said: "To demand respect, you must first display self-respect. Today we have done just that, and the rest of the world can now sit up and take notice of the fact that our small nation . . . has demonstrated pride in who we are, and what we all stand for."

The Welsh Conservative leader, Nick Bourne, whose party is the main opposition, said: "We now have the tools to do the job, but we must deliver."

However, the No group, True Wales, said it feared that the principality was "sleepwalking on a path to independence".

Areas that will remain the responsibility of Westminster will include economic policies, defence and foreign affairs, policing, criminal justice, social security, employment and energy. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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