Welsh Government “constitutional nuance” unique in UK
1 July 2022
A new academic article by Dr Gregory Davies and Professor Daniel Wincott of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre has outlined the Welsh Government’s ambiguity towards UK sovereignty, marking Wales as having a unique position in UK territorial politics.
However, the authors go on to argue in the publication that the Welsh Government stops short in practice of rejecting Westminster sovereignty outright, pointing to examples from the Brexit process where it sought to improve intergovernmental relations as a way of reforming the union.
The article, published online by the British Journal of Politics and International Relations, paints Welsh Government constitutional policy as including both a contestation of parliamentary sovereignty and a desire to modify it through systemic reform. But in reality, post-Brexit legislation such in the form of the Internal Market Act and the European Union (Future Relationship) Act have restated Westminster sovereignty at the expense of the devolved governments.
With UK-wide constitutional reform being outside the gift of the Welsh Labour Government, the article warns that the administration could find itself caught between potentially powerful forces such as Scottish independence, support for an independent Wales, and continued Conservative party governance at the UK level.