After three years of intensive analysis and discussion that has ranged across all four countries of the UK, the project wishes to present the following reflections that focus both on the future of the changing Union and Wales’s place within it.
UK’s Changing Union Forum Papers
The Forum on the Changing Union sought to encourage informed debate about the UK’s Changing Union by drawing together opinion formers from across the four territories to discuss and debate key themes of constitutional concern. The Forum met twice a year for three years in a Chatham House format.
A discussion paper was prepared ahead of each Forum meeting identifying key issues. A report summarising the subsequent discussion was also produced and disseminated to participants and other stakeholders. The preparatory papers and reports are all available below:
Forum 6: Where next for the UK’s Changing Union?
There was no discussion paper for this Forum
Evidence to the Commission on Devolution in Wales
The Commission on Devolution in Wales (also known as the Silk Commission) was an independent commission established with all-party support by the then Welsh Secretary, Cheryl Gillan, on 11 October 2011. The Commission met for the first time on 4 November 2011 and completed its work in March 2014. The Commission terms of reference were divided into two parts:
- To review the case for the devolution of fiscal powers to the National Assembly for Wales and to recommend a package of powers that would improve the financial accountability of the Assembly, which are consistent with the United Kingdom’s fiscal objectives and are likely to have a wide degree of support.
- To review the powers of the National Assembly for Wales in the light of experience and to recommend modifications to the present constitutional arrangements that would enable the United Kingdom Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales to better serve the people of Wales.
It published its findings in two parts.
The project submitted two pieces of evidence focusing on the first part of the Commission’s work, and one main submission focusing on second part of its remit work. In addition, the project commissioned and/or produced a number of other papers relevant to the Commission’s work. Copies of all these submissions are available here:
UKCU submission to Part One of the Commission Devolution in Wales (1)
UKCU submission to Part One of the Commission Devolution in Wales (2)
UKCU submission to Part Two of the Commission Devolution in Wales
UKCU submission on Policing to Part Two of the Commission on Devolution in Wales
UKCU submission on Devolution and the Media to Part Two of the Commission on Devolution in Wales
UKCU submission on the Capacity of the Civil Service to Part Two of the Commission on Devolution in Wales
UKCU submission on Energy to Part Two of the Commission on Devolution in Wales
A stable, sustainable settlement for Wales: A collection of research papers
In order to inform its own submissions to the Silk Commission, as well as encourage debate about and participation in the Silk process across wider civil society, the project commissioned a number of experts to produce papers on relevant different topics. The individual papers as well as the full collection are available here:
The Capacity of the National Assembly: Michael Cole, Laura McAllister and Diana Stirbu
Policy Making Capacity of the Political Parties in Wales: Anwen Elias
The Capacity of the Civil Service in Wales: Anna Nicholl
Energy Policy and Powers: Stevie Upton
The Powers Wales Needs to Develop an Integrated Transport Policy: Stuart Cole
Policing Powers: Colin Rogers and James Gravelle
Wales and the Welfare Agenda: Victoria Winckler
The European Influence in Wales: Francesca Dickson
Devolution and the Media: IWA Media Policy Group
The Scrutiny Capacity of Civil Society in Wales: Rebecca Rumbul
Our Future Publications
The Our Future project produced a number of reports focusing on the engagement of young people with devolution process in Wales as a well as a report on the Young People’s UK Constitutional Convention organised under its auspices. These reports are available here:
Our Future Submission to the Second Part of the Commission on Devolution in Wales
Young People, Employment and Devolution
Attitudes of Young People Towards Devolution in Wales
Our Future’s Young People’s UK Constitutional Convention Report
Working in partnership with the Electoral Reform Society Cymru, UKCU produced an influential report on the implications for the quality of Welsh democracy of the relatively small size of the National Assembly for Wales. The report recommended for increasing the number of Assembly Members to 100. The paper can be found below:
It is widely acknowledged that the UK’s arrangements for managing co-ordination between governments are flawed. What is currently in place is disjointed and often ad hoc. UKCU commissioned a paper from Alan Trench assessesing the current situation recommending a series of reforms to improve intergovernmental relations in the post-devolution UK. The full paper can be found below:
The project also availed itself of the opportunity to make a number of other submissions:
UK’s Changing Union submission to the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Select Committee Inquiry April 2014
UK’s Changing Union submission to the UK Government’s consultation the devolution of Stamp Duty Land Tax to Wales