21st July 1966. Devolution.

Welsh dreams epitomised by Glendower who set up a parliament at Machynlleth in the 14th century were never fully realised until the 1999 Assembly.(1)

The 1966 Welsh Language Act gave impetus to nationalism with Today seeing the first Welsh Nationalist being sworn as MP.

By May 1999 the Welsh were voting to fill their new National Assembly. The results were: Labour 28, Plaid Cymru 17, Conservatives 9, Liberal Democrats 6. (2)

For its Devolved Scottish Parliament, Labour won 56 seats, Scottish Nationalists 35, Conservatives 18, and Liberal Democrats 17 (3)

So in both cases Labour was forced into a coalition.

Events at the time were moving apace with increasing notions of European Federalism and Regional Funds gave new confidence and credibility to the Scottish Nationalist Party and Plaid Cymru. Now Celtic Nationalists looked to Europe rather than to an Anglo-Centric Britain.

Back in March 1974 Prime-Minister Ted Heath seeing power slipping away pushed for a measure of Welsh and Scottish devolution, resulting in the Royal Commission under Lord Kilbrandon.

Impetus came in 1977 when a Bill was introduced under Labour aware that its majority in the Commons was dwindling. The need to ‘butter-up’ the minor parties became apparent.

However on 1st March 1979 a referendum in Wales overwhelmingly turned down the idea of a Welsh Assembly, and only a third of Scots wanted any kind of Scottish devolution.

Twenty years later the nationalist mood was to change!

It was in 1535 that Henry VIII stopped the Welsh from squabbling over Monmouthshire by dividing Wales into twelve counties, excluding that county, which he declared part of England.

Flag of Wales.

Flag of Wales.

Flag of Scotland.

Flag of Scotland.

 

 

 

 

Wales was incorporated into England by Henry in 1536, a union which also abolished Welsh Inheritance Laws, whereby all members of the family were liable for fines exacted on any member.

Scotland and England became a joint monarchy in 1601 under James I (VI) and a combined parliament in 1707.

What can be joined can be split asunder, and whilst there is no move for Welsh independence, the Scottish Nationalists (SNP) pushed for a referendum in 2014 for separation from the UK.

A map of how people voted shows the only majority support for independence was concentrated around the highly populated area of Glasgow. (4)

By 2016 complications arose after ‘Brexit’, as the SNP wished to remain in the European Union.

(1) A Welsh University came in 1872, a Disestablished Church in 1919. The National Assembly came in 1999.

(2) 6th May 1999.

(3) A Scottish referendum on 11.9.1997 saw 74.3% vote in favour of devolution on a turn-out of 59.1%. The Scottish Parliament Act 1998 passed by the UK parliament established a devolved Scottish Parliament and Executive.

(4) Rounded up/down: 54% (against): 45% (for): on 84% turnout.

References:

wikipedia.org/scottish_parliament_elections/Pic Ref. flag.

wikipedia.org/1999_welsh_assembly_elections.Pic Ref. flag.

politicsresources.net/Area/Uk/Welsh-Assembly.

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About colindunkerley

My name is Colin Dunkerley who having spent two years in the Royal Army Pay Corps ploughed many a barren industrial furrow until drawn to the 'chalk-face' as a teacher, now retired. I have spent the last 15 years researching all aspects of life in Britain since Roman times.

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