Report (3rd Day)

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – in the House of Lords at 6:30 pm on 9th February 2011.

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Photo of Lord Anderson of Swansea Lord Anderson of Swansea Labour 6:30 pm, 9th February 2011

My Lords, I was advised by a veteran politician to begin every speech with the word "finally" because it excites expectations. Wales is clearly the big loser in this proposal. The Select Committee for Welsh Affairs, an all-party committee, came out unanimously against it. It will be seen in Wales as making us a poor relation. It represents a wholly insensitive way of looking at Wales. Far from what the noble Lord, Lord Hamilton, suggested-he seems to be against devolution as such-we will not put the clock back. Indeed, devolution, moving in the way that Welsh and Scottish people want it to go, is a way of avoiding separation. Of this, finally, I am sure; this insensitivity which the coalition Government have shown will indeed be a threat to our union.