As three former First Ministers of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, we are pleased to be joining the Steering Committee of the Constitution Reform Group which has been seeking for some years now to find a way of restructuring the constitutional relationship between the four nations of the United Kingdom.
Like the Constitution Reform Group itself, we accept that the Act of Union Bill laid before the House of Lords by Lord Lisvane last October is a work in progress but we feel the approach it takes is on the right lines. The Group was formed before the 2016 referendum on membership of the European Union, in the belief that, even then, the UK needed a new constitutional settlement. The present situation has, of course, made that need even more urgent. The changes in constitutional practice as a result of activities in the House of Commons and cases in the Supreme Court – just to take two examples – have further undermined what has been hitherto established practice. The events of the last few months have therefore made the need for a new constitutional settlement all the more urgent.
We look forward to working with the Group in its attempts to build a consensus round its emerging proposals, recognising that one of its great strengths is that it consists of people of experience, of all political parties and of none.
Former First Minister of Scotland
Carwyn Jones AM
Former First Minister of Wales
Former First Minister of Northern Ireland
You can access the full letter on The Telegraph website here.