Hain: No more devolution.yet

By politics.co.uk staff

Plans for a referendum on further Welsh devolution should be put on hold for the time being, the Welsh secretary has said.

The comments are central to Wales’ next steps to greater political strength, because the secretary of state for Wales must consent before a referendum on more powers can be held.

But Mr Hain appears to want to wait until the All-Wales Convention, chaired by Sir Emyr Jones Parry, concludes its report on whether more powers are necessary or desirable.

“I just don’t see circumstances in which we could win it before 2011 or on the same day as the assembly elections in May 2011,” Mr Hain said.

“I want to see what Emyr Jones Parry’s report says.

“I said when taking the 2006 bill through that I didn’t foresee circumstances in which a referendum was desirable or likely in the first assembly term. That is still my default position,” he continued.

“I am not going to be dogmatic or rigid about it but I can’t really see any circumstances in which you could win a referendum.”

Mr Hain will make his argument in a lecture at Cardiff University tonight, but also wrote on the subject in today’s Western Mail.