A general debate on Welsh Affairs is held each year in the Commons Chamber on, or around, St. David's Day. Since 2010, the Backbench Committee has allocated time for the annual debate from its 35 allotted days.
There is no debate pack for this debate but links to relevant briefings are provided below.
The first debate specifically set aside for discussion of “Welsh affairs” in the House of Commons took place on 17 October 1944.
That debate was led by Megan Lloyd George, the Liberal MP for Anglesey, who considered the debate “somewhat overdue”. She said: “We welcome this Debate as a recognition of the distinctive problems and needs of Wales, not as an area, not as a part of England, but as a nation with a living language of its own, with hundreds of years of history behind it, and with its own culture.”
Not all Welsh Members supported the idea of a dedicated debate. Aneurin Bevan, the Labour MP for Ebbw Vale, said that while Wales had “a special place, a special individuality, a special culture and special claims”, he did not think “this is the place where any of them can properly be considered”.
Commons Library briefings
Commons Library Briefings
In December 2021, the ONS published experimental statistics for population estimates by religion for England and Wales for 2019. In 2019, the Muslim population in Wales was estimated to number 55,400. This compares with the 2011 census estimate for Wales of 45,950. Muslims accounted for roughly 1.8% of the population of Wales in 2019 compared with the 2011 census estimate of 1.5%. This compares with figures for England which showed the estimated Muslim population in 2019 to be 5.9% and the 2011 census figure of 5%.
Economic output per head in areas of rural Wales is below the Wales average, although it has grown since 2010. This briefing includes Welsh economic output statistics, along with statistics showing employment broken down by industry sectors.
The 2021 Senedd Cymru / Welsh Parliament elections took place on 6 May. The largest party was Labour, winning 30 seats. The Conservatives made the largest gains and replaced Plaid Cymru as the second largest party.
A debate pack published for a Westminster Hall debate on ‘Transport funding for Wales and HS2’.
Welsh Affairs Committee
Current Welsh Affairs Committee Inquiries
Wales as a global tourist destination (an inquiry which seeks to explore the current position of the tourism sector in Wales and the steps the UK Government can take to help promote Wales to the world).
Grid capacity in Wales (an inquiry which will explore the implications of grid capacity issues for the energy sector in Wales).
The economic and cultural impacts of trade and environmental policy on family farms in Wales (a short inquiry exploring the impact of major policy changes [particularly, but not exclusively, international trade and climate change] on family farms in Wales).
The Benefits System in Wales (an inquiry examining the benefits system in Wales, following a period of unprecedented challenge as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic).
Responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Wales (the Committee questions the Secretary of State for Wales on a wide range of issues affecting Wales).
Recently published Welsh Affairs Committee Reports
Recent debates on Welsh matters
Muslim Community in Wales, HC Deb 23 Feb 2022 cc 151-171WH
Strengthening the Union as it Relates to Wales – Welsh Grand Committee, Second Sitting, 18 January 2022
Strengthening the Union as it Relates to Wales – Welsh Grand Committee, First Sitting, 18 January 2022
Transport Funding: Wales and HS2, HC Deb 26 October 2021 cc 48-70WH
Welsh Rural Economy, HC Deb 22 June 2021 cc 290-311WH
Police and Crime Commissioner Elections (Welsh Forms) Order 2021, HL Deb 4 March 2021 cc 1262-78
Draft Mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner Elections (Coronavirus, Nomination of Candidates) (Amendment) Order 2021 and Draft Police and Crime Commissioner Elections (Welsh forms) Order 2021, General Committee, 1 March 2021
Welsh Affairs, HC Deb 25 Feb 2021 cc 1177-1202
A briefing paper on the history of and procedure relating to Royal Assent, not just in the UK Parliament but in the devolved legislatures and for Church of England Measures.
A briefing paper on the UK Government's Safeguarding the Union deal to restore power-sharing institutions in Northern Ireland