Former Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy secured and led the first St David’s Day Debate in the House of Commons in more than two years.
The Torfaen MP warned that Welsh MPs were being marginalised in the United Kingdom, much to the “shame of the UK Government”, pointing to the Government’s 25% reduction in the number Welsh MPs, the West Lothian Commission exploring a reduced role of non-English MPs and Wales’s unjust financial settlement,
Replying to calls from Conservative benches that Welsh MPs should not meddle in English affairs, Mr Murphy emphasised that it is impossible to determine what England-only issues were, and that “devolution strengthens the Union if dealt with in the right way”.
Following a recent poll indicating 77% of Welsh people did not want the Welsh NHS to undergo the same reforms as those in England, Mr Murphy revealed that the NHS was a key concern of his constituents. Reforms in England threatened the future of England and Wales health bodies, the training of medical staff, and Welsh patients receiving primary and secondary healthcare across the border.
Most crucially, Mr Murphy underlined the detrimental impact to Welsh health service funding, where reforms in England would reduce the money available to Wales through the Barnett funding formula.
Concluding with reference to the approaching referendum on Scottish independence, Mr Murphy stressed that while Scots only should vote, “it is important that all parts of the United Kingdom should take part in the debate”. Mr Murphy specifically called on the Welsh front benches to counter the “Little Englander” approach of some English MPs which aids the cause of separatism and injures the future of the Union.
You can watch Paul’s speech below, starting from 15:24.50: