At last a Secretary of State who is open about the process on the upcoming referendum. We have learnt far more on the referendum and progress on it from Cheryl Gillan in a week that we have learnt from Peter Hain in a period of years. I think this is to be welcomed and it is clearly now very much on the agenda.
Some time ago I urged the setting up of a ‘Yes’ campaign group with representatives from each of the four parties here to Rhodri Morgan, and subsequently to Carwyn Jones. The response from Carwyn Jones was that he didn’t want anything to happen before the General Election. I can understand this but now that is out of the way it would be sensible to get a ‘Yes’ campaign group up and running. If it is to be a level playing field this surely needs to happen.
People like Daran Hill have put this very much on the agenda, and Daran had a meeting on this last night. It was my loss that I didn’t get to this partly because of business in Plenary over-running and partly because of a pile of work on my desk, but I understand that out there people are expecting and hoping for a lead on the campaigning front from a ‘Yes’ organisation to counter the organisation that is already up and running campaigning for a ‘No’ vote.
This cuts across political parties, it cuts across the Welsh public, and it is important that there is a proper debate on this issue before a vote is taken.
I look forward to this happening. In the meantime, I am dropping a note once again to the First Minister, the Deputy First Minister and to Kirsty Williams to urge action.