Four Nations in a United Kingdom? The Case of Wales

30. September 2021 18:00

Ruth Marks, Dr Marius Guderjan, Dr Ed Poole

In recent years, the discussion in the UK over devolution has gained additional momentum. We discussed the case of Ireland and Northern Ireland in June 2020. Today, we would like to invite you to a panel discussion to discuss the case of Wales.

Wales is perhaps the devolved nation that is not as often thought of as Scotland and Northern Ireland when it comes to questions of unity. Nonetheless, Wales has a nationalist party (Plaid Cymru), which in recent years has taken a firm pro-independence stand. However, it is not as successful with voters as the Scottish National Party. Still, support for independence is increasing in Wales, with polls now showing between one quarter and one third of Welsh voters in favour.

In contrast to Scotland and Northern Ireland, Wales voted to leave the EU. It has a Labour First Minister, Mark Drakeford, who was confirmed in his position in the recent local elections, winning exactly half of the available seats in the Senedd, the Welsh parliament.

What are the pressing issues in Wales today? What’s the percentage of people who would like to become independent from the United Kingdom? How has Brexit affected Wales?

We will discuss these and other questions with Ruth Marks, Chief Executive, Wales Council for Voluntary Action, Dr Marius Guderjan, Lecturer and Researcher in British Politics, Centre for British Studies at Humboldt University and Dr Ed Poole, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Cardiff University. The discussion will be chaired by Rupert Graf Strachwitz, Vice-Chairman, Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft.

Please join the event by using this link: (No prior registration required!)

Ruth Marks, Chief Executive, Wales Council for Voluntary Action
Ruth is Chief Executive of Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), the national membership body for voluntary organisations in Wales.
An experienced charity sector activist and leader, she has led RNIB Cymru and Chwarae Teg and an independent review into health regulation in Wales.
Ruth was the first Older People’s Commissioner in the world establishing the independent office and used her statutory powers to review health care for older people; producing the report “Dignified Care”.
Her post graduate qualifications are in human resource management and collaborative leadership.
Ruth regularly contributes to inquiries and advisory boards on issues including diversity, volunteering, the charity sector and civil society.
Ruth recently stood down as a member of the Board of Governors at Cardiff Met University and is currently a trustee of ACEVO and Cynnal Cymru, an advisory board member of Academi Wales, an advisory panel member for the Future Generations Commissioner, a director of the International Federation on Ageing and a Senior Independent Panel Member for public appointments in Wales.

Dr Marius Guderjan, Lecturer and Researcher in British Politics, Centre for British Studies, Humboldt University Berlin
Dr Marius Guderjan is a lecturer and researcher in British Politics at the Centre for British Studies at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. For his post-doc project (habiliation) he takes a comparative federal perspective to examine the institutionalisation and patterns of intergovernmental cooperation, conflict and influence between the Scottish, Welsh and British Governments. Besides his expertise in regional and local government, he has a strong interest in the cause and consequences of Brexit, European integration, Europeanisation, international relations, political attitudes and participation, Euroscepticism, welfare state and social policy.
In 2013, Marius obtained his PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University and worked subsequently as a senior research assistant at the university’s Policy Evaluation and Research Unit. Prior to his PhD, Marius completed an MA in European Politics (Research) with distinction at the University of Liverpool and studied Social Science with an emphasis on politics at the University of Cologne.
Marius is currently co-chairman Arbeitskreis Großbritannien-Forschung (German Association for British Studies) and of the Berlin-Britain Research Network/Humboldt-Universität. Together with Tom Verhelst he published the book Local Government in the European Union Completing the Integration Cycle (Palgrave Macmillan 2021). He also co-edited the collected volume Contested Britain: Brexit, Austerity and Agency (Bristol University Press 2020) with Gesa Stedman and Hugh Mackay, and published a number journal articles and book chapters on European integration with regard to local government and also Brexit.

Dr Ed Poole, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, Cardiff University
Ed is a Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University where he teaches Political Economy and Territorial Politics. His research interests lie in Welsh politics and fiscal decentralisation. He is a co-investigator on the Wales Election Study, an ESRC-funded study of the 2019 UK General Election in Wales and the 2021 elections to the Senedd/Welsh Parliament. He is also academic lead at Wales Fiscal Analysis, a Cardiff University-based research unit that analyses Welsh and UK public spending, revenues and public finance, and provides expert commentary on budget events.
Ed previously obtained a PhD in Political Science at the London School of Economics and a postgraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to his current role Ed worked in a number of positions in budget and finance in the United States. As a budget consultant at Public Financial Management, the United States’ largest government financial advisory firm, he worked with US state and local governments on initiatives to enhance revenues and contain government expenditures. Ed also worked in the administration of Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell as special adviser to two cabinet secretaries for the Budget.