Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Wales is a Nation not a Principality

Leanne Wood currently leader of Plaid Cymru in 2011 lobbied for Wales to be given recognition as a country after it was pointed out to her that an influential newsletter for the international community referred to Wales as a principality.

Why won’t the term principality do for Wales?

Well, strictly speaking it refers to a sovereign state whose ruling monarch is a prince or a princess with an executive role in administration.

And since the Prince of Wales has no role in administrative control over Wales, not having had any for centuries, the term is archaic in constitutional terms.

The offending ISO newsletter said the United Kingdom consisted of two countries, England and Scotland, with Northern Ireland described as a province and Wales a principality.

In a letter to Ms Wood, the chairman of the BSI, Paul Woodman, said: “The ISO entry originated in a traditional understanding of the status of Wales as given in reference works such as the 1976 Oxford Illustrated Dictionary.

“Earlier this year we were alerted by the Welsh Government to the fact that the notion of Wales as a principality is now outdated, and that Wales should properly be considered a country.

“Having subsequently received an official statement to this effect from that Government, I wrote on behalf of BSI to the ISO Secretariat in Geneva to request that a change be made from principality to country at the first available opportunity.”

After contacting the First Minister’s office, Ms Wood also secured a commitment from Carwyn Jones to “continue to liaise with the ISO to confirm that the change of status for Wales from principality to country is included within the next edition of the newsletter”.

Mr Barnaby, who is an editor on the internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia in his spare time, campaigned to get the status changed after getting dragged into long and drawn-out debates about Wales’ status with fellow editors.

He said: “Describing Wales as a principality has no modern geographical or constitutional basis and is contrary to the views of the Welsh Government, academics, commentators, historians and the Welsh population.

“The Principality of Wales existed only between 1216 and 1542 and its area was significantly different to that of modern Wales.

“I was also concerned that describing Wales as a principality may lead people to believe that the Prince of Wales may have some constitutional role in Wales, or that Wales’ status could be considered to be less than that of the countries of Scotland or England.”

Ms Wood said: “I hope this once and for all puts an end to the debate on whether Wales is a country or a principality.

“Wales is a country and has been for a long time. Now that we have proper lawmaking powers for our legislature, I think it is time we consigned any references of Wales being a principality to the rubbish bin.

To some people this matter may seem inconsequential but there is a lot of misunderstanding and ignorance about Wales, especially outside of Europe.

Inaccuracies like the one printed in the last edition of the ISO Newsletter, no matter how esoteric the publication is, can engender a false impression of Wales and fuel ignorance.

“Furthermore, given that this document was circulated to a key council of the United Nations, it had the potential to damage our reputation on an international stage among a select band of very influential people.

“I hope this message will be received loud and clear"

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr says this message has not been received loud and clear by the Welsh Rugby Union and we call on people to sign the petition below:

Source of quotations : Wales Online 2011

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