Newly published report reviews complex relationship between Wales, the UK & Europe

10 Oct 2013

The British Academy, in partnership with the Learned Society of Wales, today publishes a report that reviews the complex relations between Wales and the United Kingdom as a whole, and within Europe. 

Last month marked one year to go until the Scottish referendum on independence. The issue of Scottish independence has consequences that stretch beyond Scotland’s borders. Whatever the outcome of the Scottish referendum, Wales’ relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom is likely to change significantly over the coming years.

'Wales, the United Kingdom and Europe' analyses Welsh devolution from a multitude of perspectives, looking at the historical and social ties between Wales, the rest of the United Kingdom and Europe as well as analysis of the key differences in social attitudes around the UK on, for example, EU membership. 

The report also looks at the constitutional future of Wales and the UK, Welsh legal identity, a broader European perspective and the unpredictable future of public spending in a further divided nation. Using other European nation-states and regions as examples, this report considers potential governance changes and scenarios between Wales and the rest of the UK.

The report is a summary of two conferences, hosted by the Learned Society of Wales and the British Academy, in May 2013. The conferences brought together academics from across the humanities and social sciences to offer unique insights into questions on Welsh governance, public spending and diplomacy within the UK and within the EU framework.

The Vice-President of Public Policy at the British Academy, Professor Iain McLean FBA (Oxford), said: “This report provides timely and relevant analysis to the complicated debate surrounding the future of the United Kingdom in light of the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence. Working with the Learned Society of Wales, the British Academy sought expertise from across the humanities and social sciences to offer evidence-based scrutiny of the historical, social, political and economic dimensions of Wales' constitutional future.”

The President of the Learned Society of Wales, Sir John Cadogan CBE DSc FRSE FRSC MAE PLSW FRS, said: “The decision taken by the Learned Society of Wales and the British Academy to organise the two conferences earlier this year reflects the increasing constitutional significance of Wales’s complex relationship with the United Kingdom and its far-reaching implications for all UK citizens.  Both the Society and the Academy have amongst their Fellowships outstanding academics in the fields of constitutional law, politics and government, economics, international relations and history, with the result that today’s report offers first-rate scholarly insight and academic expertise on this important topic.”

 To download and view 'Wales, the United Kingdom and Europe' please visit our policy webpage.   


1. The conferences took place in Cardiff (24th May) and in London at the British Academy (31st May). 

For more information about the conference in London and to listen to podcasts, go to:

2.The Learned Society of Wales is Wales’s first national scholarly academy.  A registered charity, it was formally established and launched in May 2010.  The Society’s first President is Sir John Cadogan CBE DSc FRSE FRSC PLSW FRS.

The Society’s Mission is:
● to celebrate, recognise, preserve, protect and encourage excellence in all of the scholarly disciplines, and in the professions, industry and commerce, the arts and public service;

● to promote the advancement of learning and scholarship and the dissemination and application of the results of academic enquiry and research;

● to act as a source of independent and expert scholarly advice and comment on matters affecting the wellbeing of Wales and its people and to advance public discussion and interaction on matters of national and international importance.

Contact the press office

For further information contact the Press Office on [email protected]  / 020 7969 5273 / 07500 010 432.

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