Welsh banknote proposal defeated

A proposal suggesting Wales be allowed to issue banknotes celebrating famous national people and landmarks has been defeated by Conservative members of parliament in the U.K.

Jonathan Edwards, MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, argued Wales – a country on the southwest coast of Great Britain – should be allowed to issue notes through Lloyds Banking Group, which holds the rights for the Bank of Wales.

Edwards, who’s a member of the social-democratic Plaid Cymru party, said the move would end the “historic anomaly” preventing Wales from having the same opportunities for currency design as Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Edwards suggested allowing Welsh citizens choose who and what to commemorate on the first Welsh banknotes issued since 1844. Singer Dame Shirley Bassey; rock band Manic Street Preachers; and NHS Chief Architect Aneurin Bevan were among those suggested as candidates.

DEFEATED

Despite the campaign, Treasury Minister Harriett Baldwin said the U.K. government would not support the amendment to the Bank of England and financial services bill.

“To extend the privilege and give that commercial advantage in Wales to just this one bank as outlined in his amendment would raise competition and commercial issues for others,” said Baldwin, who added the proposal deals with a “symbolic issue” and noted the Bank of England will celebrate all four home nations on future banknotes.

The U.K. House of Commons voted against Edwards’ proposal – which had support from Labour Party and Scottish National Party MPs – by 301 votes to 239 votes.

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