First Minister takes step to protect Wales post-Brexit
First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones yesterday formalised the Welsh Government challenge against the UK government’s EU (Withdrawal) Bill to protect devolved powers.
In an unprecedented move, the Welsh and Scottish Governments have worked jointly on their opposition to the bill and yesterday tabled a memorandum setting out their detailed analysis of the bill as it is currently drafted.
The EU (Withdrawal) Bill would see all EU laws which affect the UK brought on to the British statute book on the day of Brexit. It would impose new constraints on the powers of the devolved nations and enable UK ministers to amend devolved legislation, bypassing the governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
As the Welsh Government publishes its official opposition to the bill, the First Minister said:
“The EU (Withdrawal) Bill, as it currently stands, would allow the UK government to hijack powers which should come to Wales post-Brexit.
“Our position is clear and unequivocal; we do not accept the bill in its current form and recommend that the Assembly does not grant its consent.
“This is not about stopping Brexit. This is about protecting the interests of the people of Wales. We simply cannot back any law which would see Wales lose influence over areas that are rightfully ours to control.
“We are ready and willing to work constructively with the UK government to reach agreement on the bill. But, if they continue to plough on regardless, they will spark a constitutional crisis, which they do not need and we do not want.
“I urge David Davis and his colleagues in Whitehall to seriously consider our proposals and amend the bill so we can get on with the most important job in hand; securing the best possible Brexit deal for the whole of the UK.”
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