‘Clear Conservatives won’t respect devolution’ Welsh Government say after PM’s ‘mistake’ comments

Picture by Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres (CC BY 2.0).

A Welsh Government minister has said that it is clear that the Conservative won’t respect devolution after Boris Johnson called it a “mistake”.

Counsel general Jeremy Miles said that the Prime Minister’s comments were “shocking but sadly not surprising”.

He pointed to the Internal Market Bill – which will allow the UK Government to override Wales and Scotland on some devolved issues – as an “assault on devolution”.

“It has been clear for some time that this Conservative government is not remotely interested in respecting the devolution settlements across the UK,” Jeremy Miles said.

“If they want to demonstrate that they are prepared to relent, and respect the will of the people in the devolved nations, they should immediately overhaul the Internal Market bill, with its assault on devolution, and finally commit to working with, not working around, the Welsh Government when it comes to the Shared Prosperity Fund and future funding for Wales.

“The Prime Minister is also Minister for the Union — but the conduct of his government is actually the biggest threat to the future of the Union.”

 

‘Obsessed’

However, Welsh Conservative leader Paul Davies said thathsi party did not consider devolution a mistake despite the Prime Minister’s comments.

“Devolution hasn’t been a disaster,” he said. “Twenty-plus years of Welsh Labour-led Governments have been a disaster for devolution in Wales. The people of Wales deserve better.

“Instead of doing their job in ensuring our economy and health and education services are the best they can be, the Welsh Government has been obsessed with arguing about more powers.”

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