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Drakeford and Sturgeon told Johnson plea to work together ‘not helped’ by power grab

03 Jun 2021 3 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford at the four nation summit. Picture by the Welsh Government.

Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon told Boris Johnson that a power grab of devolved powers wasn’t helpful if the Prime Minister wanted them to work together on the Covid-19 recovery, according to the Scottish First Minister.

Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the UK Government met together today in their first four-nation Covid summit following the elections last month.

Both Wales and Scotland have been critical of the Internal Market Act, passed in December, which took away powers that had previously been devolved.

They had also taken issue with the announcement that the UK Government’s replacement for EU funding would bypass the devolved governments and would be distributed directly by Whitehall to councils and other local bodies.

According to Nicola Sturgeon, both she and Mark Drakeford made their unhappiness clear once more.

“It was a frank discussion, both I and the First Minister of Wales made clear that if we’re to have good discussions about working together where we can, then that’s not helped by the power grab and the UK Government trying to muscle in on devolved spending,” she said.

She added that “nothing substantial” had been agreed at today’s summit and that the “proof of the pudding” would be “whether it has an impact, whether it changes any of the decisions of the UK Government”.

‘Proper engagement’

Following the meeting, Boris Johnson said he wanted “regular engagement” with Wales and Scotland from now on. The Prime Minister however conceded that there were “divergent views” of the UK’s constitutional future and that the governments “will not always agree” but that he hoped they could work together to ensure a Covid recovery.

The PM “emphasised the importance of establishing a structured and regular forum for ongoing engagement between the UK Government and the devolved administrations”.

It comes after First Minister Mark Drakeford has been critical of a lack of a “regular and reliable rhythm” of meetings between him and the Prime Minister. He was also broadcast calling Boris Johnson “awful” after a meeting in December of last year.

Today however he struck a more positive tone saying that the meeting had been “the start of a proper engagement process between the four nations of the UK” but that “the real test will now be on how future decisions are made on matters that affect us all”.

 

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Gafyn
Gafyn
10 days ago

Labour need to Wake up and steer us out of the rotten gawping jaws of unionism.

John H McSherry
John H McSherry
9 days ago
Reply to  Gafyn

Labour are unionists in Scotland. That’s why they are finished here. Independence is the way forward.

Quornby
Quornby
10 days ago

Right on Gafyn.

doran williams
doran williams
10 days ago

BJ is not to be trusted. He is trying to pull the wool over your eyes MD and NS.
He will never concefe to any requests or demands from Wales or Scotland

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
10 days ago

The devolved governments must be treated equally and with respect.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
10 days ago
Reply to  Stephen Owen

I think most of us would agree, but how likely is that to happen? Johnson knows he has the upper hand, and will constantly try to undermine the devolved governments. These meetings are mere window dressing.

Mandi A
Mandi A
10 days ago

Like the boyfriend who wants to spend more time with you so that he can tell you you are fat, stupid, can’t drive, can’t cook more often. We do not need people like Boris in our lives. Controlling and coercive relationships should be history. Wales and Scotland are ready to have adult relationships

John Davies
John Davies
9 days ago
Reply to  Mandi A

Yes Mandi. As independent sovereign countries.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
9 days ago

The two First Ministers absolutely must act in unison to hold the line against Johnson, otherwise he will march into this and future meetings with the intention of telling them how it’s going to be, and not just as regards measures against Covid-19.

Nige
Nige
9 days ago

Unite against Johnski!! Kick out tory scum. Luv x

paul
paul
9 days ago

What are you thinking, Mark? Its like letting a fox into the chicken coop, and pleading with him to stop killing!! Johnson is a nasty piece of work.

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