Mark Drakeford and Adam Price sign the Plaid-Labour cooperation agreement
Mark Drakeford and Adam Price have officially signed the cooperation agreement between the Labour Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
The agreement includes action on free school meals for all, strengthening the Welsh media, the development of north-south railway links, the teaching of Welsh history, second homes, a larger Senedd and more.
The joint policy programme covering 46 areas was unveiled last Monday and given the seal of approval by Plaid Cymru’s conference on Saturday.
“This morning I signed the Co-operation Agreement with Adam Price,” the First Minister said.
“I look forward to working together on our shared policies to create a stronger, fairer and greener Wales over the next three years.”
Adam Price summed up the event with the Welsh football motto: “Gorau chwarae cyd chwarae.”
“Today marks the beginning of a new way of doing politics,” he said. “I’m proud to sign this agreement with the First Minister and look forward to working together to make a difference to the lives of the people of Wales.”
Adam Price had earlier thanked Plaid Cymru members for backing what he called a “huge step forward”.
“I cannot wait for the work to begin for the people of Wales,” he said.
The two partners – the Welsh Government and the Plaid Cymru Senedd Group – will work together to jointly develop and oversee the delivery of the policies covered by the agreement, they said.
The deal is not a coalition and Plaid Cymru Members will not be joining the Welsh Government as Ministers or Deputy Ministers.
Plaid Cymru will appoint a designated lead member for the agreement and committees made up of Welsh Ministers and Plaid Cymru designated members will be established to reach agreement on issues covered by the Co-operation Agreement.
Funding has been put in place as part of the Co-operation Agreement and will be reflected in the draft Budget, when it is published in December.
All issues outside the Co-operation Agreement will be handled in the normal course of political engagement, Labour and Plaid Cymru said.
A Welsh Conservative spokesperson said: “The publication of this agreement shows the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru will be working hand in glove in an arrangement that is a near carbon-copy of that in Scotland between the Nationalists and Greens.
“As at Holyrood, this has huge ramifications for the integrity of business in the Welsh Parliament, given Plaid Cymru have opted to sacrifice their status scrutinising the Welsh Government.
“The agreement’s mechanisms show the nationalists will enjoy the support of the Welsh Government’s civil service in 46 policy areas, including oversight of the budget and delivery of communications.
“We believe the Llywydd and the Senedd authorities must take immediate action to re-examine Plaid’s opposition status, reduce their allocated time in questions and debates as was the case with the Greens in Holyrood, and remove Plaid’s responsibility for chairing the finance committee given its vital scrutiny role on the government’s budget.
“We cannot afford the integrity and objectivity of Senedd business to be fatally undermined given it’s crucial role scrutinising and holding the Welsh Government to account.”