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Minister slams UK Gov attitude towards Wales as ‘breathtaking, reckless and arrogant’ over lack of EU cash replacement

21 May 2021 2 minutes Read
Simon Hart (left) by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0). Lee Waters (right) by Senedd Cymru (CC BY 2.0).

A Welsh Government minister has slammed the UK Government’s attitude to Wales as “breathtaking, reckless and arrogant”.

He made the comments after it was confirmed that the replacement for EU funding in Wales will bypass Welsh Government and will be distributed directly by Whitehall to councils and other local bodies.

Lee Waters, the Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Climate Change, branded the Conservatives’ claim to be the party of the Union “piffle” over the move.

“So here we have it, UK Government intends to push into devolved areas whilst simultaneously breaking its pledge that Wales will not be a penny worse off post-EU funding,” he said.

“Breathtaking, reckless and arrogant. Party of the Union? What piffle!”

The change means that the Welsh Government will lose the £680m a year it got from the EU, which made up 4% of its budget.

‘Fail’

The UK Government have said however that the announcement does not directly compromise the devolution settlement.

“The UK Government is stepping up a gear in Wales,” Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said.

“We are accelerating our support for local communities to help them recover from the pandemic, we are bringing the UK Government closer to Wales and we will lead Wales’ recovery into a green industrial revolution of jobs and growth.”

Welsh Government spokesman however said: “These plans fail to guarantee a fair share for Wales and are based on decision-making powers grabbed back by Whitehall.

“The Welsh Government approach is based on evidence, and is designed in partnership with Welsh communities. The UK Government plans were made in Whitehall and designed to fuel needless confrontation.

“The UK Government needs to end the ‘you’ll get what you’re given’ approach to Wales. We will fight for Wales’ fair share with decisions about Wales, to be taken in Wales.”

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Quornby
Quornby
6 months ago

What was he expecting? Fair treatment from London? Don’t make me laugh.

Barry J Collins
Barry J Collins
6 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Not London
Westminster
We in London hate these Tory bstards too. They are doing the same here: trying to bypass London Assembly so they can give the Lion’s share of funding to Tory Constituencies.

Quornby
Quornby
6 months ago

Fair comment.

Robert Williams
Robert Williams
6 months ago

Not quite the way Mark Drakeford would speak; but Is Lee living up to his reputation as a ‘loose cannon’, or is he licensed to be MD’s less polite alter ego?

Rob
Rob
6 months ago

The funding they are offering also comes with so many ridiculous strings attached very few communities will be able to put together a meaningful application. A cynical attempt to reassert their control over Wales. I agree totally with Lee Waters on this.

Mandi A
Mandi A
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Objective One all over again

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
6 months ago

Well we know what to do and there is no other way, Westminster is determined to take back full control and trash devolution. Our only escape is independence, the quicker Drakeford realises this the better.

Marilyn LEVEY
Marilyn LEVEY
6 months ago

Punishment for not turning Tory?

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
6 months ago
Reply to  Marilyn LEVEY

They would have done this anyway, but with the approval of a Tory government in the Senedd. The WG are powerless to prevent this, but they are at least registering their objection, and hopefully the Welsh people will sit up and take notice. This constitutional face-off is going to last this entire Senedd Session.

Mandi A
Mandi A
6 months ago

So we want to hear Mick Antoniw saying he has launched a legal challenge as they said they would back in 2020 over the clauses in the Internal Market (then) Bill which stated plainly what Westminster’s intentions were towards Wales. If we have to crowdfund it, bring it on.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 months ago

Longshanks reborn…

Elin
6 months ago

They’ll probably install big posters, like the EU did, to announce that Westminster has funded a paltry number of schemes against the wishes of the Welsh people.

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