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MP asks whether it would be possible to ‘suspend devolution’ to avoid Covid ‘confusion’

06 Jan 2022 3 minute read
Rob Roberts. Picture by David Woolfall (CC BY 3.0).

An MP elected as a Conservative has asked whether it would be possible for “devolution to be suspended temporarily” as a result of the Covid pandemic.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Rob Roberts, who now sits as an independent after a 12-week suspension for sexually harassing a member of his team, said that his constituents were finding the differences in Covid regulations between Wales and England “confusing”.

He said that under the Wales Acts, devolution could be suspended at a time of national crisis and he asked the Attorney General whether she had advised it.

“Over the past 18 months, my inbox has been full of people who are frustrated and confused by the differences between the England and Wales covid rules, my constituency being close to the border,” he said.

“As part of the devolution settlement, under the Wales Acts, there is provision for devolution to be suspended temporarily during times of national crisis in order for decisions to be made by Westminster for the whole of the United Kingdom.

“Will the Attorney General confirm whether she gave any advice to the Government along those lines? If not, what would a national crisis that would trigger such a clause be?”

The Attorney General, Suella Braverman, answered that the UK Government “must respect the arrangements set out in each of the devolution settlements”, but agreed that “sometimes the rules of other Administrations can be confusing”.

“This week, for example, under Welsh Government guidance it is okay to go to the pub, but not to the office,” she said.

“The vaccine roll-out and the immense financial support provided by the UK Government are two outstanding examples of what can be achieved when we work together as one United Kingdom, co-operating for the good of the Union.”

‘Mystifying’

Conservatives at Westminster, including the Prime Minister, have aimed sustained fire at Wales’ Covid restrictions this week.

The stricter rules introduced in Wales from Boxing Day mean that groups of no more than six people could meet in pubs, cinemas and restaurants.

Meanwhile, outdoor events are limited to 50, while 30 people allowed indoors, leading to many sporting events being cancelled or played behind closed doors.

Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the restrictions in Wales as “baroque eccentricities”.

The Welsh Secretary Simon Hart also said the Welsh Government was guilty of a “huge number of mystifying and contradictory positions”.

Mark Drakeford announced on the 30th of December last week that the rules would stay in place for another week, as the situation in Wales had “deteriorated in the last week as the omicron wave has arrived”.

“We have seen a marked rise in cases of coronavirus – the majority are likely to be caused by the omicron variant,” he said.

“This is similar to the position in the rest of the UK.”

A further update is expected today or tomorrow.


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Ed Jones
Ed Jones
10 months ago

Surely the inbox of this sex pest has been full of emails begging him to resign?

Marc
Marc
10 months ago

The only thing that needs suspending is Knob Roberts

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
10 months ago

That fat old pervert hasn’t got anything to say worth listening to other than ‘I resign’.

Aled Rees
Aled Rees
10 months ago

And we should listen to this perverted sychophantic idiot?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
10 months ago

Andrew RT Davies has seen this irrelevance and gone one better with the irrelevance of God Save the Queen. Do these pathetic excuses for human beings have anything to say about child poverty or the myriad failings they are elected to rectify?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
10 months ago

So this Tory deviant Rob Roberts wanted to suspend devolution but not the Brexit transition & negotiations which occured during the height of the first wave of Covid-19 that killed tens of thousands. The man’s vulgarity knows no limits.

Last edited 10 months ago by Y Cymro
Grayham Jones
10 months ago

Kick that idiot out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Richard
Richard
10 months ago

I thought his leader had said it was almost all done now and back to normal ?

Where has he been ?

Opps I’ve just remembered 😩

Chrissy lee
Chrissy lee
10 months ago

What? Please go away!

Last edited 10 months ago by Chrissy lee
Rob
Rob
10 months ago

Who watches the watchers. Should Westminster be suspended because Downing Street has been holding Christmas parties during lockdown?
Yes it makes sense to have a common four nation approach to Covid, but who determines which one is correct? Granted I am not happy with the current restrictions imposed by Drakeford, and feel that they are unnecessary, but in general he has handled the pandemic far better than Boris.
I will repeat was has been said over and over again, Labour is the problem NOT devolution.

Notta Bott
Notta Bott
10 months ago

Desperate because he knows he is losing his seat

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
10 months ago
Reply to  Notta Bott

I tempted to believe that these Tory MPs are coached beforehand to raise these questions in the HoC which has now been weaponised as a locus of anti-devolution verbal attacks. I’m also inclined to believe that Roberts’ in-tray is NOT overflowing with letters from “confused” Flintshire people unaware of the current restrictions in Cymru as a result of Omicron.

But this’ll get him back in with the important people in his party, at least until election time…

GarethW
GarethW
10 months ago

Suspending this sex pest by the nuts sounds more appropriate

Erisian
Erisian
10 months ago

More proof there is no such thing as a Welsh Tory.
Just Tories in Wales.

Mark
Mark
10 months ago

that huge financial support would have been enabled by Welsh taxpayers’ money and it would appear it’s only the tory types that have an issue in understanding Welsh government rules, are they all twp?

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
10 months ago

Looks like he’s been given a way back to the CONservative party in statements like this…. Not found many people in Mold that wants the English model of ‘pile them high’ maybe they are ‘confused’ as why the English government would rather let people die in the name of ‘business’ and not protecting health. Anyway why waste time on this idiot

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
10 months ago

What contusion? Don’t people which country they are in?

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
10 months ago

Another Tory showing us why he and his party can not be trusted to run our country.

Dafydd
Dafydd
10 months ago

It is the media that is largely responible for any confusion – which underlines just how little they are aware of or care for us here in Wales.

and despite the dangers posed by pandemic conditions, the Tory’s at Wasteminster and elsewhere are happy to muddy the waters.

We really need to do in our power to create and sustain independent Welsh media outlets catering to the people of Wales.

DaWag
DaWag
10 months ago

Ahh! the perverted Blobby Gammon Roberts
Another idea-turd plopping from his mind.

Quornby
Quornby
10 months ago

We need no advice from a sex pest.

Robert Hodges
Robert Hodges
10 months ago

Is this what happens when your desire to be English causes you physical pain?

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
10 months ago

Here’s the legal problem. Section A1 of the Wales Act 2017:- “(1) The Assembly established by Part 1 and the Welsh Government established by Part 2 are a permanent part of the United Kingdom’s constitutional arrangements. (2) The purpose of this section is, with due regard to the other provisions of this Act, to signify the commitment of the Parliament and Government of the United Kingdom to the Assembly and the Welsh Government. (3) In view of that commitment it is declared that the Assembly and the Welsh Government are not to be abolished except on the basis of a… Read more »

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