Plaid Cymru calls for cross-party support to repel Westminster power grab
Plaid Cymru’s new leader has issued a direct appeal to supporters of devolution in all parties to stand up to those who want to “drag us back to direct Westminster rule”.
Rhun ap Iorwerth, who is in Westminster today, highlighted the recent vote in the Senedd in which Ms’s voted 38 to 15 to reject the UK Government’s Illegal Migration Bill, due to it impacting on devolved responsibilities.
Since 2020, the Senedd has refused to give its consent to 10 Westminster bills that infringe on devolved competences.
However, Mr ap Iorwerth pointed out that “not once” has the UK Government repealed legislation following the Senedd’s rejection of Legislative Consent Motions.
Mr ap Iorwerth also criticised the recent report published by Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
A New Britain: Renewing our Democracy and Rebuilding our Economy outlines modifications to the devolution settlement but according to the leader of Plaid Cymru, it “sustains the principle, at the core of much of the UK constitution, of Parliamentary Supremacy”.
UK Labour’s plans “do nothing to change the fact that our Senedd remains subservient to Westminster,” he added.
“My positive vision of Wales sees us taking responsibility for our own future,” the MS for Ynys Môn said.
“It’s clear that opponents of devolution want to drag us back to direct Westminster rule. Since Brexit, the Tories have relentlessly chipped away at our hard-fought devolution settlement, eroding our autonomy piece by piece.
“Meanwhile, Labour offer Wales constitutional crumbs. As Plaid Cymru leader, I want to earn the trust of the people of Wales to bolster our democracy, so we can build a more confident, fairer, greener and more prosperous Wales.
“UK Government has repeatedly tried to legislate in devolved areas, most recently with its Illegal Migration Bill, which Senedd members voted overwhelmingly against due to its encroachment on our devolved Social Care functions.
“Yet, not once has the UK Government agreed to repeal legislation following a vote in the Senedd. It’s a blatant disregard for our democratic decisions.
“We can no longer tolerate this erosion of our devolution settlement. The Tories’ actions undermine the very essence of our Welsh democracy. And while Labour talks a big game on devolution, their plans do nothing to change the fact that our Senedd remains subservient to Westminster.
“Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s recent Labour report on the future of the UK sustains that outdated principle of Parliamentary Supremacy, allowing Westminster to overturn decisions made by our Welsh Parliament.
“First Minister Mark Drakeford may a vision of the UK as a partnership of equals between the four governments in the UK, but UK Labour and Keir Starmer are in the driving seat. Plaid Cymru is the only party that will not be silenced by London paymasters.
“To all Welsh Labour voters, I want to convey this message: I share your desire to oust this Tory Government. I know you also aspire to a better future for Wales. But without a strong Plaid Cymru group of MPs, Wales will be an afterthought for Keir Starmer.
“I urge you to place your trust in Plaid Cymru, to hold Labour accountable, to bolster our democracy – ensuring that key decisions on our economy, on tackling inequalities, our environment, and constitutional future are made in Wales. And to all those who support devolution regardless of who they’ve voted for in the past, let us stand up for those values of Welsh democracy.”
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