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Plaid Cymru MP takes aim at post-Brexit ‘power grab’ on Wales’ subsidies

14 Dec 2021 3 minute read
Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts in the House of Commons.

A Plaid Cymru MP has taken aim at a post-Brexit “power grab” on Wales’ subsidies.

Liz Saville Roberts, who represents Dwyfor Meirionnydd, has criticised the Conservative government’s Subsidy Control Bill, which will set new rules in the area.

During a debate in the House of Commons, she branded the Bill as an “assault on devolution”, which was “wilfully ignorant” of the needs of Wales’ economy.

Boris Johnson’s government has argued that there needs to “UK-wide” subsidy regime to prevent “harmful distortions” to competition.

The UK Government has faced accusations of taking away power over business grants from devolved governments.

Back in July, the Welsh Government said that the Bill undermines “the long-established powers of the Senedd and Welsh Ministers” in devolved areas, including “economic development, agriculture and fisheries.”

It added that meant that the powers being given to the UK Government-appointed Secretary of State for Wales had “little scrutiny from the UK Parliament and no scrutiny available to Welsh Ministers or the Senedd”.

Liz Saville Roberts told the House of Commons: “In sum, the Bill asks the devolved Governments to sign a blank cheque, with no explicit provision for further scrutiny or input.

“This is yet another power grab that undermines not only devolution but the levelling-up project the Government are allegedly so keen to promote.

“It simply is not good enough, and it speaks to an unconstructive disdain for the rights and responsibilities of the devolved nations from the Government.

“The Bill is an assault on devolution, wilfully ignorant of the needs of the national economies of the UK or the role of public bodies in advancing them, and has been prepared by an out-of-touch Government that is overly centralised.”

‘Unequal’ 

She also said: “First, the Bill wrongly assumes that the UK economy is a level playing field, deserving therefore of a level subsidy regime. The UK is one of the most regionally unequal countries in the west. That is supposedly being addressed by the Government’s levelling-up agenda.

“My party, Plaid Cymru, has long advocated greater public procurement to nurture local businesses in underserved and peripheral areas of the UK.

“This highly local and nuanced policy, which is recognised in the new co-operation agreement between my party and Welsh Labour, but too often ignored by the Treasury, is vital in delivering levelling up. The Bill’s restrictions on local procurement are therefore economically damaging and contrary to the needs of the levelling-up agenda. I urge the Government to reconsider.

“My second point—namely, the Government’s conduct when consulting the devolved Governments on the Bill—helps explain why Wales and Scotland have not given consent to the Bill. It is important to reiterate that in this place, because we will hear it again. It does matter if what is being produced here is creating discord with the devolved Governments.”


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Adopted Cardi
Adopted Cardi
11 months ago

somebody should tell johnson and co. that in Wales co-operation is the name of the game, rather than competition. But there again you are dealing with people who aren’t familiar with that concept. Eton doesn’t teach morality either!

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
11 months ago

No matter how much the Welsh and Scottish Governments protest Johnson and the UK Government will just go ahead with the act anyway – they have no respect for devolution just attaining complete control. It is only through independence that we will finally be shot of Westminster and its power grabbing once and for all.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
11 months ago

The English Tory Government says they want a “UK-wide” subsidy regime to prevent “harmful distortions” to competition. What a load of tripe! So HS2 doesn’t distort competition? With that assume Wales is to get its consequential like Scotland & NI are. Or have the Tories put HS2 as an England & Wales infrastructure build robbing us of hundreds of billions. Yes. Very fair and not harmful to our economy one bit, he says sarcastically. They falsely promised voters that Wales would not lose out but gain with Brexit. And they have the bloody nerve to quote distortions to competition when… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Y Cymro
Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
11 months ago

Thank god we have liz Roberts of plaid cymru in parliament standing up for the Welsh people I don’t know where the Welsh labour MPs are hiding not like the SNP MPs members are always fighting for the Scottish people just have a look at prime minister questions

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
11 months ago

Cyfarchion y Tymor i’m darllenwyr oll / Season’s Greetings to all my readers.

22. (of 22.)

Hark! The Nation’s readers sing

Hark! The Nation’s readers sing:
“Indy Cymru’s just the thing!”
Joy at home and mercy mild;
No and Yessers reconciled.
Joyful let our nation rise;
Join the triumph of the ‘Ayes’.
With th’angelic host proclaim:
“Cymru’s re-born to much acclaim.”
Hark! The Nation’s readers sing:
“Indy Cymru’s just the thing!”

[With acknowledgements]

Songs for the New Politics
201302021

Erisian
Erisian
11 months ago

Well, there you go, when you voted for Brexit – or voted to give BJ’s horrible administration an 80 seat majority, did you suppose for a single moment that ‘take back control’ meant anything other than Westminster taking control of everything it can get it’s sticky self serving hands on?
Oh, wait, you didn’t think YOU were going to be better off did you?
Enjoy your buyers regret at your leisure.

Last edited 11 months ago by Erisian
j humphrys
j humphrys
11 months ago

Not voted Brexit myself, but it’s worse than I thought it would be. Hell, much worse!
Remember some people saying things like “well, it will all settle down and be much the same as it is today”. I wonder what they are thinking now, as many don’t even want to speak?

Last edited 11 months ago by j humphrys
defaid
defaid
11 months ago

It seems that of all our MPs, Liz Saville Roberts is the only one who ever speaks up on our behalf. I do envy Dwyfor Meirionnydd.

Last edited 11 months ago by defaid

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