Recalling Welsh parliament to discuss Brexit ‘a waste of time’ say Conservatives
The Conservatives have complained that recalling the Welsh parliament to discuss Brexit is an “over-the-top political stunt” and a “waste of time”.
The Welsh Assembly will be recalled tomorrow following a request from First Minister Mark Drakeford. Assembly members are usually on summer recess until Monday, September 16.
Paul Davies AM, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said that there was no point to the Welsh Government’s recall of the Assembly.
“We’ve spent three years debating Brexit, rehashing the same arguments, the same opinions and getting no-where,” he said.
“Maybe the Welsh Labour Government should spend more time worrying about the mess they’ve created in Wales with the majority of NHS health boards in special measures or targeted intervention, with A&E waiting times never being achieved and letting people suffer by failing to treat people with urgent cancer diagnoses quick enough.
“Welsh Labour and Plaid want to waste time talking about events in Westminster, events which have overtaken Labour and Plaid’s original plans; the recall is a stunt gone wrong and a waste of time and taxpayers’ money.”
His comments came as the Welsh Conservatives announced an extra 600million for the Welsh Government in today’s spending review by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The Conservatives said that the money was aimed at countering the devolved Labour Government’s “evidenced neglect” of health and education.
“It’s up to the Welsh Labour Government how this money is spent, but I urge Ministers to make the most effective use of the extra funding to improve public services and end their failings in education and health,” Nick Ramsay AM said.
At the Westminster Parliament, Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards MP has accused the Secretary of State, Alun Cairns MP, of deception after he failed to confirm that people in Wales will not die as a result of a No Deal Brexit during today’s Wales Questions.
A doctor who contributed to the Government’s Yellowhammer report into the effect of a No Deal Brexit claimed on Tuesday that the government was stockpiling body bags in case of an increased mortality rate after a no-deal Brexit.
The Yellowhammer report also says that delays in the Channel crossings due to customs checks leave drug supplies “particularly vulnerable to severe extended delays”.
Drugs including insulin, flu vaccines and certain leukaemia treatments need to be transported in temperature-controlled containers, and therefore could become unusable in the event of delays.
“With reports that the British Government is stockpiling body bags as part of its No Deal Brexit preparations, what assessments has he undertaken of the amount of Welsh people who may die as a result of medical shortages following a No Deal Brexit?” Jonathan Edwards asked.
Responding to Jonathan Edwards’ question this morning, the Secretary of State did not answer, instead saying:
“The hon. Gentleman, by supporting the motion last night and the Bill this evening, is simply prolonging the uncertainty. The Welsh people and the British people want certainty about our exit from the European Union. We are determined to leave at the end of October. We would like to leave with a deal—that will give us the smoothest possible exit—but at least we can plan for the opportunities the future brings.”
Following this morning’s questioning session, Jonathan Edwards said:
“By not even attempting to address my question, the Secretary of State is effectively admitting that people may die as a result of the British Government’s pursuit of a No Deal Brexit.
“This is an absolutely astonishing level of deception. We have moved away from a situation whereby the Government lauded the so-called opportunities of leaving the EU to being unable to even defend its own policy against accusations that it may lead to deaths.
“Mr Johnson has pledged to leave the EU ‘do or die’. As far as Mr Cairns is concerned, it seems to be ‘I do as the Prime Minister says, and you may die.”