Rees-Mogg slams ‘seperatist’ Welsh Government for ‘wasting taxpayer money’ on opposing devolution ‘power grab’
Jacob Rees-Mogg has attacked the Welsh Government for its legal challenge to post-Brexit legislation that will overrule devolution.
Speaking in the House of Commons, the new Brexit Opportunities Minister accused the “the hard-left Administration in Wales, backed up by separatists” of “wasting taxpayers’ money on taking fruitless legal action”.
The Welsh Government has accused the UK Government of using the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 as a “power grab”.
Speaking in the Senedd earlier this month, the leader of the Senedd Lesley Griffiths said that the aim was to “wrestle funding and decision-making powers away from both the Welsh Government and the Senedd”.
However, a court refused its legal challenge this month on the grounds it was “premature” because there were not yet specific examples or circumstances to test that claim.
Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb asked Jacob Rees-Mogg whether such a legal challenge was a waste of the Welsh Government’s time and resources.
“Two weeks ago, the courts again threw out the Welsh Labour Government’s legal challenge to the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020,” he said.
“Does my right honorable friend agree that instead of spending the past five years expending an enormous amount of time, energy and taxpayers’ money on fighting a democratic referendum result, the devolved Administrations would have served their populations far better by working collaboratively with the UK Government on the great national mission of levelling up our one United Kingdom?”
Jacob Rees-Mogg answered: “I entirely agree with my right honourable friend.
“It is noticeable that the hard-left Administration in Wales, backed up by separatists, is not acting in the interests of the people of Wales. It would be much better to accept the democratic result of the Brexit referendum.
“The people of the United Kingdom voted to leave; we have now left and the opportunities will flow. To waste taxpayers’ money on taking fruitless legal action is, to my mind, the sort of thing that only the hard-left socialist would do.”
A study published last week showed that a majority of Leave voters in Wales did not believe that Brexit should be used to remove powers from the Senedd.
Writing in a British Politics after Brexit report for the UK in a Changing Europe initiative, academics from Cardiff University used Welsh Election Study (WES) data to show that 52% of Leave voters rejected the suggestion that “the UK Government is right to remove powers from the Senedd if it is necessary to maximise Brexit benefits”.
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