Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

UK Government didn’t tell us about plan to scrap Welsh law says Mark Drakeford

28 Jun 2022 4 minute read
Mark Drakeford. Photo Ben Birchall PA Images

The UK Government didn’t tell the Welsh Government that they planned to scrap a law made in Wales, according to the First Minister.

Mark Drakeford said that they found out that the Welsh Parliament’s vote would be overturned by Westminster in a footnote in a UK Government document.

“We discovered it tucked away in an explanatory memorandum,” Mark Drakeford told the Today programme.

“It just speaks volumes of the disrespectful agenda this Government has towards devolution.

“It is absolutely disgraceful that the Westminster government should have announced its intention to do this without a single word to the Welsh government, without a single word to the Welsh Parliament

“It just speaks volumes of the disrespectful agenda that this Westminster government has towards devolution and of course we will resist it.”

It was revealed last week that the UK Government law that will attempt to reduce the effectiveness of strikes would apply in Wales as well.

The UK Government has now said that the Trade Union Wales Act in 2017, which prohibited using temporary workers to cover industrial action, will be done away with.

The UK government said it “intends to legislate to remove the Trade Union (Wales) Act 2017 through primary legislation when Parliamentary time allows, to ensure trade union legislation applies equally across Great Britain”.

‘Attack’

But Mark Drakeford said that the UK Government’s plan was “nonsense” and an attempt to distract from their own incompetence.

“How are they going to get a train to run, how will those other roles get a signal box to operate?” he asked.

“It’s just sand in people’s eyes. Where was that Government last week when it ought to have been round the table helping to resolve this difficulty, why wasn’t it there speaking up on behalf of the travelling population trying to find a solution.

“We’ve got a government which is absent on the job, it doesn’t engage where it ought to engage. It indulges in make believe sorts of policies in order to try throw sand in people’s eyes to hide their own abject failures. That’s all this is about.”

Plaid Cymru called the move a “blatant attack on devolution,” adding “only Welsh independence can protect worker rights and Wales’ democracy.”

The General Secretary of TUC Cymru, Shavanah Taj, said the act was introduced to protect workers’ basic rights.

“The UK Government seems determined to attack both workers’ rights and devolution in one go, by introducing an entirely unnecessary piece of legislation,” she said. “It beggars’ belief that in a cost of living crisis, this is their priority.

“We will fiercely oppose any attempts to attack workers’ rights and we look forward to a future where workers throughout the UK have the strongest employment rights in Europe, instead of the weakest.”

UK Government ministers said that under current trade union laws, employment businesses are restricted from supplying temporary agency workers to cover for strikers, saying it can have a “disproportionate impact”.

The legislation will repeal the “burdensome” legal restrictions, giving businesses impacted by strike action the freedom to tap into the services of employment businesses who can provide skilled, temporary agency staff at short notice, said the UK Government.

It would also help mitigate against the impact of future strikes, such as those seen on the railways this week, by allowing trained, temporary workers to carry out crucial roles to keep trains moving, ministers said.

They gave examples of skilled temporary workers being able to fill vacant positions such as train dispatchers.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Once again trade unions are holding the country to ransom by grinding crucial public services and businesses to a halt. The situation we are in is not sustainable.

“Repealing these 1970s-era restrictions will give businesses freedom to access fully skilled staff at speed, all while allowing people to get on with their lives uninterrupted to help keep the economy ticking.”


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

18 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
4 months ago

Well…How are Welsh Labour going to respond?

The union is not serving the people of Cymru and is instead overriding the Senedd, stealing powers “back” from it, flexing its “muscular unionism” and spitting in all our faces… A man who has broken laws that applied the whole of the “UK”, that he himself created has just decided he will “scrap” laws made in Cymru by a democratically elected body representative of the political wishes of lawful electorate….

The question is, how will Welsh Labour respond and how do we, the lawful electorate of Cymru respond to this astonishing affront?

Last edited 4 months ago by Cathy Jones
The Original Mark
The Original Mark
4 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

Welsh Labour will respond however Labour UK tell them, the bigger question is how will independence supporters react, I foresee a few furious tweets and some snarky comments on here. And then we’ll all move on to the next story.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
4 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

The man you refer to who has broken laws, recently said in relation to Ukraine something to the effect of ‘We (must or will) stand up for democracies around the world’. The trouble is, a trick the Tories frequently use is not finishing sentences. This one continues ‘except Scotland and Wales which we will ignore, bypass, undermine and destroy as soon as we can’.

Crwtyddol
Crwtyddol
4 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

Join Yes Cymru

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
4 months ago
Reply to  Crwtyddol

And Plaid Cymru

Llefain
Llefain
4 months ago

What really is “Welsh” Labour’s red line? Do they have one? At what point will it have gone too far and been too brazen for them to defend the “UK” system? Will they finally see the reality once the Senedd is abolished and they are reduced to being angry randos on Twitter or in comments sections? (*waves at you all*) Would this be ok to them if only it was “UK” Labour overrunning us? They are a paper tiger. And the “UK” Cons know it, making their empty words utterly useless. Right now, we need a dragon with some fire,… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
4 months ago
Reply to  Llefain

Complete the online public consultation on Wales’ constitutional future (available on the Welsh Government website) and urge all your friends and family to do the same.

Last edited 4 months ago by SundanceKid
Quornby
Quornby
4 months ago

Not just THIS Westminster government Mark but the whole bl**dy pack of them. Remember that Ms Nandy wants to use what she calls “Spanish Methods” to drag Scots from polling stations by the hair. Only independence will redeem this nation…. not Keir Thingy or the present incumbant liar.

Gareth
Gareth
4 months ago

The Tory’s idea of democracy, differs from the rest of us. It is ok for a Tory UKIP pact for Brexit or a Tory/DUP pact to keep them in power, but as we heard last week from Sajid Javed, a Lib/Lab pact should be resisted and not allowed, and it is “Dishonest” according to Suella Braverman. Nothing is beneath this bunch of shysters led by a liar and a criminal, expect the worst, and they will not disappoint.

Erisian
Erisian
4 months ago

Insufferable.
Casus Belli ?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

Can you imagine the EU parliament scrapping the Brexit referendum vote?. If the English Tory Government can do this undemocratic act by repealing this 2017 Welsh Law passed that prohibited agency workers being used to break picket lines without knowledge or consent not only of the Welsh Government but Senedd Cymru. What else are they capable of? The forceful fooding of another Welsh valley to supply water to the SE of England perhaps? We forget. Although Whitehall under the Cameron/Clegg Con/Dem coalition of 2010 devolve water powers to Wales , they were only shared water powers. And Boris Johnson once… Read more »

Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
4 months ago

Gallaf ond gobeithio y bydd y newyddion yma’n rhoi digon o siglad i’r Cymry fel eu bod nhw’n sylweddoli pa mor fregus yw ein Senedd etholedig ni. Mae angen ymateb cryf a chadarn i San Steffan gan ein Llywodraeth yng Nghaerdydd – yn yr Uchel Lys, mwy na thebyg. ~ I can but hope that this news will be enough of a shock to Welsh people, that they realise quite how fragile our elected Parliament – Senedd – is. A robust and solid response to the Westminster Tory government by our government in Cardiff is required – probably in the… Read more »

Doctor Trousers
4 months ago

This is the tipping point right here. Scotland turned away from Labour and to the SNP when Labour failed to stand up for Scotland’s interests.
Welsh Labour so far have done admirably far better for Wales than Scottish Labour ever did for Scotland, but I don’t believe that the people of Wales will settle for passively pinning all our hopes on the outcome of the next general election.
If that’s all Mark Drakeford can offer on this, then this is the point where they will start losing voters to Plaid Cymru.

defaid
defaid
4 months ago

I wholly agree with you.

For some years, though favouring Plaid at the ballot box, I’d believed MD to be playing some long game.

I’ve come to realise I was wrong — he’s an unwavering unionist, with palliatives. It’s time for a fundamental change.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
4 months ago
Reply to  defaid

Unless he is open to independence but doesn’t think we are ready for it, hence calling for more devolution and wide-ranging powers. He’s not as unionist as his Scottish counterparts and believes the UK should be a “voluntary” and “equal” union of nations. Surely, he knows that isn’t even remotely possible? It is difficult to determine what his long-term objective is, but his belief that UK Labour can “save the day” in the immediate term is astoundingly naïve. He has played the long game well, but independence will confront Welsh Labour sooner or later, probably after Drakeford’s departure. Do they… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
4 months ago

At some point, Labour will have to confront this. Their “success” belies the fact that their constituencies are amongst those with the lowest turn-outs in Wales, and they can’t hold off the tide of independence forever.

Last edited 4 months ago by SundanceKid
Mark Hoffer
Mark Hoffer
4 months ago

Time for Welsh Labour to get off the fence, and get behind Indy.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Hoffer

It would be nice if they just got off the fence, then everyone would see what a growing number of us can already see, they do not support independence.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.