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UK Government planning ‘slow demise of devolution in hope no one will notice’ claims report

09 Mar 2021 2 minute read
Westminster. Picture by Maurice (CC BY 2.0) The Senedd building. Holyrrod by Kim Traynor (CC BY-SA 3.0). Stormont by Robert Paul Young (CC BY 2.0).

The UK Government is planning the “slow demise of devolution in the hope that no-one will notice” according to a report by the Scottish Government.

Constitution Secretary Michael Russell said that the UK Government has begun re-centralising powers in Westminster under the guise of delivering Brexit.

The report – After Brexit: The UK Internal Market Act & Devolution – says the UK Government and Parliament now regularly legislate in devolved policy areas.

It also notes that the UK Internal Market Act allows the UK Government to impose standards in a large number of areas that are devolved.

“This is not a big bang abolition – it is instead the slow demise of devolution in the hope that no-one will notice,” the report says.

“The UK Government has signalled its desire is to ‘undo’ devolution and it is now repeatedly using its majority at Westminster to impose laws in devolved policy areas.”

The report comes after the Welsh Government have also voiced concerns about what they see as a rolling back of devolution by the UK Government.

In September of last year, First Minister Mark Drakeford slammed the Internal Market ill as an “enormous power grab” which the Welsh Government will oppose “every step of the way”.

“This Bill will do more to hasten the break-up of the Union than anything else since devolution began. We’ll oppose it every step of the way,” he added.

The Senedd subsequently withheld consent on the Bill in December.

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