Wales and Scotland team up to condemn Westminster ‘power grab’
The First Minister has teamed up with Scottish FM, Nicola Sturgeon, to condemn a Westminster bill that will ‘grab’ powers back from Wales and Scotland.
Powers returned from the EU will be ring-fenced in UK law, and the bill imposes new restrictions on the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales.
Carwyn Jones condemned the EU Withdrawal Bill as a “crude power-grab from London” and said that it “strikes at the heart of devolution”.
“Only this week, the Prime Minister promised to listen to others about the challenges posed by EU withdrawal,” he said.
“Yet, today’s announcement flies firmly in the face of her promises.”
He said that the UK Government had “shown astounding ignorance in the publication of this Bill, which is an insult to the devolved nations”.
Both the First Ministers of Wales and Scotland published a joint statement condemning the EU Withdrawal Bill.
“It is a naked power-grab, an attack on the founding principles of devolution and could destabilise our economies,” said Carwyn Jones and Nicola Sturgeon in the joint statement.
“Our two governments – and the UK government – agree we need a functioning set of laws across the UK after withdrawal from the EU.
“But the way to achieve these aims is through negotiation and agreement, not imposition. It must be done in a way which respects the hard-won devolution settlements.
“The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill does not return powers from the EU to the devolved administrations, as promised.
“It returns them solely to the UK Government and Parliament, and imposes new restrictions on the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales.
“On that basis, the Scottish and Welsh Governments cannot recommend that legislative consent is given to the Bill as it currently stands.”
The UK Government’s Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said that the Bill would “provide certainty and stability for businesses” while leaving the EU.
“For the entire process, the UK Government will consult and listen to businesses, local authorities, the third sector, the Welsh Government and the National Assembly to ensure the UK’s exit from the EU works for Wales and the UK as a whole,” he said.