Westminster votes against giving Welsh and Scottish governments say on devolved trade matters

Picture by Luke Stackpoole.

Westminster has voted against an amendment which would have given the Welsh and Scottish governments a say on trade negotiations that impact them after the Brexit transition.

The amendment to the trade bill going through Westminster would have ensured that the consent of Wales and Scotland was needed if trade deals included changes to regulations which are within the remit of the devolved governments.

The amendment, supported by MPs including Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake, was voted down by 345 votes to 244.

Speaking before the vote, Ben Lake MP had said that Wales faced being “left with less of a say over our future than a regional parliament in Belgium”.

“If the Westminster Government is putting the interests of all four UK nations first in any trade deal, they have nothing to worry about,” he said. “All of the parliaments will simply vote through any agreement.

“The problem is, I simply don’t trust the warm words of the Westminster government that they won’t drop our food standards or put the NHS up for sale in their desperation for a trade deal with the US.”

 

‘Scrutiny’

Backbench MPs were also defeated in an attempt to ensure the Westminster Parliament had a vote on any post-Brexit trade deal.

An amendment to the Trade Bill currently going through the Commons would have given MPs and peers a say on any new agreement signed by the government.

Jonathan Djanogly, the Conservative MP who led the rebellion, had argued that the US congress approves similar deals.

He accused the government of taking a position of “less scrutiny than we did as a member of the EU”, because EU trade deals are subject to a vote in the European Parliament.

Although his amendment was supported by Labour and the Liberal Democrats it failed to attract enough Tory rebels to pass.

The clause was rejected by 263 votes to 326, a majority of 63.

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