Welsh Government asks AMs to back European Union law showdown

David Lidington

Welsh Government asks AMs to back European Union law showdown

She said: "We are still trying, through discussions, to reach agreement but if I look at the situation right now I think it's very likely that that's the position both the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government will be in, of saying to our respective parliaments we do not recommend approval of the Withdrawal Bill and we will introduce then our own legislation in devolved matters to give continuity to European Union law in the Brexit scenario".

Under the plans, powers in devolved areas like farming are set to return to Westminster rather than Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said the Bills were not an attempt to "block Brexit", but to protect the devolution settlements given that the sides were "running out of time".

Both have said they can not recommend the UK Government's EU Withdrawal Bill be granted consent in its current form as it would see EU responsibilities in devolved areas, such as fishing and farming, initially transferred to Westminster.

Speaking at the Airbus factory in North Wales, he said: "We as a country are at a crossroads in our history".

That is because some devolved powers now held by Brussels would transfer not to Edinburgh but London - a measure the UK Government insists is necessary to establish common frameworks across all of Britain.

"But it is crucial we protect the UK's valuable common market, and to do so we will need common approaches across the United Kingdom in some areas".

He added that the proposals showed the Government's "seriousness about delivering more powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland" while preventing extra red tape for businesses trading across the four nations of the UK.

Discussing the opportunities for the different regions of Britain by leaving Brussels behind he said some want to use it "as an excuse to loosen these ties that bind us together - even sever them completely".

"Such an outcome would leave every one of our four nations both weaker and poorer".

The British government needs a deal before the summer in order to pass the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill in Britain's national parliament.

But Mr Russell said the British government's approach "makes a mockery of claims to be a partnership of equals", complaining about a lack of engagement from Whitehall. "This is simply not acceptable to the Welsh government, or the people of Wales who have voted for devolution in two referendums", the Welsh government said.

But after Brexit those powers will come back to Britain, and Scotland and Wales want to make sure they stay within the remit of regional parliaments and do not just revert to the British government.

"However, as now drafted, the Bill allows the UK Government to take control of devolved policy areas, such as farming and fishing, once the UK has left the EU". It is vital these decisions are made in a way that respects devolution. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

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