Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds appeared yesterday before Parliament’s Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s inquiry into Brexit and devolution. In her evidence Jane Dodds warned of the damage Brexit will do to Welsh agriculture and devolution and urged Wales to receive not a penny less after Brexit.
Appearing alongside Andrew RT Davies, Jane Dodds discussed the implications of Brexit for devolution, the current state of devolution settlement, the opportunities for further devolution of powers further down the line and the potential for developing inter-governmental frameworks and inter-parliamentary scrutiny to improve trust between Governments.
Jane Dodd’s evidence is part of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s inquiry into Brexit and devolution. The inquiry is taking evidence from party leaders, the Welsh Government, the National Assembly for Wales and academics. The inquiry is looking at the ways in which Brexit will change the distribution of powers between central and devolved governments and the extent to which the UK Government is developing processes to successfully deliver these changes.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds commented:
I’m grateful to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee for inviting me to give evidence on this crucial issue. Whatever the differences in opinion on Brexit as a whole, I hope we’d all agree that it cannot be allowed to damage a devolution settlement that is the result of two referenda.
Brexit has highlighted a number of institutional flaws in the way the Governments of the UK interact. Existing formal mechanisms for inter-government working aren’t fit for purpose, we need new structures that support genuine collaboration between Governments. These new structures must be accompanied by the return of trust between the UK and Welsh Governments.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been consistently clear about the risks posed by Brexit, risks that are particularly acute for Welsh agriculture. Brexit will cut our farmers off from their key markets and dismantle the financial support they rely on. Yet our farmers are expected to accept the idea that these vital decisions are made in Westminster and not Cardiff. Devolved powers must be returned to Wales and Wales must receive not a penny less after Brexit.