Following David Liddington’s speech on the EU Withdrawal Bill, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated calls for all the European powers in devolved areas to be returned to Wales after Brexit.
Whilst changes to the EU Withdrawal Bill to reduce the powers retained by the UK Government are a welcome step, they are insufficient. Powers currently held by the EU in devolved areas must automatically be returned to the National Assembly for Wales after Brexit. It is not the place of the UK Government to decide which of these powers Wales should be allowed to get.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds commented:
“Common frameworks in certain areas will certainly be important after Brexit and we would never want to put the UK’s common market at risk. However, it must be up to devolved Governments to decide if they want to enter common frameworks in devolved areas and to negotiate suitable frameworks. The UK Government cannot and must not impose frameworks on devolved Governments.
“Brexit will have huge implications for sectors such as agriculture. Brexit will cut our farmers off from their key markets and dismantle the financial support they rely on. Decisions on these vital areas must be made in Wales and address the unique needs of Welsh farmers.
“Throughout this process the UK Government have sidelined the devolved Governments and taken Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for granted. As soon as the EU Withdrawal Bill was first published, parties from across Wales and Scotland made it clear the Bill was a power grab that could not be accepted by Wales or Scotland. Yet several months later, the UK Government has not made the necessary changes to the bill.”