Passing Internal Market Bill without consent of the devolved nations could be “profoundly damaging to the UK as a whole”
the chairs of three Senedd Committees have written to the chairs of key
Westminster Committees responsible for constitutional matters and scrutinising
Brexit, outlining serious concerns about the UK Government’s Internal Market
Bill and its potentially damaging impact on devolution.
Antoniw MS, Chair of the Legislation, Justice and
Constitution Committee, Llyr Gruffydd MS, Chair of the Finance Committee
and David Rees MS, Chair of the External Affairs and Additional
Legislation Committee have sent a joint letter warning that the Bill, as
drafted, would have long term constitutional impacts that should be given very
serious consideration before the Bill proceeds further.
UK Government’s Bill as it stands would place new limits on laws made in the
Senedd, Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly. The UK Government
have acknowledged that its Bill will “create a new limit on the effect of
legislation made in exercise of devolved legislative or executive
letter from the Senedd Committee chairs says:
foresee that such limits would greatly impact the Senedd’s ability to make
coherent and accessible laws that meet the needs and aspirations of Welsh
UK legislation that affects areas of responsibility for the Senedd should by
convention have the consent of the Senedd – however, this was disregarded
by the UK Government in the case of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement)
Bill. The letter from the chairs states that there is no justification for this
to happen again.
Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly have passed motions opposing
the Bill and the Welsh Government has stated that it is not in a position to
recommend to the Senedd that consent be given in Wales.
Internal Market Bill has been extensively debated in Westminster with concerns
about it breaking international law. We must not let this overshadow the fact
that this UK Government Bill, if passed as it is, would limit the Senedd’s
ability to pass laws that meet the needs and aspirations of Welsh citizens.
calling on members of both Houses of Parliament at Westminster to press the UK
Government to address the significant deficiencies as they relate to
Senedd, Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly cannot be ignored in
this process. If the devolved governments and legislatures are ignored then
this could be profoundly damaging to the UK as a whole.” - Mick
Antoniw MS, Llyr Gruffydd MS and David Rees MS