National Assembly Backs Brexit Bill

The National Assembly for Wales has given their consent to the UK Government’s proposed EU (Withdrawal) Bill after Welsh Ministers came to an agreement meaning areas already devolved to Wales remain devolved.

The Bill, as originally drafted, would have allowed the UK Government to take control of devolved policy areas, such as farming and fishing, after Brexit.  The Welsh Government believed this was totally unacceptable and went against the will of the people of Wales who voted for devolution in two referendums.

After months of intensive talks, the position has shifted significantly.  An agreement was reached, meaning the Welsh Government could recommend the National Assembly gives its consent to the Bill.  The final vote in the Assembly took place yesterday (15th May).

Westminster has changed its position so all powers and policy areas rest in Cardiff, unless specified to be temporarily held by the UK Government.  These will be areas where all nations agree common, UK-wide rules are needed for a functioning UK internal market.

Wrexham Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths, voted in favour of consenting to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill and said: “When the process started last year, the UK Government’s Bill was completely unacceptable but the Welsh Government has secured key changes resulting in a compromise being achieved which respects devolution.”

“Progress has been made but clearly the negotiations have not concluded.  The Welsh Government remains committed to working with all UK Governments, taking forward further discussions on future frameworks and on negotiations with the EU.”

“The overriding objective of the Welsh Government is to protect the economy, devolution and the people of Wales, and I am certain this will continue during ongoing Brexit talks.”