In Cabinet Office questions I called out the UK Government for sidelining the Welsh Government ahead of the publication of a new White Paper on the UK internal market.
The paper, published today, details plans for a UK-wide set of rules for cross-border trading and standards to replace European Union regulations from the start of next year
However, a statement released by the Welsh Government this week said “Unfortunately, the UK government has not managed to share the paper with us, and Welsh ministers have had no recent discussions with the UK government on these issues.” The statement added “Any attempt to unilaterally impose a system will be deeply damaging.”
Speaking virtually in Cabinet Office Questions, I said “The White Paper on the UK internal market, which the government are launching this morning, will have far-reaching consequences for each of the UK’s nations. The Secretary of State said earlier he would work hand in glove with devolved nations – so why did the government not have discussions about the White Paper with the Welsh Government or share the paper with them?”
In response, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove claimed he would ‘continue to be involved in fruitful discussions’ and blamed the Scottish Government for withdrawing from talks and ‘frustrating capacity’ for dialogue with devolved nations.
It’s completely wrong that the UK Government has not involved the Welsh Government in the planning of such an important report. Wales should never be sidelined in this way.