The Senedd has formally refused consent for the UK Government’s Retained EU Law Bill in a vote this evening.
Mick Antoniw, the Welsh Government’s Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, said the proposed legislation threatens food standards, environmental protections, workers’ rights, and business and consumer certainty.
The Retained EU Law Bill seeks to repeal or replace more than 2,400 pieces of former EU law that were converted into domestic legislation as part of the EU exit process. The plans in the Bill would lead to most of these laws dropping off the UK statute book by the end of this year if no action is taken.
Speaking after the vote, Mick Antoniw commented:
“Today the Senedd sent a loud and clear message – the Retained EU Law Bill is bad for Wales and should be withdrawn by the UK government.
“The Bill would change a raft of legal standards without any clear idea of the implications of doing so. This is a reckless and irresponsible approach to vital standards that improve people’s quality of life.
“It would also give UK government Ministers authority to legislate in devolved areas. Both the Senedd and the Scottish Parliament have both been clear that this is an unacceptable encroachment on the democratically established devolution settlement.
“I welcome the result of this vote and will continue to stand up for Wales by opposing this legislation.”
Legislative Consent Motion votes are held when the UK government wishes to legislate on a subject matter which is devolved. Constitutional convention requires the Senedd to give consent to the legislation before it can be passed in Westminster. The Senedd has joined the Scottish Parliament in voting to withhold consent for the Retained EU Law Bill.
The Bill is currently at report stage in the House of Lords as part of the scrutiny process.