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Lib Dems accuse Labour of abandoning Wales on Internal Market Bill amendment

LABOUR’S failure to stand up for Wales and devolution in key amendment during Internal Market Bill is shocking say Welsh Lib Dems.

Yesterday (Mon 14th Dec) in The House of Lords, The Labour Party failed to stand up for Wales and devolution when the abstained in a key vote regarding the State Aid in the Internal Market Bill.

They key amendment which had the support of the Welsh and Scottish Governments was defeated by 99 votes – after 170 of Labour’s 177 peers, including all Welsh Labour Peers failed to vote.

Speaking following the defeat Lord German said:

“With just 16 days until the end of the transition period the Labour Party has abandoned Wales and other devolved governments. This amendment was designed to continue discussions with Devolved Governments on the application of State Aid rules across the UK for 18 months. This is important since it gives the power to the Welsh Government to provide help by paying for support to companies and providing skills training, in the way it does now under EU spending rules.

“EU money doesn’t count as State Aid – who knows what rules we will now be stuck with when the Tory Government decides what we can do! When it comes to the crunch Labour couldn’t be bothered to support its own party in government in Wales.

Lord German / The Liberal Democrats, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

“The UK Government has promised to consult with the Welsh Government, but the UK Government is under no obligation to seek their consent, which in practice means the UK Government could well ignore the wishes of Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Ministers and devolved legislatures.

“We had a real chance to defeat the government here and install some common sense. It would have protected Welsh democracy and ensured that there was agreement between Wales and the UK government. Labour has let down Wales and ensured that the Conservatives get their hands on money that until now was directed by the Welsh Government.”

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