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Welsh EU Continuity Bill

Volume 635: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2018

7. What recent discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on proposals for a Welsh EU continuity Bill. (903567)

We continue to have constructive discussions with the Welsh Government on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, with a view to securing the National Assembly’s support for the legislation. The Welsh Government have not discussed with us their proposals for an EU continuity Bill, but we do believe that such legislation will be unnecessary.

So bad has the Westminster power grab become that on 17 January the National Assembly unanimously, including the Conservatives, supported a motion on Plaid Cymru’s continuity Bill. Both sitting devolved Administrations have now rejected this constitutional embezzlement. Can the Minister confirm that Ministers will not meddle any further in respect of devolved Administrations?

First, I do not believe that the continuity Bill is actually needed. We are engaging heavily, at every level of government, with the devolved Administrations to ensure that we go through the EU (Withdrawal) Bill to ensure that the clauses that we want to amend in the other place will be effective. Then will get the support of those Assemblies.

Order. We are very short of time. I will call the hon. Gentleman if it is a single short sentence; otherwise, we won’t bother. Blurt it out, man.

When will the Government publish their framework analysis and their proposed wording for the amendment to clause 11 of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill?

We are continually engaging. My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Wales and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster are going to Wales tomorrow to meet the First Minister of the Welsh Assembly, so that we can get the further detail of those discussions and bring forward the amendments as soon as possible.

Hoffwn gymryd y cyfle i groesawu’r Gweinidog i’w barchus, arswydus swydd. The Minister will recall the Scottish Secretary claiming there to be a Scotland-specific economic impact assessment, only to contradict himself a week later. [Interruption.]

Order. The hon. Lady should not be disquieted in any way. I think the robin is keenly attending to her words.

It appears now that regional assessments do exist. Which road will the Minister take? Will he confirm that a Welsh assessment has been produced, or will he concede that the Government are so heedless of Wales’s future that there is no such assessment?

I know that Bristol City’s emblem is a robin, so maybe it is trying to interfere with Welsh questions.

We have many assessments as we go through this process. We will look at all of them in great detail and ensure that we come up with an effective resolution that suits every single part of the United Kingdom, because having a statute book that is fit for purpose is incredibly important once we leave the European Union.

Will the Minister in that case ensure that he shares those assessments, not by Twitter, but also with all Members and all members of the Welsh public?

Obviously, we will make things available at the appropriate time, but I can assure the hon. Lady that I will not be sharing things like that on Twitter.

I am going to allow a little injury time, because I do not want the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Bambos Charalambous) to feel left out.