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[Day 2]

Part of Burma – in the House of Commons at 4:25 pm on 15th March 2018.

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Photo of Jonathan Edwards Jonathan Edwards Shadow PC Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Foreign Intervention), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 4:25 pm, 15th March 2018

I fully agree. We have had two referendums in Wales to enshrine our constitutional settlement, but we have a British Government who are driving a sledgehammer through that settlement. I enjoyed the phrase “puppet Parliament” that was used by right hon. Member for Wokingham (John Redwood). The reality is that if clause 11 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill goes through unamended, and unless the British Government accept the recommendations of the Welsh Government and the Scottish Government, our respective Parliaments would be puppet Parliaments within the British state.

That brings me to the new UK internal market that will have to be created following Brexit. Of course, we currently have the EU internal market, which deals with issues of trade within the British state. As somebody who supports Welsh independence, I recognise that there will have to be a UK internal market, if we end up leaving the EU single market, but the challenge at hand is who constructs that UK internal market. Will that be done on the basis of the political reality that we face in the British state—a multipolar state with four national Governments—or will it done through direct rule from Westminster? That is about not only the construction of the internal market, but how it is regulated.

Let me finish on this point: Westminster plays about with the constitutional settlements of Scotland and Wales at its peril. Unless respect is shown to the Welsh Government and to the people of Wales and the people of Scotland, instead of the disrespect agenda that we have at the moment, we will be discussing not Brexit in the years to come, but “Wexit” and “Scexit”.