United Kingdom Internal Market Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:04 pm on 14th September 2020.

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Photo of Liz Saville-Roberts Liz Saville-Roberts Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Women and Equalities) , Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Attorney General) 9:04 pm, 14th September 2020

Diolch yn fawr, Mr Dirprwy Lefarydd. It is difficult to know where to start with the Bill, so numerous are the egregious assumptions, the pitfalls and the Trojan horses lurking within it, so I will be brief and specific.

For Wales, the Bill is damaging without precedent, emerging fully fledged as the single biggest sustained assault yet to threaten devolution and our powers. It scorns two referenda and seeks to overturn the reiterated will of the Welsh people, not only weakening the powers of the Senedd, but explicitly reserving new powers to this place.

This Bill would render Wales powerless to stop low-quality produce, such as chlorinated chicken, flooding our supermarkets and undercutting Welsh farmers by being cheaper. This Bill would permit a 21st-century Tryweryn by giving Westminster more spending powers directly over water infrastructure. It would invalidate “buy local” policies in Wales by making it illegal to place goods from another part of the UK at a disadvantage compared with local goods in Wales.

The Conservative party would hold the whip hand over our Senedd’s attempts to protect our NHS against privatisation through damaging trade deals. The Bill holds up the spectre of no trade deal with the UK due to the Prime Minister breaking international law, which would wreak havoc on businesses already suffering the effects of covid-19. It could force Wales to accept abuses of animal welfare and food production, with the Senedd powerless to block such produce from entering our markets if they were to be tolerated in other parts of the UK, and who is even speaking for the future of the port of Holyhead?

Whatever some Conservative Members like to say, devolution is no experiment; it lives and breathes in Wales. Our democracy has been growing in the last two decades and more, in confidence and in power, and our wings will not be clipped. Plaid Cymru will stand up for our powers and our Senedd every step of the way, and we will not be supporting this Bill.