This is a deeply shameful moment for our country—showing how far this toxic Government are willing to threaten peace, erode co-operation and trust, and strip devolved Governments of their decision-making powers. How easy they find it to dangle the safety and security of our fragile and covid-hit economies, businesses and livelihoods. How unashamed this Government appear when faced with risking Britain’s reputation and breaking international law. I stand here speaking for my constituents in Cardiff North, who are aghast at this Government’s behaviour.
This Bill should actually be about how the internal market works, but it is instead a full attack on democracy—on the people of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland who have voted for devolution several times over. We need an efficient, functioning internal market, but this Bill does not just threaten more than two decades of devolution: it rips right through the devolution settlements without consent. It is a power-grab preventing Wales from imposing its own standards on goods and services, leading inevitably to a race to the bottom, undermining the people of Wales and their democratic rights and overriding the Welsh Government in acting in their best interests. This issue should be determined by the Welsh people and those they elect to the Senedd. The Government are preventing a common framework and stealing powers from Wales, riding roughshod over the Welsh Government’s right to set food standards and to create laws on single-use plastics, animal welfare standards and the environment, to name but a few. It is simply an assault on the people of Wales.
I will continue to fight for my constituents in Cardiff North against this blatant power-grab, against the dilution of rights and standards, and against a Bill that breaks international law. It does not just steal powers: it robs the Welsh people of a way of life and values that we have come to expect. The people of Wales and the people of Cardiff North deserve better, and that is why I will be voting against this Bill tonight.