Devolution Settlement

Wales – in the House of Commons at on 19 April 2023.

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Photo of Rob Roberts Rob Roberts Independent, Delyn

What recent discussions he has had with the First Minister of Wales on the adequacy of the operation of the devolution settlement for people in Wales.

Photo of James Davies James Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

The Secretary of State for Wales has regular discussions with the First Minister on how our two Governments can work together within the current devolution settlement to deliver for Wales. Our recent agreement to establish two Welsh freeports shows what we can achieve when we work together for the benefit of people and communities in Wales.

Photo of Rob Roberts Rob Roberts Independent, Delyn

Given that the Senedd sits for only two days a week and, if yesterday’s reports are anything to go by, that the First Minister is less than truthful with his answers anyway, can my hon. Friend fathom any reason why they need to expand Senedd membership by 60%, at huge cost to the Welsh taxpayer? Does he agree with me that the Welsh people should be asked whether they want more MSs working only two days a week?

Photo of James Davies James Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

The hon. Member is right to ask that question. I fully agree with him that the last thing people in Wales want is more politicians in Cardiff bay. The Welsh Government would be better spending the estimated £100 million that they suppose this would cost on public services. If the Welsh Government and their separatist allies are so confident that these proposals should progress, then I agree that they should seek the agreement of people in Wales through a referendum.