Amendment 13

Part of UK Infrastructure Bank Bill [HL] - Report – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 4th July 2022.

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Photo of Lord Morgan Lord Morgan Labour 5:45 pm, 4th July 2022

My Lords, I rise very briefly to say why—my Whip may not be too happy to hear this—I wish to vote for the amendment from the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, which I know is not the view of my party at present.

I think the distance between central institutions in London, such as the Bank of England, is far too great. We have not really taken account of the mechanics of devolution in our constitutional and legal arrangements. This was shown—very dangerously so—in the Brexit negotiations, when important features of the Welsh economy, notably in agriculture, were not attended to by the Westminster Government. Wales and, I suppose, Scotland were treated in a somewhat colonial fashion and the consequence was that a great deal of ill will was needlessly caused. The noble Lord across the House mentioned difficulties that have arisen in the case of Scotland.

I hope we would accept an amendment that thinks in terms of harmonising the economic strategies in London and the devolved authorities. I speak as one who believes strongly in the union but also in devolution for Wales. I hope very much that the amendment from the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas, who is deeply learned in these matters, will be accepted.