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Llywydd warns any UK post Brexit arrangements must respect devolution settlements

25/10/2018

The Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales has emphasised the need for formal inter-governmental arrangements with a defined role for legislatures post Brexit and warned this was necessary in order to protect any devolution settlements.


Elin Jones AM spoke as she welcomed members of the Interparliamentary Forum on Brexit which met today (October 25) in the Senedd. 

The Llywydd expressed her commitment to allowing a meaningful vote in the National Assembly for Wales on the final terms of any deal struck between the EU and the UK Government. 

The Forum, which includes senior politicians from the House of Commons, House of Lords, Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly, came together to assess the most recent developments in the Brexit negotiations as talks intensify. 

The Llywydd said; 

"Here in the Senedd, we have been working hard in utilising the resources at our disposal to protect the interest of the people of Wales and the integrity of our constitutional settlement at this time of uncertainty. 

"Whatever form they take, any new inter-governmental decision-making arrangements must respect the devolution settlement and be accompanied by effective scrutiny by each nation's legislature – a principle which has regrettably been overlooked all too often.

"With so many unpredictable factors at play, the situation demands unprecedented flexibility from our parliaments as legal and political challenges arise.

However, what must not be the subject of compromise is the respect given to the constitutional settlements of our parliaments. 

Efforts to implement the democratic will expressed in the EU referendum must not undermine the democratic will expressed in the devolution referendums that came before it and which gave this place its law-making mandate.

"It is worth bearing in mind that the First Minister has suggested that the support of all parliaments in Westminster, Edinburgh and Cardiff must be sought for any deal struck between the EU and the UK government. In the case of this Assembly, I am committed to enabling this process."

The focus of the forum, which was also attended by staff from the Northen Ireland Assembly, was to discuss the implications of Brexit for all the governments of the UK and the development of further parliamentary cooperation in order to achieve greater scrutiny. Members also discussed post-Brexit relationships between the UK's legislatures and the European Union.

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