Assembly presiding officer issues Brexit laws switch warning
The Welsh Assembly’s presiding officer has warned of a “constitutional crisis” if any Senedd vote to reject plans to transfer EU laws to Westminster after Brexit was ignored.
The UK government’s repeal bill details how thousands of powers would be moved.
It involves temporarily holding powers at Westminster including devolved areas such as agriculture and environment.
But Elin Jones said she believed a “showdown” could be avoided if the UK government takes notice of any vote.
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Brexit Secretary David Davis said last month the UK government would seek the consent of the devolved institutions on the transfer of the EU legislation.
Under a political convention between the devolved institutions and Westminster, any new law which relates to devolved matters needs a legislative consent motion passed.
But the convention does not have legal force.
Ms Jones, the Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion, accused the UK government of choosing the path of greatest resistance on the matter.
“If that view is ignored then we are in a constitutional crisis,” she told BBC’s Sunday Politics Wales.
“The people of Wales have voted for the legislative constitutional framework that we have currently – and for that view to be ignored by any government of any political colour or by any houses of parliament is a serious constitutional crisis.
“I am hopeful, reasonably confident, that we will not get to that point.
“There are means of achieving the aims that the UK government wants to achieve with its deliberations with the EU without having this constitutional showdown between the National Assembly, the Scottish parliament and the UK parliament.”
First Minister Carwyn Jones has already said he would not support the repeal bill.
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns earlier told Radio Wales’ Sunday Supplement programme he hopes the proposed arrangement would come to an end within a few years.
He said many of the powers covering devolved areas would be transferred to the assembly once a trading arrangement with the EU and other countries had been established.
“We are working in a practical sense of what is right for industry to allow Welsh farmers to continue to sell Welsh lamb to France,” he said.
“Unless we can offer the European Union reassurance that we are not going to run away from animal welfare standards or we are not going to over-subsidise any one particular sector for example then if you cannot give those promises to any international market, and particularly the European one, then there would be little chance of getting a trading arrangement.
“This is about giving certainty to industry.”