Theresa May is in Swansea today at the start of a four nation tour to the devolved administrations , declaring; “I want every part of the United Kingdom to be able to make the most of the opportunities ahead.”
As the Guardian reports she’ll face demands from the Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones to radically rethink her approach to the union. as she begins a four-nation tour before beginning Britain’s exit from the EU
“Theresa May to visit Wales as she faces pressure to keep Union together” is the Daily Telegraph headline.
Jones told the Guardian that May’s “tin ear” on issues of devolution would mean Westminster will soon replace the EU at the heart of voters’ frustrations at having their affairs managed from afar.
He said there was a battle looming over granting greater devolved powers, backed this weekend by the former prime minister Gordon Brown, which the government had to take seriously or risk fracturing the country.
“If they are not careful, people’s sense of disengagement with Brussels will simply attach itself to London,” he said. “They are giving the impression sometimes that they do not listen.
Jones said there was much the Welsh and Northern Irish governments were still in the dark over, including which courts would arbitrate on state aid and any new regulations covering devolved arrangements, such as agriculture, which had previously been the domain of the European court of justice.
His case is backed up by a report from the think tank the Institute for Government complaining that:
to date there has been a complete lack of clarity about the role that the devolved legislatures will play in legislating for Brexit. The attitude that the Scottish National Party (SNP) takes to the passage of Brexit-related legislation in Westminster could affect the smoothness with which that legislation passes through Parliament if they join forces with the Labour Party and Conservative rebels (although it is unlikely to prevent its eventual passage). The Government should make clear at the earliest opportunity what role it envisages for the devolved legislatures: whether the devolved legislatures will need to pass their own bills to preserve EU legislation that has effect at a devolved level; and, whether ‘legislative consent’ motions will be needed to signal the nations’ assent to UK-wide primary legislation changing the powers of the devolved government.
The attitude that the Scottish National Party (SNP) takes to the passage of Brexit-related legislation in Westminster could affect the smoothness with which that legislation passes through Parliament if they join forces with the Labour Party and Conservative rebels,”
Her Edinburgh visit will be one to watch. Who will she talk to in Belfast?
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London