Plaid Cymru’s Dai Lloyd warns of Wales Act “power-grab” over Trade Unions

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Party’s Wales Act vote “vindicated” by reported UK Government stance

Plaid Cymru AM Dr Dai Lloyd has said that his party’s vote against the Wales Act could be “vindicated” if the UK Government doesn’t allow Welsh legislation on trade unions to go forward.

The South Wales West AM was responding to the reported intention of the UK Government to take action to challenge Welsh legislation on trade union rights.

The Labour Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government reported this to have been indicated to him in today’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee session in a letter from the UK Government. He said that it was possible that the UK Government would “impose its view on us (the National Assembly)”. While the Cabinet Secretary would not authorise release of the letter, its contents were discussed in the public session. The contents apparently represent a threat to the Assembly’s legislative ability.

It was claimed in the discussion that under the Wales Act which Plaid Cymru voted against, the proposed Welsh trade union bill could be ruled out of competence.

Dr Lloyd slammed this as a “potential Westminster power-grab”. Plaid Cymru voted against the Legislative Consent Motion (LCM) for the Wales Bill in the National Assembly in January, warning that the flawed Bill could claw back powers.

The Labour and Conservative groups in the Assembly voted for the LCM, allowing the Wales Bill to become an Act.

Dr Lloyd said that beyond the technical detail, the people of Wales will see an early indication that Westminster is going to use “reserved powers” to undermine the democratic rights of the Welsh nation.

Dai Lloyd said:

“Plaid Cymru has been vindicated in our warning that the Wales Act represents a claw- back. That it represents a potential Westminster power-grab.

“The UK Government can use this legislation to undermine the democratic rights of the Welsh nation, compared to the current model of powers we have. The question now is whether the UK Government uses the Wales Act to strictly police the devolved settlement and interfere in our governance.

“People in Wales don’t want regressive UK trade union legislation. They want us to organise our own workforce planning and ensure the rights of workers in our public services.

“Plaid Cymru wants to make it clear to people in Wales- this behaviour from the UK Government will keep happening until a strong message is sent to Westminster. If you want Wales to be respected within the UK, then back the Party of Wales.”

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