Wales politics

Post-Brexit 'power grab' warning by Plaid Cymru

Wales and EU building in Brussels
Image caption Some areas of Welsh life have been governed by EU law for more than 40 years

Wales could suffer from a "great power-grab" by the UK government after Brexit, Plaid Cymru has claimed.

A Great Repeal Bill in the next Queen's Speech will end the authority of European Union law in the UK.

Plaid spokesman Steffan Lewis called on the Welsh Labour Government to spell out which EU laws it wanted kept, and which powers should pass to Wales.

The Welsh Government said it was a "massive task" which would take some time to achieve.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans for the repeal bill on Sunday at the Conservative party conference, where she confirmed that the formal two-year process of leaving the European Union would be trigged by the end of March.

"Now that the prime minister has announced the creation of a Great Repeal Bill to end the authority of EU law in the United Kingdom, the Welsh Government must not delay before responding robustly," Mr Lewis said.

"The Leave vote on 23 June was a vote to leave the European political union - not a vote to centralise powers in Westminster.

"That is why the Welsh Government must press ahead with publishing a full list of EU laws it wants maintained unchanged, alongside a full list of repatriated functions it wants devolved to the National Assembly.

"There is a danger here that the Great Repeal Bill will become the Great Power-Grab with powers centralised in Westminster unless the Labour Welsh government gets its act together."

Image caption Farmers have been asked to share their views on the direction of rural policy after Brexit

Plaid Cymru said all areas that are currently devolved to Wales should remain so, such as agriculture and economic development.

Other matters such as trade deals should be jointly negotiated and agreed by all four UK governments, the party added.

A Welsh Government spokesman said it was a "massive task" to work out which EU laws would need to be transposed into Welsh legislation or replaced, and would "take some time to achieve".

He said First Minister Carwyn Jones told Brexit Secretary David Davis there should not be any "rowing back" by the UK government from the devolution settlement.

In July, Rural Affairs Secretary Lesley Griffiths said Brexit provided the opportunity for a "made-in-Wales" policy on farming support, which is currently set across all 28 EU member states.

Scotland's Brexit Minister Mike Russell has warned the Scottish Parliament might block the Great Repeal Bill if Scotland's interests were not represented in the Brexit negotiations.

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