Internal Market Bill debate in Senedd halted after technical glitch

Image caption,
Viewers on the BBC's live stream were greeted with a testcard

Proceedings in the Welsh Parliament were brought to a halt on Tuesday evening because of technical problems.

Politicians had been in the middle of a debate discussing whether to support the UK government's Internal Market Bill.

But the system that allows Senedd members to contribute remotely suffered repeated interruptions.

The Senedd tweeted that proceedings had been suspended for the day and will resume on Wednesday.

No announcement was made in the chamber itself. After deputy presiding officer Ann Jones adjourned proceedings, viewers were greeted with a holding slide and a later a test card.

The parliament has been sitting in a "hybrid" format since the summer - with a limited number of Senedd members in the chamber and more calling-in via Zoom.

Members had been expected to vote by a majority against the Internal Market Bill, with Plaid Cymru joining Labour in refusing consent to the proposals to replace EU rules for business.

Welsh ministers say the proposed law is an attack on devolution - but the UK government says it is needed to ensure "seamless trade" can continue between all four corners of the UK.

The Welsh parliament is asked to give its permission to legislation in Westminster that impacts on devolution.

But refusal of consent in Cardiff Bay is not legally binding and does not stop the UK government pressing ahead.

A debate was also due to take place on Covid restrictions introduced last Friday, banning alcohol in pubs and restaurants.

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