Brexit not a vote to roll back devolution, says Drakeford

Image caption,
Mark Drakeford says the EU Withdrawal Bill takes away devolved responsibilities

The vote to leave the EU was "not a vote to roll back devolution", the finance secretary has said.

Mark Drakeford said a bill to convert EU laws into British laws was "taking away responsibilities that have been devolved since 1999".

It follows Welsh Government accusations of a "power grab".

On Friday, UK ministers said they wanted to temporarily retain powers in 24 areas, including animal health and food labelling.

Mr Drakeford told BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement programme: "[The UK government is] not willing to do things on the basis of agreement.

"It has picked a quarrel where no quarrel need exist because we have always said we understand the reason for a withdrawal bill - orderly transfer of EU law into domestic law - we're very comfortable that should be done.

"But it cannot be done by the UK government arbitrarily taking away responsibilities that have been devolved since 1999, for a length of time that they can't describe, on conditions that they won't share with us, for a purpose that we are not yet able to share.

"It cannot be one administration deciding and telling the rest."

Image caption,
Mark Drakeford said Brexit was "not a vote to roll back devolution"

On Friday, UK cabinet office minister David Lidington said the list of laws the UK government wanted to temporarily retain had been published in order to be open and transparent.

He said: "The list we have published today shows how many EU powers that were controlled by Brussels, will, after Brexit, be controlled by the parliaments and assemblies in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

"The vast majority of these new powers will be in the control of the devolved administrations on the day we leave the EU."