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Welsh Government refused permission to take UK government to court over Internal Market Act

Jeremy Miles (Image: Welsh Parliament). Court (Image: Gwalia).

The High Court has refused permission for the Welsh Government to take the UK government to court over the Internal Market Act, which the First Minister has previously described as a "direct attack on devolution".

At a hearing in London on Friday (16 April), Counsel General Jeremy Miles asked the High Court to allow the case to advance to a full hearing later this year.

However, in a ruling on Monday (19 April), the High Court refused permission for the case to proceed, stating: “This claim for judicial review is premature.”

Internal Market Act

At the hearing on Friday (16 April), the UK government's lawyer, Sir James Eadie QC, argued that “nothing in the Internal Market Act alters the devolved competence of the Senedd”.

Last year, three Senedd Committees recommended that the Senedd "witholds its consent" to the Act, expressing serious concerns about the impact that it would have on devolution.

The Senedd committees claimed that the Act would reduce the Senedd's powers and reduce the effect of laws made in Cymru.

The committees also argued that the Act would impose the UK Government's will on Cymru in a way that disproportionally favours the interests of England.

They also expressed concerns that the Act could open up the possibility that lower quality goods could be accepted in post-Brexit trade deals and forced onto the Welsh market without the consent of the Senedd.

This is because the Act’s non-discrimination clause means that the Welsh Government will be powerless to prevent goods produced in England from being sold here.

The Act might also hinder Cymru's ban on single-use plastics and could force the country "to accept the marketing, sale and free circulation” of genetically modified food despite having previously opted out of using GM products.



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