On Friday the Welsh Government’s appeal over its failed legal bid to overturn a post-Brexit UK trade law – the Internal Market Act – was once again thrown out by the courts. Having previously claimed the Act would, by unifying trade rules across the four nations, “neuter” the Senedd’s ability to regulate goods and services, it was always going to be a tall order for Welsh ministers to explain why they were happy for such an arrangement under EU rules – yet forcefully opposed to it within the UK. The judge agreed.
Writing in the full judgement, Sir Geoffrey Vos said:
“…When one drills down into the alleged inconsistency between the restriction that says the Senedd cannot amend UKIMA on the one hand, and the reservations that imply that the Senedd can legislate for non-reserved matters on the other hand, one always end up needing to know precisely what the Senedd wants to legislate about before one can determine whether there is an inconsistency […]
Moreover, the existence of an inconsistency may also turn on the extent that the EU had the competence that the Senedd seeks to exercise before the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020.”
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander…