Wales is pushing ahead with a legal challenge against the Internal Market Act, arguing that it marks an ‘outrageous attack’ on its legislative powers.
The Welsh government issued formal proceedings seeking permission for a judicial review in January 2021, claiming that the UK Internal Market Act 2020 renders the Senedd’s ability to legislate uncertain.
The claim for judicial review was refused by the Divisional Court in April, on the ground that it was premature. However, the Court of Appeal has now granted permission to appeal the High Court's decision.
The Counsel General for Wales Mick Antoniw said the court referred to ‘compelling reasons’ for the appeal to be heard and said that the case raises important issues of principle regarding the constitutional relationship between the Senedd and the UK parliament.
The Internal Market Act was passed by the UK parliament in December 2020 and will govern the trading relationship between the nations of the UK. It has sparked anger from both the Welsh and Scottish governments, with the latter describing it as a ‘deliberate act of constitutional sabotage’.
Wales argues that the Brexit legislation will open the Government of Wales Act 2006 – a constitutional piece of legislation which protects the devolved powers of the Senedd and Welsh government – to ‘very wide substantive future amendment’ at the hands of the UK government.