Once again the Labour Party has failed to stand up to protect our country’s natural resources from exploitation by Westminster. Labour Party MP’s put party interest before our national interests by abstaining on a key vote to devolve full control over Welsh water to the National Assembly – even though their own Government in Cardiff wants this to happen. The vote on Plaid Cymru's amendment followed a Commons debate on the final stages of the Water Bill - every single Labour MP from Wales was absent. Ironically the Labour in Wales Government in evidence to the Silk Commission noted that it wants to see the National Assembly gain full control over all matters relating to Welsh water. So much for joined up thinking and so much for standing up for Wales!
Hywel Williams MP speaking after the debate said:
"This is an embarrassing episode for the First Minister and his Labour Welsh Government who, once again, have been let down by Labour MPs from Wales.
"Just as in the case of devolving energy projects up to 100 MW and devolving Air Passenger Duty to Wales, the First Minister says one thing in Cardiff while his London colleagues seem intent on undermining his every word.
"Water has been an emotive, emblematic and defining political matter in Wales. It is just one aspect of our nation's wealth of natural resources but our people are unable to benefit from its use due to the UK Government holding the power of veto over all matters relating to Welsh water.
"Had Plaid Cymru's amendment been carried, we would have seen control over Welsh water transferred from Westminster to the National Assembly, ensuring that any wealth generated from its extraction and export would benefit our nation.
"It is disappointing to see the Labour party in Wales yet again conform to the cosy Westminster consensus rather than put the interests of the Welsh economy and people first."