Boris Johnson has been told he has no say on constructing a brand new £1.6bn motorway to ease site visitors congestion in south Wales after the prime minister promised he would construct a “proper M4 bypass”.
The M4 round Newport is usually clogged at rush hour however Wales’ first minister scrapped a relief road plan final 12 months after declaring a climate emergency.
Mr Johnson mentioned he would “do the things the Welsh Government has failed to do”.
But the Welsh Government mentioned the PM has “no say in the M4 relief road”.
“It’s an entirely devolved matter and the first minister has made his decision,” a spokesperson mentioned.
The stretch of M4 round Newport is Wales’ busiest stretch of road.
Before lockdown, there was day by day site visitors congestion round the bottleneck at the Brynglas tunnels.
‘Nostrils of the Welsh dragon’
Mr Johnson spoke about the M4 in the House of Commons after a UK minister claimed a new Ineos vehicle plant in Bridgend was put on hold as a result of the relief road was axed.
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart mentioned Welsh ministers’ “inability” to improve the road “influenced the Ineos decision”.
The declare was dismissed by the Labour-run Welsh Government, with Economy Minister Ken Skates saying the suggestion was “nothing more than nonsense on stilts”.
But Boris Johnson mentioned he would revive the M4 relief road proposal – and “provide the Vicks Inhaler to the nostrils of the Welsh dragon”.
During Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions, he repeated his earlier suggestion that the UK authorities would “unblock the Brynglas tunnels” with a “proper M4 bypass”.
But with road constructing in Wales the accountability of the Welsh Government in Cardiff, a spokesperson mentioned Mr Johnson couldn’t have a say on it.
Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts mentioned Mr Johnson had proven “complete ignorance of how devolution works and for the environment too for that matter”.
When requested about the prime minister’s feedback, Mr Hart acknowledged “it is a devolved matter, it is a matter for Welsh Government to do that”.
“UK government has said it would provide the borrowing facilities, the ability to do that. But consistently Welsh Government have declined that offer and so we are at that rather stalemate period.”
Firm ‘made a case for Brexit’
Mr Hart mentioned in the Commons that this “of course is a Welsh Government deal” and that an “unwillingness” and “inability” to make enhancements to the M4 relief road had “influenced the Ineos decision”.
Responding later in the Senedd, Mr Skates mentioned: “The truth of the matter is that the M4 resolution was made in the summer season of 2019 and the Ineos deal was secured in the autumn of 2019.
“In 4 years of negotiations with the firm, not on one event was the M4 raised.”
During questions on Ineos in the Welsh Parliament, former first minister and Bridgend Senedd member Carwyn Jones mentioned the agency had “made a case for Brexit” and therefore had “an additional accountability to spend money on the UK and never spend money on the [European] single market purely as a result of it might be extra handy”.
Mr Skates mentioned he agreed “totally”, describing the firm’s decision to put its Bridgend plans on ice as “considerably perplexing”.
“There is no doubt whatsoever that Brexit is doing immense damage to the automotive industry in the economy in general,” he mentioned.
Conservative Senedd member Andrew RT Davies, a number one determine in the marketing campaign for Brexit in Wales, mentioned he was dissatisfied Mr Skates was “trying to blame Brexit for the situation that we find ourselves in”.
“Your negative tone today will do nothing to reopen negotiations with that company,” he mentioned.