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  1. ITV Report

Welsh and Scottish First Ministers call for General Election

The first ministers of Wales and Scotland have both declared they would welcome a general election.

The First Ministers of Wales and Scotland speaking at a news conference in London. Credit: PA

However, Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon said they wanted to see the details of any Brexit extension before backing a vote before Christmas.

Ms Sturgeon said she wanted to ensure the risk of no-deal had been removed.

They were speaking at a news conference in Westminster where they opposed Boris Johnson's Brexit Bill.

The Scottish First Minister branded Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement Bill as "bad" legislation and added that it would be opposed by the devolved administrations in both Edinburgh and Cardiff.

For the first time in the history of devolution, the governments in Scotland and Wales could both refuse formal consent for legislation that affects their nations.

Mark Drakeford says the Credit: PA

I have always been agnostic on whether a general election or a referendum is the best way to get this decision put back in the hands of the people.

But I've never been anything but clear that that should be the end, the end objective.

What I want to see is this decision put back in the hands of the people who made it in the first place.

If a referendum comes our way we should grab it with both hands.

If a general election comes our way first, I absolutely want a general election.

– Mark Drakeford AM, First Minister

MPs backed the Prime Minister's Brexit proposals on Tuesday night.

His planned timescale for approving the Bill within days was rejected, however, forcing him to put a pause on the legislation.

Mr Johnson must now wait to hear from the leaders of the 27 other member states of the European Union on whether they will approve another delay to the UK's departure date.

With the PM having pledged to deliver Brexit "do or die" by October 31, he is to push for a general election if they sanction a Brexit extension.

Earlier this week, the two First Ministers jointly wrote to Mr Johnson and the president of the European Council asking for an extension to give more time to scrutinise the Bill.

Nicola Sturgeon MSP says she wants a General Election before Christmas. Credit: PA

I want to see a general election.

I would be very happy to see that general election before Christmas but the circumstances of that have to be such that it doesn't open the risk of a no-deal Brexit.

This is quite simply a bad deal and a bad Bill.

It is bad for Scotland, bad for Wales and bad for the UK.

Indeed, the uniqueness of this event, the first ministers of Wales and Scotland, of different political persuasions, uniting in opposition to this deal is in itself a signal of how bad we believe it to be.

As Welsh Assembly members made clear yesterday, and as I expect members of the Scottish Parliament will also make clear, we do not consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

And when that happens of course it will be the first time in the history of devolution that both Scotland and Wales will have refused to give legislative consent to a Bill that affects us both.

– Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Scottish First Minister

In a statement, the Uk Government said it wants to "get Brexit done to give Wales and the whole of the UK the brighter future they deserve."

Our position remains that we should leave the EU on 31 October, allowing the democratic vote in Wales to be delivered upon and so we can move forward to focus on the people’s priorities - reducing the cost of living, tackling violent crime and investing in our infrastructure.

We must get Brexit done so we can move on to address the issues that matter to the people of Wales, and give Wales and the whole of the UK the brighter future they deserve.

– UK Government Spokesperson