First Minister Mark Drakeford said Boris Johnson could cause the breakup of the United Kingdom if he decides to “steal powers and steal money” from the Welsh Government.

The first minister was speaking after the Covid recovery summit hosted earlier today by the Prime Minister.

Mr Drakeford said: “I did have to be as clear as I could with the Prime Minister that if the UK Government thinks that the best way to meld the United Kingdom together is to steal powers and steal money away from the Welsh Government, then that is deeply, deeply counterproductive and has completely the opposite impact when we have to do things differently from now on.”

Asked if his and Nicola Sturgeon’s recent election victories emboldened them to demand a fuller agenda for Thursday’s rearranged summit, Mr Drakeford told the PA news agency: “We have refreshed mandates, that’s for sure.

“And that’s part of the reason the meeting was held when it was held, in the aftermath of those elections.”

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Mr Drakeford reiterated that he believes Wales is better off inside the UK, with the future relationship based on “parity and respect” between the four nations.

He added: “What today was about was me advancing the case for the way in which the United Kingdom succeeds is not by one part of it taking things away from others and say it will rule the roost and make decisions.

“I want a United Kingdom in which all four nations, on a basis of parity of respect and parity of esteem, come around that table to share ideas and make decisions where we have common interests.

“That is, I think, a successful recipe. Making the United Kingdom somewhere that people want to be part of in the future, rather than feeling that somehow one part of the United Kingdom thinks it has the whip hand of everyone else."

Also commenting after the summit, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "We are of course willing to work together on recovery from the pandemic, but the UK Government needs to listen and act on key Scottish Government concerns.

“Because of the powers that rest in Westminster the decisions the UK Government takes have a major impact on the kind of fair recovery we are trying to build in Scotland.

“I sought assurances that there would be no return to the cruel and damaging austerity of the past and that furlough and the £20 uplift in Universal Credit will be extended.

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“The proof of the worth of this meeting depends on whether the UK Government takes these issues seriously and responds accordingly.

“This meeting also took place at a time when the UK Government is undermining devolution through the Internal Market Act and diverting funding away from the Scottish Parliament.

“This has to stop and instead the UK Government needs to start treating the Scottish Government and other devolved governments as equal partners.”

Downing Street said the PM emphasised the importance of establishing a structured and regular forum for ongoing engagement between the UK Government and devolved administrations.

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