The Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales, Elin Jones AM, has published further amendments to the Wales Bill following its second reading in the House of Lords on 10 October.
The amendments aim to address concerns that the current powers of the Assembly will be rolled back under the proposed legislation.
Ahead of Commons scrutiny, the Llywydd took the innovative step of publishing amendments in order to provide greater clarity and ensure that the new settlement for Wales was clear and workable.
Now ahead of the Lords Committee stage, the Llywydd has written to Welsh Peers raising further outstanding concerns, in particular, the important constitutional principle that the Assembly should consent to any change in its powers.
“Whilst I welcome the progress that has been made on the Bill to date, some outstanding issues remain,” the Llywydd says in her letter.
“The amendments I have published today are focused on ensuring the legislative competence of the Assembly is clear, workable and does not roll back on the current settlement.
“I am also pleased to see that the Assembly’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee’s excellent report, published on 6 October also expresses the view that these issues must be addressed and amongst its significant recommendations, endorses specific amendments I have published previously.
“I hope that these suggestions will contribute to the important debate on the future of Wales’ constitutional settlement. “
The other amendments address the roll-back of the Assembly’s powers through the changing Ministerial consent requirements now set out in the Bill which will:
- remove the Assembly’s ability to remove or modify functions of a UK Minister, where to do so is incidental or consequential;
- remove the Assembly’s ability to remove or modify specified functions of a UK Minister in devolved areas set after 2011 – notably the Welsh Language functions of UK Ministers;
- introduce a new restriction, preventing the Assembly from affecting the functions of other reserved authorities (other than Wales Public Authorities) in any way.
Letter to Peers 20 October 2016 (PDF, 243MB)
Letter to Peers 20 October: Annex (Word, 50KB)