Saturday, 30 May 2015

Scottish Secretary's power of veto will be duplicated in Wales/

Whilst we in Wales may look on Scottish Devolution with envy we also should should look at the latest batch of "Devo-Max" bills for the wording and expect similar duplicity in any form of Devo-Dipyn Bach that wlil be drafted later.

According to the Nation Newspaper 
SCOTLAND’S only Tory MP will be able to veto decisions made by the Scottish Parliament.
The Scotland Bill, published yesterday morning requires Scottish Ministers to obtain the permission of the Secretary of State for Scotland if they want to use any of the new powers.
Repeatedly throughout the bill and the explanatory notes, Scottish Ministers are told they “must have consulted with, and obtained the agreement of, the Secretary of State”.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has reacted angrily to what she said amounted to vetoes, and said the Scotland Bill, “falls short in almost every area”.
and the Bill as Wings over Scotland points out certainly has clauses  which suggest t 56  and a SNP majority in Holyrood count as nothing to 1 single Tory even if there were no Scottish Tory MPs and they were forced to find someone from a English this clause shows
A Scotland Office spokesman denied that the power of veto still existed:
It is factually wrong to claim there are vetoes in the Bill. These are sensible, practical arrangements to ensure the transfer of new powers smoothly.”

Well that's not how Wings over Scotland or I read it.

such agreement "not to be unreasonably withheld "reads like a veto to me 

Answering a question from one of her backbenchers, Nicola Sturgeon said: 

The bill does not contain the full welfare powers recommended by the Smith commission and it retains – unbelievably, given the amount of concern that was expressed – a veto for the UK Government on key policy areas. If, for example, the Scottish Parliament wants to abolish the Bedroom Tax, as I hope that we do, the UK Government would still have a right of veto over whether we could. I am sorry, but that is not devolution.”

It is vital that we in Wales note this such powers of a "veto" will undoubtedly  be included in any future Welsh Bill and who can doubt that a Welsh Secretary  will use this in the safe knowledge that it will not necessarily  affect  Wales's relationship with the rest of the Union .

With the sole Tory as Secretary of  State for Scotland and his Shadow Ian Murry being the 
(the last remaining Labour MP in Scotland) the democratic deficit of such people speaking for Scotland in the House of Commons and having powers of Veto is clearer than in Wales but nevertheless although the Tories made gains in Wales 11/40 MIP's does not give them a mandate to veto our Assembly Bills and we must try and make sure they don't.

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