Sunday, 8 November 2015

5 laws passed by the Welsh Assembly that could become illegal.

UK Government legal advisors have identified five laws passed by the National Assembly that would require the consent of a Westminster minister under the new devolution settlement put forward by the Wales Office.
Laws covering areas such as organ donation, food hygiene and the Welsh language would need the agreement of a UK minister because the legislation affected bodies for which the Assembly is not responsible.
This analysis comes as MPs and AMs scrutinise the UK Government’s draft Wales Bill . 

The Tories claim that Secretary State for Wales' Stephen Crabb  plan is designed to put the Assembly on a Scottish-style footing so that AMs are allowed to make laws in any area not “reserved” by Westminster. However, if Assembly legislation seeks to put responsibilities on individuals or organisations in such an area consent from a UK minister will be required.

But it seems that it may well put devolution  in reverse and limit the powers of the Assembly

According to the Wasting Mule These Bill seem to be potential illegal under the proposed changes.

1. Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013

The Wales Office legal advisors state: “The imposition of functions on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) would have breached the restriction on imposing functions on reserved authorities... Minister of the Crown consent would have been needed. The FSA would be a reserved authority in the new model... [Secretary of State] consent would therefore be needed... which would likely be given.”

 2. Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013

 According to the advisors: “Although this provision would require [Secretary of State] consent [such] consent would likely have been forthcoming. This is evidenced by the fact the [Welsh Secretary] took forward the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013 (Consequential Provision) Order 2015 so that tissue collected from patients in Wales could be used elsewhere in the UK, even though the consent provisions differ, and vice versa.”

 3. Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011


The legislation applies to bodies such as the Bank of England, the Charity Commission and Government departments.
The advisors say: “Named authorities in the new model could not have functions imposed on them by the Assembly, and thus could not be subject to the standards if the Bill were passed under the new model. In future, an Order made by the Secretary of State under [would] be the appropriate mechanism to modify the standards regime as it applies to named authorities.
“It would now be necessary to obtain [the Secretary of State’s] consent to impose duties (standards) on reserved authorities.”

 4. Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

 According to the legal advisors: “The reservations for crime, public order and policing prevent the Assembly from creating provisions that have those matters as their purpose... As police forces are reserved authorities under the new model, [Secretary of State] consent would now be necessary for compulsory membership and contributions to the funding of boards by police forces in Wales.

5. Housing (Wales) Act 2014

 The Wales Office advisors say: “[This] Act confers functions on certain bodies in England which would be reserved authorities in the new model... As such, [this section] would need [Secretary of State] consent but this would likely have been forthcoming.

Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “

I am pleased that the Wales Office has admitted that the Draft Wales Bill in its current form would have blocked progress on vital issues such as health and child protection. This includes legislation such as the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013.
“In the case of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act, the Draft Wales Bill would have hampered the appointment of a chief officer of police as a partner on safeguarding boards, due to policing being a reserved matter in Westminster. It is self-evidently important that a matter such as safeguarding boards to protect children would be ineffective without a senior police officer.
“Having consulted with experts and professionals within this field, it is no wonder that the Silk Commission recommended the devolution of policing. It is deeply regrettable that this recommendation fell on deaf ears.
“This is not simply a dry constitutional debate as so often wrongly framed – it is a debate about making sure that the powers which directly impact people’s lives are housed in the institution where they will be implemented most effectively.

We can only assume that Westminster  Ministers would immediately grant consent to the above or will there be legal challenges  especially the Welsh Language (Wales) Measures.

We need to stop pussyfooting over the future of devolution Plaid and maybe other parties  should put a date when they expect Wales to have parity with Scotland and end what could well be seen s an English Veto as various Minister with no real link refuse to grant consent to measures that may well have passed through the assembly unanimously . Though If Ukip record in Europe is to go by any of their AMs will vote against any "Welsh" Laws on principle.

The details of Constitutional reform is dry and  complex mired in a legalese that people like myself find hard to grasp.

But it seems obvious that within reason if you devolve power then you should not attempt to have a veto over what the devolved legislature  does .

I'm sick of devo dipynbach . It might well be argued that the people of Wales are not ready to support a real parliament for Wales and we should concentrate on getting the current devolution working properly an area where Labour have spectacularly failed. 

Plaid unfortunately may well be planing to fight the Assembly on Labour's record in power.

But is it not time to fight for a Legislature that has the same powers as Scotland and Inspire the electorate.  

We have been at base camp for too Long its time to start an assault on the summit 


1 comment:

  1. It is depressing, the Assembly debate had not one voice giving wholehearted support for the bill.