Sunday, 28 February 2016

Tear it down and start again.

Wales Online reports that 

A cross-party party group of MPs has today urged him not to press ahead with controversial legislation but instead have a “period of reflection”.
The publication of the draft Wales Bill last year ignited fierce controversy, with First Minister Carwyn Jones warning it could create an “English veto” and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood describing it as an “insult”.
The Westminster Welsh Affairs committee has spent months taking evidence and today its Conservative chairman has called for a pause so that a settlement for Wales can be forged that will stand the test of time.

There seems to have been a consensus  with Arch Unionist Monmouth Conservative MP David Davies said: 
“Over the course of the inquiry, the committee has heard evidence that raises doubts about the draft Bill’s ability to provide the lasting settlement it seeks to create... Therefore, a period of reflection is necessary to reach a settlement that is long lasting.”
He may not be a fan of devolution but he does seem to  realise that this Bill is a Dog's Dinner.

The MPs have concerns about the list of powers that Whitehall has recommended should be “reserved” and not devolved to the Assembly .
Their report states:
We recommend that Whitehall be given a second attempt to come up with a list of the powers to be reserved.”
 The MPs want a procedure put in place for getting ministerial consent – with the consent given by default if no decision has been made within 60 days.
Controversy has also flared over a “necessity” test that would have to be passed before the Assembly can modify criminal or private law.
The committee claims this is the “wrong” test and wants it replaced. They fear it sets too high a threshold for the Assembly in order to make laws – but the Anti-Devolutionist on the commute ensured  that  they could not agree on whether there should be a “distinct” legal jurisdiction for Wales.
This was an option the “majority of witnesses recommended” and it is “unanimously supported by the National Assembly of Wales”
The MPs state in their report: 

“We now ask the Secretary of State to pause, so that he can reflect on the recommendations we have made. These will require him to look again at the necessity tests, the list of reservations, the matter of ministerial consent and also to continue to review the issue of a separate or distinct Welsh jurisdiction.
“There is a growing body of Welsh law that differs from that which applies in England, but the implications of this requires careful scrutiny.”
Labour Shadow Welsh Secretary Nia Griffith said: 
“This highly critical report reinforces what we have already heard from lawyers, academics and constitutional experts. The draft Wales Bill is not fit for purpose and Stephen Crabb has mismanaged this process from start to finish.
“It’s clear that his failure to stand up to Whitehall departments has led to a Bill that is badly drafted, overly complex and completely unworkable. He now needs to go away and come back with a Bill that can command the confidence of the Welsh people.
“As we have already said, Labour MPs will not support this Bill unless it is radically amended.”
Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts, a member of the committee, said: 

“It is crucial that the Secretary of State recognises the mounting evidence from legal experts, academia as well as politicians from all parties, including his own, that the draft Wales Bill is not fit for purpose.”

Will a Pause  work or is the Bill so flawed that even with major surgery  with Amendments it cannot be good for Welsh democratic government?

Why can't we see  a model based on the original settlement for Scotland at the very least.

Why is Wales the only Nation in the UK that has to get "consent" for some of its legislation?

Even England with  "English Votes for English Laws " (EVEL) now in some sectors more powers of its own than  Wales.

Can anyone Imagine the Tories having a majority of seats in England , but are not the government in the UL as a whole having to get "Consent" for voted deemed to come under EVEL jurisdiction?

But the answer is in our hands . We must throw out the Unionist Parties in Wales  and this should be by those who may be  opposed to Independence  but want much more powers than what we have now.

But I do not believe we should support any Bill from Westminster  simply because it purports to be a "Devolution" Bill.

Rather than a Pause we need to scrap this Bill and start again with something other than the Devo Dipyn bach  or puts it in reverse.

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