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Posts Tagged ‘Welsh Affairs Select Committee’

I know you’ve been on tenterhooks to find out what the Welsh Affairs Select Committee has said since I trailed its report last night.  MPs on the committee have been working out what extra powers the Assembly has gained since 2006 when the last big change to the constitutional set-up came in the Government of Wales Act. They think fellow MPs should know exactly what powers they’re offering to give away to Cardiff Bay.

Their answer? A lot. In fact, whilst steadfastly refusing to make a judgement on the merits or otherwise of a Yes vote, the committee says that the end result of the referendum process could mean “significantly enlarging the legislative competence of the National Assembly.”

All of this is by way of an overture to a big week in Parliament for the referendum. MPs vote on the various technical orders making a referendum possible tomorrow and Wednesday. The Lords do the same on Thursday. And if both houses say yes, then the last person to have their say-so is the Queen who’s expected to make her decision in the next Privy council meeting which is thought to take place mid-December.

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You may wish to familiarise yourself with Schedule 7 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 although I’m sure it’s already burned in your memory. Just in case it isn’t though, let me remind you: this is the bit of the Act that sets out exactly what the Assembly is responsible for. It defines the boundaries between Cardiff Bay and Westminster. The UK Government reckons it needs updating before next year’s referendum so that Parliament knows which powers it’s handing over. So does the Welsh Affairs Select Committee which is publishing it’s report today (Monday). It’s not going to set your world on fire, but it is an important part of the sizeable change we’ll be asked to endorse or deny in just a few months’ time. I’ll update you when it’s published.

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