The Welsh Labour Government has published an alternative to the UK Government’s draft Wales Bill, one which would deliver a stable, long-term devolution settlement for the people of Wales.
Welsh Labour’s First Minister, Carwyn Jones said his government was taking the unprecedented step in the spirit of moving the devolution process forward.
The Government and Laws in Wales Bill is designed to bring clarity and stability to the Welsh devolution settlement within the context of a strong United Kingdom. It has been designed to put a full stop to the years of constitutional wrangling which has been a feature of the Welsh devolution story over the last 18 years and would bring the Welsh system more closely into line with devolution in the rest of the UK.
The Welsh Government’s Bill includes a reduced number of ‘reserved’ matters, based on the principle of subsidiarity and careful consideration of which matters need to be dealt with at a UK level.
It also introduces a future-proofing element by including the areas the Silk Commission envisaged would be devolved over the next decade, including responsibility for the civil and criminal law and the administration of justice. In the meantime, the Bill provides for a distinct legal jurisdiction for Wales, along lines which the National Assembly for Wales has already supported unanimously.
Further information can be found here.