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Referendum on Law-making Powers

Volume 524: debated on Monday 7 March 2011

On behalf of the Government, I welcome the result of the referendum on enhanced law-making powers for the National Assembly for Wales, which took place on 3 March.

The Government have fulfilled their commitment to hold a referendum—requested by Assembly Members—set out in the coalition’s programme for Government. The referendum has enabled the people of Wales to have their say in determining the powers the National Assembly should have.

The “yes” vote will mean that the Welsh Assembly Government can get on with the job of delivering better public services, and bring forward legislation in devolved areas without reference to Parliament. The Assembly will be able to legislate on subjects in the 20 areas covered by the original devolution settlement, and set out in schedule 7 to the Government of Wales Act 2006. All the areas previously non-devolved remain non-devolved, and are the responsibility of the Government and Parliament. There is no change in this respect.

It is now for the Welsh Assembly Government and the National Assembly to decide when to bring the Assembly’s enhanced powers into force.

The Government are committed to working closely with the Welsh Assembly Government and National Assembly to make these legislative arrangements work effectively.