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House of Commons Hansard
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12 September 2016
Volume 614

Consideration of Bill, as amended in the Committee

[Relevant documents: First Report from the Welsh Affairs Committee, Session 2015-16, on Pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Wales Bill, HC 449, and the Government response, HC 280.]

New Clause 4

Elections of police and crime commissioners

“(1) Section 50 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (timing of ordinary election of police and crime commissioners) is amended as set out in subsections (2) to (4).

(2) In subsection (3), for ‘”the ordinary day of election” substitute “the first Thursday in May”.

(3) In subsection (5)—

(a) in paragraph (a), for “the ordinary day of election” substitute “the first Thursday in May”;

(b) in paragraph (b), for the words from “the ordinary day of election” to “in relation to Wales,” substitute “the first Thursday in May”.

(4) Omit subsection (6).

(5) In section 51 of that Act (election to fill vacancy in office of commissioner), for subsection (6) substitute—

“(6) A person is a relevant elector for the purposes of subsection (5) in relation to a police area in England if the person is registered in a register of local government electors in respect of an address within the police area.

(6A) A person is a relevant elector for the purposes of subsection (5) in relation to a police area in Wales if subsection (6B) or (6C) applies.

(6B) This subsection applies if—

(a) the person is registered in a register of parliamentary electors in respect of an address within the police area, and

(b) the registration is not in pursuance of an overseas elector’s declaration.

(6C) This subsection applies if—

(a) the person is disqualified as a peer from voting as an elector at parliamentary elections, or is a relevant citizen of the Union, and

(b) the person is registered in a register of local government electors in respect of an address within the police area.”

(6) Section 52 of that Act (persons entitled to vote) is amended as set out in subsections (7) and (8).

(7) In subsection (1), after “a police area” insert “in England”.

(8) After subsection (1) insert—

“(1A) A person is entitled to vote as an elector at an election of a police and crime commissioner for a police area in Wales if subsection (1B) or (1C) applies.

(1B) This subsection applies if on the date of the poll—

(a) the person would be entitled to vote as an elector at a parliamentary election in a constituency wholly or partly comprised in the police area,

(b) the address in respect of which the person is registered in the register of parliamentary electors for that constituency is within the police area, and

(c) the registration is not in pursuance of an overseas elector’s declaration.

(1C) This subsection applies if on the date of the poll—

(a) the person is disqualified as a peer from voting as an elector at parliamentary elections, or is a relevant citizen of the Union who has attained the age of 18,

(b) the person would be entitled to vote as an elector at a local government election in an electoral area wholly or partly comprised in the police area, and

(c) the address in respect of which the person is registered in the register of local government electors for that electoral area is within the police area.”

(9) Section 64 of that Act (disqualification for election as police and crime commissioner) is amended as set out in subsections (10) and (11).

(10) In subsection (1), after “a police area” insert “in England”.

(11) After subsection (1) insert—

“(1A) A person is disqualified from being elected to the office of police and crime commissioner for a police area in Wales at any election unless—

(a) the person has attained the age of 18 when nominated as a candidate at the election, and

(b) on each relevant day subsection (1B) or (1C) applies.

(1B) This subsection applies if—

(a) the person is registered in a register of parliamentary electors in respect of an address within the police area, and

(b) the registration is not in pursuance of an overseas elector’s declaration.

(1C) This subsection applies if—

(a) the person is disqualified as a peer from voting as an elector at parliamentary elections, or is a relevant citizen of the Union, and

(b) the person is registered in a register of local government electors in respect of an address within the police area.”

(12) In section 102 of that Act (interpretation of Part 1), in subsection (1), at the appropriate places insert—

““overseas elector’s declaration” has the meaning given by section 2 of the Representation of the People Act 1985;”;

““relevant citizen of the Union” has the meaning given by section 202(1) of the Representation of the People Act 1983;”.”—(Alun Cairns.)

The new clause provides for timing of, franchise for, and eligibility of candidates in, PCC elections (which are reserved) to cease generally to be linked to local government elections (which are to be devolved), and for ordinary PCC elections to continue to be on the same day in England and in Wales.

Brought up, and read the First time.

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I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

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With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Government amendments 3 to 7.

Amendment 60, in clause 1, page 2, leave out lines 4 to 9 and insert—

Part 2B

Establishment of Two Distinct Jurisdictions

92B Legal jurisdictions of Wales and of England

The legal jurisdiction of England and Wales becomes two legal jurisdictions, that of Wales and that of England.

92C The law of Wales and the law of England

(1) The law of England and Wales is divided into the law of Wales and the law of England.

(2) All of the law that extends to England and Wales immediately before the coming into force of this section—

(a) except in so far as it applies only in relation to England, is to extend to Wales (and becomes the law of Wales), and

(b) except in so far as it applies only in relation to Wales, is to extend to England (and becomes the law of England).

(3) In this section “law” includes—

(a) rules and principles of common law and equity,

(b) provision made by virtue of an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament, an Act of the Welsh Parliament or an Act or Measure of the National Assembly for Wales, and

(c) provision made pursuant to the prerogative.

(4) Any provision of any enactment or instrument enacted or made, but not in force, when subsection (1) comes into force is to be treated for the purposes of that subsection as part of the law that extends to England and Wales (but this subsection does not affect provision made for its coming into force).

92D Senior Courts system

(1) The Senior Courts of England and Wales cease to exist (except for the purposes of sections 92H (3) and (4)) and there are established in place of them—

(a) the Senior Courts of Wales, and

(b) the Senior Courts of England.

(2) The Senior Courts of Wales consist of—

(a) the Court of Appeal of Wales,

(b) the High Court of Justice of Wales, and

(c) the Crown Court of Wales, each having the same functions in Wales as are exercisable by the corresponding court in England and Wales immediately before subsection (1) comes into force.

(3) The Senior Courts of England consist of—

(a) the Court of Appeal of England,

(b) the High Court of Justice of England, and

(c) the Crown Court of England,

each having the same functions in England as are exercisable by the corresponding court in England and Wales immediately before subsection (1) comes into force.

(4) For the purposes of this Part—

(a) Her Majesty’s Court of Appeal in England is the court corresponding to the Court of Appeal of Wales and the Court of Appeal of England,

(b) Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice in England is the court corresponding to the High Court of Justice of Wales and the High Court of Justice of England, and

(c) the Crown Court constituted by section 4 of the Courts Act 1971 is the court corresponding to the Crown Court of Wales and the Crown Court of England.

(5) Subject to section 92I—

(a) references in enactments, instruments and other documents to the Senior Courts of England and Wales (however expressed) have effect (as the context requires) as references to the Senior Courts of Wales or the Senior Courts of England, or both; and

(b) references in enactments, instruments and other documents to Her Majesty’s Court of Appeal in England, Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice in England or the Crown Court constituted by section 4 of the Courts Act 1971 (however expressed) have effect (as the context requires) as references to either or both of the courts to which they correspond.

92E County court and family court

(1) The county court and the family court cease to exist (except for the purposes of sections 92H (3) and (4)) and there are established in place of them—

(a) the county court of Wales and the family court of Wales with the same functions in Wales as are exercisable by the county court and the family court (respectively) immediately before this subsection comes into force, and

(b) the county court of England and the family court of England with the same functions in England as are exercisable by the county court and the family court (respectively) immediately before this subsection comes into force.

(2) For the purposes of this Part—

(a) the county court is the court corresponding to the county court of Wales and the county court of England, and

(b) the family court is the court corresponding to the family court of Wales and the family court of England.

(3) Subject to section 92I references in enactments, instruments and other documents to the county court or the family court (however expressed) have effect (as the context requires) as references to either or both of the courts to which they correspond.

92F Judiciary etc.

(1) All of the judges, judicial office-holders and other officers of Her Majesty’s Court of Appeal in England or Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice in England become judges, judicial office-holders or officers of both of the courts to which that court corresponds.

(2) All of the persons by whom the jurisdiction of the Crown Court constituted by section 4 of the Courts Act 1971 is exercisable become the persons by whom the functions of both of the courts to which that court corresponds are exercisable except that (despite section 8(2) of the Senior Courts Act 1981)—

(a) a justice of the peace assigned to a local justice area in England may not by virtue of this subsection exercise functions of the Crown Court of Wales, and

(b) a justice of the peace assigned to a local justice area in Wales may not by virtue of this subsection exercise functions of the Crown Court of England.

(3) All of the judges, judicial office-holders and other officers of the county court become judges, judicial office-holders or officers of the county court of Wales and the county court of England.

(4) All of the judges, judicial office-holders and other officers of the family court become judges, judicial office-holders or officers of the family court of Wales and the family court of England except that (despite section 31C(1)(y) of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984)—

(a) a justice of the peace assigned to a local justice area in England is not a judge of the family court of Wales, and

(b) a justice of the peace assigned to a local justice area in Wales is not a judge of the family court of England.

92G Legal professions

(1) Every legal practitioner who would (but for this Part) at any time after the coming into force of this Act be entitled to carry on a reserved legal activity for the purposes of the law of England and Wales, in proceedings in England and Wales or before the courts of England and Wales, has at that time the same entitlement for the purposes of the law of England and the law of Wales, in proceedings in England and proceedings in Wales and before the courts of England and the courts of Wales.

(2) In this section—

“legal practitioner” means every solicitor, barrister, notary, legal executive, licensed conveyancer, patent attorney, trade mark attorney, law costs draftsman, accountant or other person who, in accordance with the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29), is entitled to carry on a reserved legal activity;

“reserved legal activity” has the same meaning as in the Legal Services Act 2007.

92H Division of business between courts of Wales and courts of England

(1) The Senior Courts of Wales, the county court of Wales, the family court of Wales and the justices for local justice areas in Wales are to apply the law extending to Wales (including the rules of private international law relating to the application of foreign law).

(2) The Senior Courts of England, the county court of England, the family court of England and the justices for local justice areas in England are to apply the law extending to England (including the rules of private international law relating to the application of foreign law).

(3) All proceedings, whether civil or criminal, pending in any of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, the county court or the family court (including proceedings in which a judgment or order has been given or made but not enforced) must be transferred by that court to whichever of the courts to which that court corresponds appears appropriate.

(4) The transferred proceedings are to continue as if the case had originated in, and the previous proceedings had been taken in, that other court.

Supplementary

92I Power to make further provision

(1) Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision (including provision amending or otherwise modifying any enactment or instrument, including this Act) that appears appropriate in consequence of, or otherwise in connection with, the provision made by this Part.

(2) The provision that may be made under subsection (1) includes in particular provision relating to—

(a) courts,

(b) tribunals,

(c) the judges, judicial officers and other members and officers of courts and tribunals,

(d) the Counsel General or other law officers,

(e) the legal professions,

(f) the law relating to the jurisdiction of courts and tribunals, and

(g) other aspects of private international law (including, in particular, choice of law, domicile and the recognition and enforcement of judgments and awards).

(3) No Order may be made under subsection (1) unless a draft of the Order has been laid before, and approved by resolution of—

(a) each House of the United Kingdom Parliament, and

(b) the Welsh Parliament.”

This amendment replaces the Bill’s proposed recognition of Welsh law with provisions to establish two distinct legal jurisdictions of England and Wales, as drafted by the Welsh Government.

Government amendments 8 to 12.

Amendment 68, in clause 8, page 10, line 2, at end add

“in relation to any of the matters in subsection (2)(a) to (c) or a majority of the total number of Assembly seats in relation to the matters in subsection (2)(d) or (e).”

This amendment would substitute a majority of Assembly Members for the two-thirds super-majority required to change the existing specification or number of constituencies, regions or any equivalent electoral area, and the number of members to be returned for each constituency.

Government amendment 13.

Amendment 69, page 10, line 26, at end add

“in relation to any of the matters in section 111A (2)(a) to (c) or a majority of the total number of Assembly seats in relation to the matters in section 111A (2)(d) or (e).”

This amendment is consequential on amendment 68, to substitute a majority of Assembly Members for the two-thirds super-majority required to change the existing specification or number of constituencies, regions or any equivalent electoral area, and the number of members to be returned for each constituency.

Government amendments 14 to 22 and 26.

Amendment 63, in schedule 1, page 50, line 31, leave out “Betting, gaming and”.

This amendment with amendments 64 and 65 would devolve betting, gaming and lotteries in Wales (other than the National Lottery) to Welsh Ministers and the National Assembly for Wales.

Amendment 64, page 50, leave out line 32 and insert “The National Lottery”.

See amendment 63.

Amendment 1, page 50, line 32, at end insert—

“Exception

In the case of a betting premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005, other than one in respect of a track, the number of gaming machines authorised for which the maximum charge for use is more than £10 (or whether such machines are authorised).”

This amendment would modify section B18 (betting, gaming and lotteries) of proposed Schedule 7A to the Government of Wales Act 2006 such that the number of gaming machines authorised by a betting licence in Wales would fall within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales. A corresponding amendment (NC2) proposes that powers be granted to the Welsh Ministers, under the Gambling Act 2005, to regulate the number of gaming machines authorised by a betting licence in Wales.

Amendment 65, page 50, line 32 , at end insert—

“Exception

All lotteries other than the National Lottery”.

See amendment 63.

Amendment 67, page 59, line 36, at end add

“other than the Wales and Borders franchise”.

This amendment allows the Welsh Government to be responsible for the Wales and Borders franchise.

Amendment 61, page 68, line 17, at end insert—

“Exceptions

Welsh language broadcasting and other Welsh language media.”

This amendment would devolve competence to the National Assembly for Wales in relation to Welsh language broadcasting and other Welsh language media.

Amendment 2, page 72, line 28, leave out paragraph 184.

This amendment would modify section M4 (development and buildings) of Part 2 of proposed Schedule 7A to the Government of Wales Act 2006 such that the community infrastructure levy would fall within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales.

Government amendments 27 to 33.

Amendment 66, in schedule 2, page 85, line 3, at end insert—

“(11A) The requirement for consent by the appropriate Minister under—

(a) paragraph 8 above, in relation to a reserved authority,

(b) paragraph 10 above, in relation to public authorities (other than Wales public authorities), or

(c) paragraph 11 above, in relation to functions of a Minister of the Crown or any power of the Secretary of State under section 6 of the Railways Act 2006

does not apply where the provision of an Act of the Assembly relates to a Welsh language function.”

This amendment removes the requirement for Ministerial consent for Acts of the Assembly affecting functions of reserved authorities, public authorities or Ministers where the Act of the Assembly relates to a Welsh language function.

Government amendments 34 to 42.

New clause 2—Gaming machines on licensed betting premises

“(1) The Gambling Act 2005 is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (12) of section 172 (gaming machines), after paragraph (a) insert—

‘(aa) the Welsh Ministers, so far as, in the case of a betting premises licence in respect of premises in Wales and not in respect of a track, the order varies—

(i) the number of gaming machines authorised for which the maximum charge for use is more than £10, or

(ii) whether such machines are authorised;’

(3) In section 355 (regulations, orders and rules)—

(a) in subsection (1) after “the Secretary of State” for “or the Scottish Ministers” substitute ‘, the Scottish Ministers or the Welsh Ministers’;

(b) at the end insert—

‘(12) An order made by the Welsh Ministers under section 172 shall not be made unless a draft of the Order has been laid before and approved by resolution of the National Assembly for Wales.’

(4) The amendments made by this section do not apply in relation to a betting premises licence issued before this section comes into force.”

This new clause would give powers to the Welsh Ministers, under the Gambling Act 2005, to regulate the number of gaming machines authorised by a betting licence in Wales. A corresponding amendment (amendment 1) has been proposed to modify this aspect of the reservation to the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales on betting, gaming and lotteries (section B18 of proposed Schedule 7A to the Government of Wales Act 2006 set out in Schedule 1 to this Bill).

Amendment (a) to new clause 2, leave out “£10” and insert “£2”.

Amendment (b) to new clause 2, leave out “do not”.

New clause 3—Rail: franchising of passenger services

“(1) Section 25 of the Railways Act 1993 (public sector operators not to be franchisees) is amended as follows.

(2) At the end of subsection (2A) insert ‘or a franchise agreement in respect of services that are or include Wales-only services.’

(3) After subsection (2A) insert—

‘(2B) For the purposes of this section a “Wales-only service” has the same meaning as in section 57 of the Railways Act 2005.’

(4) This section does not have effect in relation to any invitation to tender under section 26(2) of the Railways Act 1993 issued before the day on which this section comes into force.”

This new clause would remove a restriction in section 25 of the Railways Act 1993 on certain public sector bodies bidding to operate a rail franchise that is made up of or includes rail services within Wales.

New clause 10—Wales and Borders rail franchise

“(1) Executive franchising functions are devolved to the Welsh Government.

(2) The Welsh Government must consult the Secretary of State on details of the devolved franchise, including how cross-border routes are procured and managed.

(3) The Welsh Government must maintain the existing Wales and Borders franchise until it expires in 2018.

(4) The Welsh Government is solely responsible for letting and managing the new Wales and Borders franchise to take effect after the expiry of the current franchise in 2018.”

This new clause allows the Welsh Government to be solely responsible for letting and managing the new Wales and Borders franchise to take effect after the expiry of the current franchise in 2018.

Government amendments 43, 44, 48, 49, 51, 52, 55 and 57.

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The Government new clauses and amendments deal with a number of issues, in three main categories. First, there are a number of technical drafting changes to ensure that the new devolution settlement functions as it should. Secondly, there are amendments addressing several issues that have arisen during the ongoing discussion of the Bill with the Welsh Government, the Presiding Officer and the Assembly Commission. Thirdly, I am pleased to have tabled a number of amendments that address issues that I committed to return to when they were raised in Committee before the summer recess.

New clause 4 deals with a drafting issue and is a consequence of the devolution of responsibility for local government elections. It makes changes to provisions in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 relating to the timing and franchise for police and crime commissioner elections, which are reserved under the Bill and are currently linked in law to timing and franchise for local government elections. Under the Bill, responsibility for that provision will be devolved to the National Assembly for Wales. The new clause is therefore necessary to avoid certain aspects of PCC elections in Wales being subject to any future changes that the Assembly makes for future local government elections in Wales.

Hon. Members will be aware that the St David’s Day agreement provided that all aspects of the election of PCCs in Wales would remain the responsibility of the UK Government and Parliament. The Bill provides that PCCs, including their elections, are reserved matters, so the Government believe that the new clause is appropriate. It provides that the timing of ordinary elections of PCCs in England and Wales will cease to follow the timings of other ordinary elections in England and Wales. Instead, it provides for them to be held on the first Thursday in May in the year of an election.

The new clause also amends section 52 of the 2011 Act so that the franchise for PCC elections in Wales ceases to correspond directly to that for local elections and instead corresponds to the parliamentary franchise, with the exclusion of overseas electors and the inclusion of peers and EU citizens, who are entitled to vote in local government elections.

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My understanding is that the Government are currently considering a report from the Law Society on consolidating and simplifying electoral law. Given that PCCs are not a devolved matter, would it not be sensible for the Government to hold their fire and amend legislation on that, rather than introducing an amendment at this point?

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The hon. Gentleman is clearly missing the purpose of what we are trying to do. We are seeking to devolve responsibility for local elections to Wales, but because the franchise for those elections is linked to that for the elections for police and crime commissioners, any change to the franchise for local government elections in Wales will have a consequential effect on that for PCC elections, which are non-devolved. We are therefore seeking to separate the franchises, so that the same people have the right to vote as is currently the case. That will give the Welsh Government the freedom to change the franchise for local government elections as they see fit, should they, for example, wish to change the voting age. It would not be appropriate for such changes to be extended to elections for police and crime commissioners. That is the purpose of the new clause.

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The right hon. Gentleman will remember that when elections for police and crime commissioners first took place, only 14% of the electorate voted; one polling station in my constituency achieved an unbeatable world record because no one voted there. When those elections were held on a day that coincided with other elections, 45% of the electorate voted. Is it not best that we and the Assembly ensure that, if possible, elections for police and crime commissioners are held on the same day as other elections?

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I am grateful to the shadow Secretary of State for his comments. That would of course be the preferred option. It is only appropriate that PCC elections remain reserved and local government elections are devolved; that does not remove the requirement for both Administrations to co-ordinate where possible, but nor do we want to tie the hand of the Assembly should it see fit or need to change the franchise or timings of local government elections. I absolutely concur with his intentions, however.

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The Secretary of State is making it clear that the reason for separating the franchises is the Government’s concern that the Assembly could then reduce the voting age for police and crime commissioners from 18 to 16. Does he have any other concerns about the franchise that have made him bring forward this new clause?

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That will a matter for the Welsh Government. I am seeking to give them absolute freedom over local elections, within the limitations in the Bill, but it is not right that any changes they bring about—which may well change the franchise, if they believe that to be appropriate—should have consequences for PCC elections, for which the Welsh Government do not have responsibility as they are reserved under the Bill.

The new clause also makes consequential changes to the provisions in the 2011 Act for giving notice of a vacancy in the office of the police and crime commissioner and the provisions on the eligibility of candidates.

Amendment 27 is the second technical amendment in the group. It removes the reference to section 14(1)(f) of the Planning Act 2008 from the definition of “relevant nationally significant infrastructure project” in the planning reservation. That section applies only to England so the reference to it in the Bill is superfluous.

Amendments 33, 49, 52, 55 and 57 are all also technical and address an issue with the numerous references to the legislative competence of the Assembly across the statute book. Since devolution began, Acts of Parliament have often sought to define policies by reference to the devolution boundary involving expressions such as

“the legislative competence of the Assembly”.

For example, a power to make subordinate legislation could be conferred on the Secretary of State for provisions that are not within the legislative competence of the Assembly where the provisions are within such competence. In determining for the purposes of UK Acts what is and is not within the Assembly’s competence, proposed new section 108A and proposed schedules 7A and 7B to the Government of Wales Act 2006 set out the relevant tests. However, provisions such as paragraphs (8) to (11) of schedule 7B include a consent mechanism whereby a provision will be within competence only if the consent of a UK Minister has been given.

Those consent mechanisms exist so that there is an appropriate role for UK Ministers in relation to Assembly legislation that affects reserved authorities—I underline that that means reserved authorities only. However, that requirement for consent is not appropriate when considering UK legislation. For that reason, amendment 33 disapplies any requirement for a UK Minister’s consent when the legislative competence of the Assembly is being interpreted in the context of UK Parliament legislation.

Amendments 49, 52, 55 and 57 ensure that, where Acts of the UK Parliament refer to the Welsh devolution boundary, they do so in accordance with the new reserved powers model as inserted by the Bill. Those are sensible and practical technical changes to ensure that the new reserved powers model of devolution is interpreted and applied consistently in respect of all UK legislation.

The next amendments resulted from ongoing discussions with the Welsh Government, the Assembly’s Presiding Officer and the Assembly Commission.

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Before the Secretary of State moves on, I want to ask about the reserved powers model. He has mentioned the consistency of interpretation throughout the Bill, which is to be welcomed, but it would be useful if he could give at the Dispatch Box the commitment that it is the desire of the UK Government not to be going to the Supreme Court so much to argue about reserved powers. Let us have clarity going forward to avoid the number of clashes in the courts that there have been.

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One key purpose of the Bill is to provide clarity of powers and responsibility. I want anyone who lives and works in Wales and outside to understand who is responsible for what. Therefore, the requirement to go to the Supreme Court to clarify individual points will be needless because of the clarity provided in the Bill.

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To go back to the earlier point about PCC elections, will they be allowed to be held in conjunction with other elections so that turnout is higher, and so that we have better elections as a result?

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The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. There was significant progress in the turnout of PCC elections, as the hon. Member for Newport West (Paul Flynn) said, when they were on the same day as local elections. That continues to be the desired timing of PCC elections. The purpose of the amendments I mentioned relates to the franchise for those elections. The Welsh Government may want to make changes to the franchise or consider the timing of PCC elections. We would like them to continue to be on the same day as local government elections, as per the last PCC elections.

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I want to be clear on the separation of the franchises for PCC elections and for local government elections. Does the Secretary of State have concerns—they have perhaps not been expressed—that 16 or 17-year-olds are seen as fit and able citizens to vote in elections that deal with social services, planning and education, but that they are seen as not capable of voting in elections for police and crime commissioners? Is that what he is trying to suggest, because I would find that very worrying?

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I suspect the hon. Lady has misunderstood the points I am trying to make. I am seeking to give the Welsh Government freedom in the franchise for local elections, but the current legislation ties the PCC franchise to that of local elections. Should the Welsh Government want to make a change in Wales because of their policies or desires to extend or amend the franchise within the powers conferred in the Bill, it should not be consequential on UK Government policy, and PCC elections are reserved.

It is for the Welsh Government to decide who is eligible to vote—the hon. Lady mentions age—and that is not tied or linked to the policies of the UK Government of the day, whoever they may be. I hope this proposed legislation will be settled for many years and decades to come. Extending or curtailing the franchise, in particular in relation to local elections in Wales, is a matter for the Welsh Government rather than the UK Government. Similarly, any consideration of the franchise for PCC elections is a matter for the UK Government. They are linked under current legislation. The amendments seek to separate that link, so that the responsibility lies with the respective legislature. I hope that clarifies the points raised about a number of amendments. The intention is to give greater freedom to the Welsh Government, so that if they want to change the franchise they are not restricted by the franchise that already exists for PCC elections from this place.

Amendments 14 to 18, 29 to 31, 44, 58 and 51 make a number of technical changes to arrangements in clause 12 and related schedules relating to financial control, accounts and audit. Since introducing the Bill, the Government have continued to discuss its financial control provisions with the Welsh Government and the Assembly commission. The amendments arise from those discussions. Amendment 16 inserts provision in section 124 of the Government of Wales Act 2006, equivalent to the provisions of the Scotland Act 1998, so that a sum paid out of the Welsh consolidated fund may not be applied for any purpose other than that for which it was charged or paid out.

Amendment 29 removes the prohibition on an Assembly Act, amending section 145 or 145A of the Government of Wales Act 1998, which makes provisions for examinations and studies by the Auditor General for Wales. Amendment 18 removes from the Comptroller and Auditor General reserve powers to carry out examinations regarding payments into and out of the Welsh consolidated fund, and the power to carry out value-for-money studies in relation to Wales public authorities. All amendments in this grouping are consequential on amendment 18, to remove the Comptroller and Auditor General’s powers over specific Welsh public authorities. With these amendments, the Auditor General for Wales will be the sole auditor of Welsh funds and Welsh public bodies. The Government have confirmed with the Comptroller and Auditor General that he is content with the removal of these powers, which have never been exercised.

Amendment 28 similarly results from discussions with the Welsh Government and removes the reservation for the Children’s Commissioner, whose post was established through the Children Act 2004. The UK Children’s Commissioner will be a reserved authority subject to the restrictions in paragraphs 8 and 10 of new schedule 7B. The effect of paragraphs 8 and 10 is that a provision of an Assembly Act cannot change the UK Children’s Commissioner’s functions unless the Secretary of State has consented. Removing the reservation will ensure that there are no barriers to the Assembly amending the functions or constitution of the Children’s Commissioner, provided the consent of the UK Government has been obtained.

Amendment 32 removes a needless provision from the Bill, paragraph 9(5) of new schedule 7B to the Government of Wales Act 2006. The amendment is being tabled in the interests of brevity and to avoid confusion, and at the suggestion of the Welsh Government. I am grateful to them for raising this point.

Amendments 34 to 37 remove from new schedule 3A several functions that are currently listed as concurrent, but have in fact either been repealed or transferred entirely to Welsh Ministers. Amendment 38 inserts into new schedule 3A concurrent functions provided for in clause 7 on the UK digital service in relation to Assembly elections and local government elections in Wales. The need to make the changes to new schedule 3A has been agreed as part of the constructive discussions on the Bill that my officials and I are having with the Welsh Government. The amendments are relatively minor and technical, but they are necessary to ensure the Bill delivers a clear and coherent devolution settlement for Wales.

Amendments 39 to 42 add seven further bodies to the list of “Wales public authorities” that are provided for in schedule 4. Their effect is to confirm the “devolved” nature of these bodies. I have tabled these amendments in response to representations made by the Assembly’s presiding officer and the Welsh Government. These bodies have functions that are exercisable only in relation to Wales and that wholly or mainly do not relate to reserved matters. As such, they meet the tests for Wales public authorities that are already laid down in clause 4. We were happy to respond to the calls made by the Welsh Government and the presiding officer.

Finally, a number of Government amendments have been brought forward in response to issues raised in Committee in July. Amendments 3 to 8 address the issue raised by the hon. Member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd (Liz Saville Roberts), who sought to insert into the Government of Wales Act 2006 separate statements on the permanence of the Assembly and of the Welsh Government. I committed to considering that further, and I am pleased to be able to bring forward amendments today to address the issue by ensuring that statements in clause 1 relating to the permanence of devolved institutions in Wales and the recognition of a body of Welsh law are inserted at the start of the Government of Wales Act 2006.

Amendments 9 to 12 and amendment 43 make changes to clause 6 to give the presiding officer rather than Welsh Ministers the existing power to propose varying the date of an ordinary Assembly general election by up to month, as well as the power to propose the date of an extraordinary Assembly general election. Those changes will bring the position in Wales into line with the provisions in Scotland, where the equivalent powers to propose election dates have always been exercised by the presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament.

Amendment 13 similarly addresses an issue raised by the hon. Members for Arfon (Hywel Williams), for Dwyfor Meirionnydd and for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (Jonathan Edwards) in the amendment they tabled in Committee. They sought to remove the requirement for statements made under the new section 111A of the Government of Wales Act 2006 inserted by clause 8 to be made bilingually. I committed to reflecting on that further with a view to bringing forward an amendment on Report. As those hon. Members rightly highlighted, both English and Welsh are official languages of the Assembly, and any statement made in the Assembly must already be reported bilingually as a matter of course. I am thus content that that does not need to be provided for specifically in the Bill. I am grateful to those hon. Members for raising the issue.

Amendments 19 to 22 amend clause 15 so that if the Assembly changes its name, any Welsh language references in the statute book to the National Assembly for Wales, the Commission or Acts of the Assembly are changed to reflect the new name. I am grateful to the hon. Member for Arfon for tabling similar amendments in Committee. I said then that I would consider the issues raised, and I am pleased to address them now with amendments 19 to 22.

The final issue raised in Committee which I committed to considering relates to the scope of the reservation that deals with civil and criminal proceedings. The hon. Members for Arfon, for Dwyfor Meirionnydd and for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr tabled an amendment to narrow the scope of reservation 6(1)(c), so that the current reference to “prosecutors” would be changed to “the Crown Prosecution Service”. The intention was to make it clear that the Assembly would be able to specify devolved authorities such as local authorities as prosecutors for devolved offences.

In response, I said that it was not the intention to prevent the Assembly from legislating to make devolved bodies the prosecuting authority for particular devolved offences and that the current reservation achieved that. Nevertheless, I understood the hon. Members’ concerns and agreed to consider the reservation further. Having done so, I have a number of concerns about narrowing or broadening the reservation.

First, replacing the current reference to “prosecutors” with a narrow reference only to “the Crown Prosecution Service” would not cover other reserved prosecuting authorities, such as the Serious Fraud Office. Secondly, it is likely that expanding the list to include a wider range of prosecutorial authorities would go further than we believe is necessary. Many of the authorities have functions beyond prosecution which could make reserving them more complicated. For example, the Serious Fraud Office both investigates and prosecutes cases, while for other authorities, including the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive, and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, prosecution is but one of a range of much wider functions.

Thirdly, a non-exhaustive list would be likely to preclude the Welsh Assembly from specifying appropriate authorities, as well as making the reservations longer and more unwieldy.

However, I understand the need for clarification and reassurance. Officials have therefore worked closely with key stakeholders, including the Attorney General’s Office and the Whitehall Prosecutors’ Group, to develop an amendment that clarifies the Assembly’s powers while ensuring that the prosecutorial framework remains a reserved matter.

Amendment 26 retains the existing reservation’s reference to “prosecutors”, but makes it clear that that does not prevent the Assembly from making provision about responsibility for the prosecution of a devolved offence. That could include specifying who would have prosecuting authority for a devolved offence, or making provision for prosecutions of devolved offences to be subject to consent. However, if the Assembly wished to confer functions on a reserved authority in this regard, that would engage the consent mechanisms in paragraphs 8 and/or 10 of schedule 7B. I believe that the amendment achieves what the hon. Members for Arfon, for Dwyfor Meirionnydd and for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr are seeking in the most efficient way possible, without having a negative impact on the intention to legislate to support the Assembly.

I trust that I have persuaded Members on both sides of the House of the need for our amendments. Let me now deal with the Opposition new clauses and amendments. New clause 2, amendments (a) and (b) and amendments 1 and 63 to 65, tabled by the hon. Members for Newport West (Paul Flynn) and for Hyndburn (Graham Jones), would devolve legislative and executive competence to the Assembly to regulate the number of high-stakes gaming machines authorised by new betting-premises licences in Wales. They would also devolve legislative competence for betting, gaming and lotteries in Wales to the Assembly. Betting, gaming and lotteries are not devolved to the Assembly, and will be reserved subjects under the Bill. The Silk commission made no recommendations on their devolution, and the subject was therefore not considered under the St David’s Day process, the thread of thinking that resulted from the Silk commission.

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The Minister mentioned the amendments that I tabled. Has he had representations from the Welsh Assembly and the Welsh Government? Has he followed the debate in the Welsh Assembly, and listened to Welsh Ministers’ comments? Has he factored that into the equation? There certainly seems to be some interest in some devolution in Wales.

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I have had representations from the Welsh Government, and we are happy to continue a dialogue in order to refine the reservations. However, amendments 63 to 65 would extend extremely broad powers in this regard. We do not intend to accept them, because we do not believe that devolving the wider competence to which they refer would be the right course. They were not raised by the Silk commission or in the St David’s Day agreement. Nevertheless, in our usual pragmatic style, we are naturally happy to continue to discuss a range of issues. Indeed, the Bill has continually refined itself through its progress, from the Silk commission and the St David’s Day agreement to the draft Bill, and thence to the stage that we have reached today.

New clause 3, tabled by the hon. Members for Newport West, for Arfon, for Dwyfor Meirionnydd and for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, and new clause 10 and amendment 67, tabled only by the Plaid Cymru Members, seek to probe the progress that the Government have made in implementing our commitment to devolve executive rail franchising functions. New clause 3 also seeks to press the Government to make a decision on whether to enable Welsh Ministers to invite public sector operators to bid for rail franchises for which they are the responsible franchising authority.

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Does the Secretary of State agree that changes in railway powers are needed to put Wales where it should be, on a par with Scotland?

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Negotiations are ongoing on the devolution of the franchise and how it can be achieved. If we accepted the new clauses and the amendment, that would set the whole franchise process back considerably. It has already been advertised, and we are anxious to press ahead as possible with the aim of reaching an agreement with the Welsh Government to fulfil the franchise obligations.

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The franchise would not change the Wales boundaries if we had a different model. We have a model in Wales, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, which is not for dividend, and which the Secretary of State fully supports. What is the difference between having our water run by a not-for-profit organisation, and having our railways run in that way?

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A host of considerations, debates and discussions are taking place between the Wales Office, the Welsh Government and the Department for Transport, and we are conducting detailed negotiations over the franchise arrangements. We need to find suitable arrangements that will protect Welsh passengers and the accountability and responsibility of the Welsh Government, but let us not forget that that extends across the border. The Manchester-to-Cardiff line, for example, enters significant elements of England. The fact that a significant number of passengers will be domiciled or residing in English constituencies, and their right to seek redress through the parliamentary process, are details that we need to continue to discuss.

We are in a positive position with the Welsh Government, and I am anxious to continue on that basis. Accepting the new clauses and the amendment could undermine that positivity, and the franchising process. We intend to use other powers—under the Government of Wales Act 2006—to devolve franchising functions, in agreement with the Welsh Government. That would achieve many of the objectives that the new clauses and the amendment seek to achieve.

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Will the Secretary of State explain clearly to us what the difference is between a German state-owned railway running a railway in Wales and a public body in England, or a Welsh Government-supported public body, doing so over the border?

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The hon. Lady will be fully aware that the rail franchise is a Wales and borders franchise, and that a significant number of passengers cross the border. The line itself crosses the border. It may well be the will of the Welsh Government to set up a state-run rail operation, but that clearly has implications for reserved or English matters, and the United Kingdom Government will want to protect both Wales and England in the process. Positive discussions are taking place about how we can best secure an efficient, effective, operating railway in Wales. The notices from the Official Journal of the European Union have already been issued, and, all being well, the franchise will take effect in April 2018.

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Is the Secretary of State really saying that it is OK for a German state-run organisation to run the railways in Wales, but not OK for a UK state-run organisation to do so?

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I think that the hon. Gentleman is missing the point. If he has read the Silk report, he will recognise the complexities that even Silk has highlighted. In relation to those complexities, we are negotiating with the Welsh Government in a positive, constructive environment. The new clause and the amendment do not meet the technical requirements, because their provisions would effectively stop at the administrative border. As the hon. Gentleman knows, many of the trains running in and out of his constituency come to and from England. Accepting the new clauses and the amendment would not meet the criteria that he seeks to meet.

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Will the Secretary of State give way?

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I will give way briefly, but I want to make some progress after that.

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The Secretary of State still has not answered the question. Does he not believe that, at the very least, there should be a level playing field? It seems that while a German company can run rail services in Wales, a United Kingdom company—let alone a co-operative or a partnership—would be prohibited from running the Welsh rail franchise.

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The OJEU advert has been made for the franchise. Good progress is being made and we wish to continue in the spirit in which the Welsh Government have made that advert—in the delicate and sensitive negotiations taking place, in the positive, constructive environment that already exists.

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Going back to the issue of financial controls and audits, I welcome the examinations in Wales of the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of sums paid out by the Welsh Consolidated Fund in Wales. That is a good thing. However, can the Minister confirm who will be responsible for audit studies and scrutiny of future large-scale projects where funds have been sourced from both Cardiff and Whitehall? I am thinking in particular of large-scale infrastructure projects that have got both Cardiff and Whitehall money.

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The hon. Gentleman raises an important point. The adjustments to the auditing arrangements demonstrate the maturity of the organisation. Where the money from the Welsh Consolidated Fund is being used and is being spent, it is absolutely right that the Auditor General for Wales acts and scrutinises that. Where money is being used from UK departmental funds and the Treasury, it is right for the Comptroller and Auditor General to scrutinise and develop that. I will happily look at further detail in the issues the hon. Gentleman raises about the potential of joint projects, and I will come back to him in due course. But these adjustments have been made at the request of the Welsh Government, supported by the Auditor General for Wales and accepted by the Comptroller and Auditor General. I hope the satisfaction of those bodies will satisfy the concerns in the relevant question that has been raised.

So we do not agree with the proposal, but, as I have mentioned, positive progress has been made between the UK Government and the Welsh Government on the franchising arrangements. Outstanding issues remain, and the Welsh Government and UK Government have been working over recent months to get to a position that works for all passengers and both Governments.

In amendment 2 the hon. Member for Newport West proposes devolving powers over the community infrastructure levy. I am pleased to see that uptake of the levy in Wales has made some progress with three charging authorities now collecting the levy—Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taff. It is a key objective of national planning policy in both England and Wales that local planning authorities plan positively for infrastructure needs. The levy is an important mechanism for securing funding for infrastructure. This amendment ties with the calls of the Welsh Government, but I can also see that in many ways it makes sense to have a unified development levy system across England and Wales. Complexities across borders can hinder investment. I am not therefore minded to agree to the amendment. Much of the argument behind the calls for it has been that the policy does not work for smaller authorities, of which there are many in Wales, but I would point out that Merthyr Tydfil and Caerphilly are two of the smallest authorities in Wales and they have made effective use of the community infrastructure levy.

Amendment 60 seeks to establish Wales as a separate legal jurisdiction, an issue that was debated extensively as part of the pre-legislative scrutiny of this Bill and in Committee. In its second report, published in March 2014, the Silk commission recommended that there

“should be further administrative devolution in the court system”.

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On the issue of the separate legal jurisdiction, while it is obviously sensible with an emerging body of distinct Welsh law to monitor and review that going forward, does the Secretary of State agree that what we must be careful of with a separate legal jurisdiction now is imposing separate legal jurisdiction service requirements and other things that would lead to Offa’s Dyke becoming a barrier to access to justice?

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The hon. Gentleman has made an important point and contributed in Committee to that effect, which considerably influenced a number of Members who had raised questions and concerns as the issue was debated. The hon. Gentleman’s expertise in this area should be well-heeded by those who want to see Wales flourish with a distinctive body of Welsh law, but who also recognise that the joint jurisdiction has worked and served well and effectively, and sends a clear message to potential investors and operators in Wales over the clarity and simplicity that is provided.

Many of the recommendations relating to administrative devolution in fact reflect the current position in Wales: the senior courts already sit in Wales, the administration of Welsh courts is overseen by HMCTS Wales, and court sittings are co-ordinated locally. The broader question of the case for devolving legislative responsibility was one of the key issues examined in the cross-party discussions under the St David’s Day process. Members will be aware that, as set out in the St David’s Day agreement, there is no political consensus to devolve justice. My party’s 2015 election manifesto made it clear that we would continue to reserve justice and policing. The Government are fully committed to maintaining the single legal jurisdiction of England and Wales. It has served Wales very well. It is also our firm view that it is the most effective, efficient and consistent way to deliver justice.

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The right hon. Gentleman alluded to the Silk report, but Silk talks about the need to review the system. I appreciate the standpoint of the right hon. Gentleman and his party, but this is an evolving picture, and does that not necessitate the recommendation of the Wales Governance Centre’s recent report that we should at least have a commission to look at these matters over a period of time?

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I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for the way in which he has made his intervention, but I would still underline the stability of the existing system and the certainty it provides. The title of the St David’s Day agreement was “Powers for a purpose” and I am still seeking to understand what additional purpose would be provided to anyone living or working Wales should there be a separate jurisdiction.

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The Secretary of State pointed to the administration of the courts in Wales and HMCTS, which has of course recently decimated court service provision across many parts of Wales, including the magistrates court in Carmarthen. When he talks about the benefits of a single jurisdiction, is that what he has in mind?

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The consequence, of course, would be to spend more money on public sector administration such as that. That would preclude the new innovations the Ministry of Justice is seeking to introduce, and new innovations clearly provide new opportunities. There is the opportunity for new services to be brought closer to communities, should we look at how we can enhance and make the system more efficient.

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Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

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I will come back to the hon. Member, but I want to finish my point.

I would remind Members that the whole debate around a separate legal jurisdiction came as a consequence of the necessity test in the draft Bill. The necessity test has been removed and the consequence could be that that call and demand for a separate jurisdiction should therefore fall. However, it is almost as though it has taken on a life of its own, but I still question the purpose, because I am still trying to find out what difference a separate legal jurisdiction would make for anyone living or working in Wales, other than uncertainty for investors when the reputation of the England and Wales legal system is recognised right around the world.

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But surely the purpose of a distinct legal jurisdiction would be the quality of justice provided in Wales, and at the end of the day this is the only legislature in the world which does not have a jurisdiction. This situation is crying out to be resolved, and if not now, when?

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rose—

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Order. I know the Secretary of State has a lot to tell us, but I am sure he is aware that quite a lot of other Members would also like to speak. Will he bear that in mind?

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On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. If we are under a severe time constraint, I wonder whether you could tell us how long we have for this debate?

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The debate has to finish by 7.57 pm. I call the Secretary of State.

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Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I will of course make swift progress, as you have requested.

Amendment 61 seeks to devolve legislative competence to the Assembly over Welsh language broadcasting and other Welsh language media. The Welsh language is a critical part of our cultural heritage in Wales, and the Government’s continued commitment to Welsh language broadcasting is a key element of preserving the language. It is a source of great pride for me that S4C was established by a Conservative Government over 30 years ago, and I note the welcome from a number of stakeholders for the statements made by the BBC on the funding of the channel. This demonstrates our commitment to the Welsh language. The proposal is not recognised by stakeholders and operators in this field, and neither was it called for by the Silk commission or the St David’s day agreement.

Amendment 66 would remove the requirement for the Assembly to seek the consent of UK Government Ministers for an Act of the Assembly that would modify the functions of a reserved authority if such an Act related to a Welsh language function. It is obviously right that the Welsh Government should have the freedom to act in the interest of the Welsh language, but it is also right that when those policies or obligations extend to reserved matters, a UK Government Minister should also approve them. This means that the UK Government have the responsibility to see the Welsh language protected in reserved areas too. That is not the sole preserve of Members of the Welsh Assembly; we all have a responsibility towards the Welsh language.

Amendments 68 and 69 seek to provide that future Assembly legislation altering the specification or number of constituencies or regions, or the number of Members they return, would be subject to agreement by a majority of Assembly Members rather than a super-majority. I think the hon. Member for Newport West is being rather mischievous in tabling these proposals, particularly in the light of the news—which Members heard about today and which will be made public tomorrow—about the potential changes to constituencies that send Members to this place.

The Smith commission recommended a two-thirds majority for Scottish Parliament legislation seeking to change the franchise, the electoral system or the number of constituency or regional Members. This was provided for in the Scotland Act 2016 and the UK Government committed in the St David’s Day agreement to implement the same arrangements for Wales. I believe that I have explained clearly why I cannot support the Opposition amendments and, on that basis, I urge Opposition Members to withdraw them in due course.

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This is one of those occasions to which we return every four or five years, and I am afraid that we are doomed to do so for the foreseeable future, because this is not the final word. We are all grateful for the amount of consensus on the Bill. Its main features are progressive and they will introduce stability and a new dignity to the Assembly, which is winning more respect for its position virtually every time we debate these Bills. There is general agreement on these measures, and I thank the Government for being pragmatic and generous enough to accept a reasonable number of our amendments. I also welcome the Secretary of State’s decision to appoint a young, thrusting MP as his new Parliamentary Private Secretary. It is nice to see that the spirit of giving youth a chance on our Front Bench has been extended to the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire (Glyn Davies) as well.

There is, however, a degree of timidity in the Bill. The Secretary of State’s responses to several of my hon. Friends’ points about Glas Cymru showed his failure to recognise the brilliant and unique initiative that was taken first at a meeting in this building and then honed elsewhere. It sounded too good to be true at the time, but it has recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. It has been going since 2001 and it has delivered all that it promised as a not-for-profit company that would pay dividends. It has delivered £1 billion to the Welsh economy every single year. It has also delivered below-inflation price increases, and by 2020, it will have done that for 10 successive years. Glas Cymru was hailed in 2001 by an international financial review newspaper as the best deal in the world, and it still is. We should celebrate that fact. It is still the only one of its kind; there is nothing else like it in the United Kingdom. On that basis, we hope to press new clause 3 to a Division.

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My hon. Friend mentions Glas Cymru. Is it not the case that bringing a natural monopoly such as water or rail into a system of beneficial collective ownership—allowing it to borrow very cheaply against the guaranteed income streams to be found in public services of that kind—is the ideal way to run such a public service? Does he also agree that, in comparison, privatisation is highly inefficient?

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I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. We hope to convince the Government to acknowledge the great value of Glas Cymru and to repeat that success with the railways.

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Another significant aspect of Glas Cymru is that it has been able to reduce its gearing and is now paying off its debts, whereas the debts of water companies elsewhere are geared to between 85% and 95% of their value. Glas Cymru’s debt is now down to about 65%. That is another dividend for the Welsh people.

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The hon. Gentleman makes a valuable point. This is a huge success story. Why are we not shouting this from the rooftops and trying to emulate it? We could do that in the very similar situation of the rail franchise. Members might recall the distinguished Member of Parliament, Robert Adley, who produced what was, to my mind, one of the best Select Committee reports in my time on railway privatisation. It was published in 1993 on a Wednesday but, sadly, he died on the preceding Sunday. He forecast all the weaknesses of the privatised system. That report, from a Conservative-dominated Committee, was approved unanimously by the Committee but not accepted by the then Government.

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May I also point out the superb job that Glas Cymru has done on renewable energy, which I know my hon. Friend takes a great interest in? In Wrexham, it is developing anaerobic digestion as well as solar power at its Five Fords site. This not-for-profit company is creating a positive role for renewable energy in our community.

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I warmly welcome my hon. Friend’s point. Again, the Government are blind to the prospects for Wales in the area of renewable energy, particularly in hydro. We can rely on many factors, including the tide and the rain. Indeed, 2,200 MV of electricity are produced in Wales via hydro.

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I agree with many of the points that have been made, including those of my hon. Friend. I spent this weekend at the Co-operative party conference in Cardiff, where we discussed the many benefits of co-operative, mutual and non-profit solutions for running services such as these. Does he agree that in addition to cost benefits, the involvement of employees and users in the design of the services can also be beneficial?

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The greatest part of the movement that my party has built on over the years is the co-operative movement and its great pioneers. It is a shame that we have not developed it more as a principle. Here, however, we have the opportunity to advance that principle in relation to the reality of the railways.

The purpose of the new clause is to remove the inappropriate restrictions on the exercise of Welsh Ministers’ powers over the rail franchises when they are devolved next year. Let the Welsh Assembly be free to repeat the success of Glas Cymru. It has been agreed between the two Governments that Executive powers over Wales-only services will be transferred to Welsh Ministers. Once that has been achieved, it is important that they are able to operate the franchise in line with their policy priorities.

As things stand under the provisions of the Railways Act 1993, Welsh Ministers would not be able to open the franchise to public sector operators. Those restrictions no longer apply in Scotland, as was pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for Neath (Christina Rees), and there is no case for them to apply in Wales. If the power is devolved, there should be no policy restrictions on its exercise. It must be open to Welsh Ministers to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of public transport in Wales, including ensuring that alternative models are fully considered and that new opportunities are seized. For example, if the Welsh Government want to open the Wales and Borders franchise to domestic public sector operators, that should be a matter for them.

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I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on new clause 3—it is strong Plaid Cymru policy—but it is based on the assumption that the franchise will be devolved. There have been warm words in the past, but it is unclear from the Secretary of State’s comments that that would actually be the case—hence my new clause 10. Does the hon. Gentleman know something that I do not? Will the powers definitely be devolved?

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That is for the Government to say, but my understanding is that they will be devolved and that is the basis of new clause 3. Such a change took place in Scotland, where it was recommended by the Smith commission. It was agreed by the UK Government and legislated for in section 57 of the Scotland Act 2016, so if we look forward with optimism, the change will come about. The new clause would make equivalent provision for Wales. In short, there is no reason why the Railways Act’s prohibition on public sector operators should apply to Welsh Ministers.

Looking at the reality of what is happening in Wales, over the last 12 years for which financial information is available, Arriva Trains Wales accumulated profits after taxation of £149 million and paid out dividends of £134 million. An average of 91.7% of profits were paid out in dividends each year, with over 100% being paid out in three of those years. Dividends accounted for a total of 11.9% of passenger income over the 12-year period, meaning that a not-for-dividend alternative to the current fiasco could result in a similar decrease in fares.

Furthermore, public funding through franchise payments from the Welsh Assembly Government far outstripped the passenger income of Arriva Trains Wales, amounting to 160% of the passenger income figure. Alternatively, it could be said that 8% of the huge taxpayer subsidy is paid out as dividends. That makes no sense. We are subsidising dividends and not lowering fares. In summary, a saving of 8% to the taxpayer or a fare reduction of almost 12% could be delivered by adopting a public ownership or not-for-dividend model. I hope that the Government will seize hold of that bold venture

The separation of jurisdictions has been a matter of great discussion and I will not spend too much time on it as I think we are under time pressure. We have been grateful for the authoritative comments and deliberations. We are currently disinclined to support amendment 60, although we are sympathetic towards it. We were told that the Lord Chancellor and Welsh Ministers should keep the justice system under review with input from the UK Government’s proposed official working group, so we proposed the appointment of an expert panel to advise them on practical legal issues. This should be a transparent and sustained road to a solution and is also the desire of the Welsh Government. We would like to maintain the suggestions made by my hon. Friend the Member for Llanelli (Nia Griffith) in the Bill’s earlier stages, but there is so much going on at the moment with Brexit and so on that it would not be sensible to make such changes. It would be rather like trying to change a car’s pistons while the engine is running, so we will not support the amendment but we understand the need for change.

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I am genuinely curious. Is the position just outlined by the hon. Gentleman also the position of the Government in Cardiff?

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Yes. We are working in close harmony with the Welsh Government on most of the recommendations. There is a sensible consensus between the Welsh Government, the UK Government and most parties. That is the only way forward if we are to build trust in devolution.

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The point is that since most of the necessity tests have been removed from the Bill the issue of the separate legal jurisdiction has become less complicated. The position outlined by my hon. Friend about looking at this emerging body of Welsh law and finding a pragmatic solution is entirely sensible and appropriate.

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I am grateful to my hon. Friend—we acknowledge his expertise in this matter. We will be looking for practical solutions. We hope that this subject comes up before the next Bill, but it guarantees the eternal nature of such Bills.

The Secretary of State described amendments 68 and 69 as mischievous, but I assure him that they are constructive and topical with Members having today gone through the trauma of the proposed constituency boundary changes. The proposals have brought anguish or joy to those of us who are looking forward to long careers in this House. As a late developer in politics and in life, I felt some anxiety that my career, which will reach its halfway point next year, could be cut short prematurely by the boundary changes, so I took some special interest in the matter.

The amendments propose changes to the methods used for deciding the number of Welsh Assembly Members. We have a crisis of democracy in this country. The mother of democracy has been degraded in many ways, a charge which comes from both sides of the House. People can buy their seats in the House of Lords through the acceptable practice of making donations to one of the three main parties. The Lords has 200 superfluous Members. Who said that? It was the new Speaker in the House of Lords. There is a case for immediate reform of that unelected place.

Problems also arise from other parts of our democracy. The hon. Member for Broxbourne (Mr Walker), Chairman of the Procedure Committee, made a powerful point last Thursday when he said that the planned move to cut the number of elected Members of Parliament was unjustified

“while the Lords continues to gorge itself on new arrivals.”—[Official Report, 8 September 2016; Vol. 614, c. 502.]

He is absolutely right. We need to change our democracy in many ways.

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My hon. Friend is rightly highlighting that there the debate should be broader than just what is mentioned in the amendments. Does he agree that there is an enormous democratic deficit in pushing ahead with the constituency boundary changes when nearly 2 million people newly on the electoral register will not be counted?

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It is the virtual disfranchisement of 2 million, so it is wrong on that basis. The timing is wrong.

Analysis of the boundary changes by Lord Hayward, a former Member of this House and Conservative peer, suggests that Labour would lose 13% of its MPs and that the Conservatives would lose 5%. Looking at the wreckage of our democratic system, which piece is being reformed?

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Does my hon. Friend agree that there is also a problem because we will be losing our four MEPs soon?

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My hon. Friend is absolutely right to say that there will be a gap there, and that was a change we did not know about. The Welsh Assembly, and partly this House, decided to have a progressive form of governing in Wales, where we recognise elements of proportional representation, although we do not welcome some of its results. It is right, however, that parties that gain 13% of the vote get 13% of the membership. We have an advanced democracy, as was voted for when the Labour Government set up the Welsh Assembly—the disgrace is in the Lords.

We know what would happen as a result of devolving to the Welsh Assembly the power to increase the number of Members. It would be a brave Assembly that did that in isolation, because adding more politicians is not the most popular thing. The only way this can be presented to the public is as part of a package deal; if the number of MPs is to go down, there would be a case for increasing the number of Assembly Members. Similarly, if the number of MEPs has decreased, a case that would be financially acceptable could be made. What is not acceptable is what the Government are doing now with a piecemeal reform of the only part of the democratic system that could be reformed to their advantage. We need an overall reform, cancelling the planned boundary changes and with the Government getting together with all parties to have a constitutional convention to clear up the nonsense of what is happening in the Lords and the disgrace of buying peerages. Even papers such as the Daily Mail condemned the decision of the last Prime Minister in his resignation honours—

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Will my hon. Friend give way?

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indicated assent.

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It may seem pretty good to some hon. Members, but we are drifting a little from where we should be. I know we are encompassing everything we need to, but I do not want to open up a full-blown debate on the House of Lords.

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I agree with many of the points my hon. Friend has made about the democratic deficit we could be heading towards. He said that the boundary review is to the Government’s advantage, and clearly that is their intention. But it is clearly not to the liking of all those on the Government Benches, as we saw from some of the points of order and comments coming from Conservative Back Benchers last week. Does he agree that the Government might well be stoking up trouble on their own side with this democratic atrocity?

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I am sure they will and they should concern themselves with that. Another Member made the point last week that by reducing the number of Members and not reducing the number of Ministers, the Government were strengthening the power of the Executive, at the expense of Back Benchers. This is a mess and it needs an overall root-and-branch reform.

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I do not like saying this, but I profoundly disagree with my hon. Friend on amendment 68, because it would be wrong to take away the requirement for a two-thirds vote among Assembly Members in order to change the numbers in the Assembly, but it should be a requirement to have two thirds of the people in this place vote to change the number of Members of Parliament. There is not even a requirement for any vote at all to change the number of Members in the House of Lords, because the Prime Minister simply appoints them.

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My hon. Friend makes his point effectively, and I would like to pursue it if we were to go that way. My amendment was a device to make sure that we could discuss this issue, as it is a matter of major importance. As we know, the provision for a super-majority in the Assembly is not necessary, because it is almost impossible under the system we have for any party to get an overall majority; in effect, any constitutional amendment taking place in the Assembly requires the votes of more than one party. I am not going to press this amendment to a vote, but I would like the Government to react to it and realise that what they are planning in the boundary changes is a cheat, which they are carrying out for their own political advantages, and not for the benefit of democracy. We have a crisis in democracy and we are not going to solve it in that way.

I hope that my hon. Friends the Members for Hyndburn (Graham Jones) and for Swansea East (Carolyn Harris) will catch your eye to speak on the amendment about betting, gaming and lotteries, Mr Deputy Speaker. I warmly support that proposal, having had the experience of going on a visit where I saw one of these fixed odds betting terminals in my constituency. The people there kindly switched it off and let me use it without spending my money, but had I been spending my money, it would have cost me about £100 in the half hour I was there; this system is very addictive.

We are generally in favour of the amendments that we have from government, most of which were sensible and had been requested by the Welsh Government or Opposition Members. I hope, therefore, that we can continue in this constructive, co-operative and consensual spirit, in order to make sure that Wales is better served by this Bill.

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I rise to support amendment 60, which stands in my name and those of my Plaid Cymru colleagues, and relates to the creation of a distinct legal jurisdiction. When the Wales Bill was re-announced in the Queen’s Speech, the Government claimed it would offer a “strong” and “lasting constitutional settlement” for Wales. The Minister has keenly told us that this settlement will last a “generation”, so it is a long-term devolution road map. But the Government’s obsessive desire to retain a 16th-century relic of a legal system has increasingly called into question the idea that this devolution settlement will last any longer than its predecessor. The former Counsel General for Wales, Theodore Huckle, QC, put it bluntly, saying:

“across the common law world the creation of new legislatures has been coupled with the formation of a distinct legal jurisdiction. But not in Wales.”

Furthermore, the Welsh Governance Centre’s “Justice in Wales” report, released this morning, stated that

“the administration of justice will require continuing reform to accommodate increasing divergence between the laws and policies of England and Wales.”

The Government’s proposed piecemeal and fragmented approach to this issue will only cause greater confusion, weaken the ability of the Welsh legal sector to operate effectively and create the need for constant “tweaking” by the Government, as we have been discussing today. Surely the Minister can see it is only logical that if he truly wants a lasting devolution settlement for the people of Wales, as I do, the Bill must recognise the need for a distinct Welsh legal jurisdiction.

Despite the logic in a move to put Wales on the same footing as Scotland and Northern Ireland by giving us our own separate legal jurisdiction, we recognise the Government’s concerns and want to work constructively with them.

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In the hon. Lady’s last few sentences, she went from talking about a distinct legal jurisdiction to discussing a separate one. On a distinct legal jurisdiction, I certainly agree that there will be an emerging body of Welsh law. But if a separate legal jurisdiction were to be introduced, how would that not increase barriers to access to justice, given that on every single cross-border case—I can remember those as a barrister—there may have to be that additional requirement of serving cross-border? Surely she would not want her constituents to have to face that.

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I mentioned a separate legal jurisdiction, which is what Plaid Cymru would prefer, but we are prepared in this instance, as a compromise, to work towards a distinct one, as it would not create additional costs in the court structure in Wales and would not provide a barrier for the legal profession. It is important to say that although we are presenting a compromise, Plaid Cymru has used exactly the same words as those of the alternative Wales Bill provided by the Welsh Government. I note the official Opposition’s announcement, whereby Labour in Wales has done a U-turn on this policy. We used these words very much with it in mind that we were trying to develop a spirit of compromise and agreement, as in Wales it was felt that this was necessary. When I address the official Opposition, I am genuinely curious to know who initiated this policy somersault: did it come from Welsh Labour or London Labour? We worked with a spirit of compromise in mind.

For this reason we are compromising and putting forward our amendment today calling for a distinct, as opposed to a separate, legal jurisdiction. A raft of leading constitutional and legal experts has outlined the cold hard facts about why a distinct Welsh legal jurisdiction needs to be created.

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I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her generosity in giving way again. In answer to the question, what happened is that the Bill has changed dramatically. The necessity test was all but taken out. That is what brought about the change. She is talking now about a distinct legal jurisdiction. Can she explain to us precisely what she means by that, and how exactly it would differ from the separate legal jurisdiction that I thought Plaid Cymru was advancing?

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I hope the hon. Gentleman will forgive me; I thought I had explained that previously.

Our proposal will require no extra court construction. We have the structures for justice in place already. What is proposed is a dividing of those court structures, as the amendments explain. This was recommended by a number of experts in these areas, including the Silk Commission and the vast majority of witnesses to the Welsh Affairs Committee. I must admit that on the Committee we almost felt that we were seeking witnesses to give an alternative view. The vast majority spoke in favour of a distinct or separate jurisdiction.

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I agree with the hon. Lady’s last comment, having served alongside her on the Welsh Affairs Committee. She mentions Paul Silk, who spoke about the need to review this matter within 10 years. The “Justice in Wales” report from the Wales Governance Centre referred to a standing commission. I think that was the view of the First Minister as well, when he announced the Bill that the hon. Lady mentioned. Given that there is an evolving picture, surely we should be monitoring it with a view to changing it in the near future? I may well share the final destination that she and her hon. Friends seek to reach, but there is a case for carrying people forward on the basis of experience over the next few years.

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I agree that we are seeing a gradual momentum in favour of the change. As I said earlier, if not now, when? We in Plaid Cymru feel that objections, rather than any real argument, are being cast up in front of us. We know that we are travelling on a trajectory. When will we reach the end point, without hindrances being thrown in our way?

Other advocates of our approach include Sir Roderick Evans, QC, the former High Court judge and pro-chancellor of Swansea University, barrister Rhodri Williams, QC, and solicitor Michael Imperato—greatly respected lawyers who felt so strongly about the issue that they created the Justice for Wales group. Further supporters were the constitutional experts at the Wales Governance Centre and the UCL constitution unit. Even the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, whom I quoted in the last debate on the Bill, has spoken in favour of a distinct legal jurisdiction.

I know that many people in the Minister’s party have spent the first half of this year telling us not to listen to experts, but I implore him to do so in this instance. He should drop the political and ideological obsession with a unified Welsh and English legal jurisdiction and take heed of the clear and logical advice of so many experts on this issue. With a new constitutional settlement, an increasingly divergent statute book, and Brexit set to change the shape of the UK, it is time for the Government to recognise the facts and the need for a distinct legal jurisdiction in Wales.

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I, too, sat through many Welsh Affairs Committee inquiries and lots of evidence from academics and legal experts on this matter. Yes, they all wanted a separate or a distinct legal jurisdiction, but the hon. Lady has not explained how it would work and, more importantly, how it would benefit the people of Wales to have a separate legal system.

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If the hon. Gentleman will forgive me, the amendment goes into detail, even in relation to the court structures and the professional structures that would be required. I argue strongly that we are travelling on this trajectory, and what is important is the quality of justice and the quality of decisions made in Wales in relation to legislation made in Wales.

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My hon. Friend the Member for Brecon and Radnorshire (Chris Davies) asked a pertinent question: what are the advantages to Wales? The St David’s Day agreement was about powers for a purpose. Has the hon. Lady read the fantastic article by Gwion Lewis in this month’s issue of Barn, in which he highlights the way in which the Supreme Court met in Cardiff and made a decision in relation to Welsh language education in Denbighshire, a decision which I am sure the hon. Lady would welcome? What would a distinct legal jurisdiction have decided differently in that case?

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We would argue that a distinct legal jurisdiction is needed for the quality of decisions to be made consistently. We are travelling in that direction. We need clarity on the matter. To be simple about it and not to reiterate the details that are in the amendment, the Welsh Assembly is the only legislature in the world that does not have its own jurisdiction. That in itself is a pretty clear argument.

We offer the Government a pragmatic solution to the issue that will ensure the long-term sustainability of this devolution deal for the people of Wales. Obviously, Plaid Cymru would prefer to see a clean break, with the creation of a separate legal jurisdiction, but our amendment offers a reasonable position that I hope the whole House will recognise as necessary. For this reason, I will be pressing the amendment to the vote.

On the Government and Opposition amendments, new clause 4 stops the devolution of decision-making powers over when to hold elections for police and crime commissioners in Wales. As it is another example of this Government’s shameful misunderstanding of what devolution means, we will not support this amendment if it is pressed to the vote, but we do not intend voting against it. Government amendments 3 to 8 are uncontentious and technical, and warrant no further discussion at this point.

A number of Government amendments are based on recommendations made in July by the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales, Elin Jones. Plaid Cymru had tabled these amendment in earlier stages and we are pleased to see that the Secretary of State has now endorsed our position. We are disappointed, however, that the Government have failed to recognise the Presiding Officer’s recommendations concerning the legislative consent process and the restoration of the Assembly’s current ability to legislate in an “ancillary” way on exceptions from competence.

Amendments 9 to 12 give the Presiding Officer, rather than the Secretary of State, powers over when to call a Welsh general election. These amendments, based on the Presiding Officer’s recommendations, are welcomed by Plaid Cymru and will be supported. We support Government amendments 14 to 18, which make changes to the finance provisions in the Bill. These are further examples of amendments proposed by the Presiding Officer which the Government have accepted. We also support the related consequential amendments, Government amendments 30, 31, 44, 48 and 51.

Amendments 19 to 22 laid by the Government insert the Welsh names of institutions into the Bill for clarity. These amendments are not controversial. Government amendment 26, which clarifies the ability of an Assembly Act to specify the prosecutor of an offence within devolved competence, is also based on the recommendations made by the Presiding Officer. I appreciate the Secretary of State’s explanation of this clarifying amendment, which we support.

Plaid Cymru also supports Government amendments 28 and 29. Amendment 28 allows for changes to the role of the Children’s Commissioner by the Assembly. Amendment 29 removes prohibition on the ability of an Assembly Act to modify sections 145 and 145A of the Government of Wales Act 1998, relating to examinations and studies by the Auditor General for Wales—again, a change suggested by the Presiding Officer. Government amendments 32 and 34 to 36 are technical changes or remove errors in the wording of the Bill. Government amendment 33 clarifies areas in which areas UK Ministers will retain authority. Although this is a technical change, we fundamentally disagree with the principle of this section of the Bill and will, if necessary, vote against the amendment.

Government amendments 39 to 42 increase the number of devolved bodies listed in schedule 4. We are pleased that the list has expanded, but the fact that the Government has had to expand it before the Bill is even enacted illustrates what Plaid Cymru has said from the beginning—that the Bill is overly restrictive and in the long term will inevitably become unworkable.

Amendment 43, tabled by the Government, allows Orders in Council to be used to make provision for proclamations related to the timing of elections, as provided for by amendments 11 and 12. As we support amendments 11 and 12, we will also support this amendment. Government amendment 49 is a technical change relating to the understanding of Wales public authorities. This amendment is not contentious. Government amendments 52 to 57 are either consequential or technical amendments. There is no need for comment on them at this time.

In conclusion, I look forward to the Secretary of State’s response.

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I rise to speak to new clause 3, on railways, and to amendment 2, on the community infrastructure levy.

Back in our Labour manifesto for the 2011 Assembly elections, we put forward the idea of exploring the possibility that a not-for-profit organisation should have the option to bid for the Wales and Borders rail franchise, in the same way that Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is owned by a not-for-profit organisation. Giving the Welsh Government further powers over rail transport brings decision making closer to people in Wales. Currently, the provisions of the Railways Act 1993 mean that it is not possible for a public sector body to bid for the franchise, which limits the options. Yet, ironically, a German state-owned company can operate the very same franchise.

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I hope I can provide clarity and be helpful. Many interventions earlier—and what the hon. Lady is alluding to—related to Glas Cymru. Can I clarify that Glas Cymru is a private company with no shareholders? Nothing precludes Glas Cymru, or a company such as Glas Cymru, from bidding for the franchise, because the Railways Act 1993 prevents just Crown local authorities or associated bodies from bidding.

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I thank the Secretary of State for his clarification.

The Bill offers an excellent opportunity to give the powers I mentioned to Wales, giving us the same powers as Scotland now has under the Scotland Act 2016. I do not accept the Secretary of State’s pretext for not accepting the new clause—that the time is wrong. This measure could be included in the Bill, whether or not sufficient time is available for bidding under any particular franchise timetable—the measure would be in the Bill, and it would be ready for whenever a new franchise timetable was put in place.

The Secretary of State has now clarified the point about Dŵr Cymru, which, of course, does serve customers in England—we need to remember that. I am sure that a Welsh-operated rail service could equally do so, whether operated by a public body, a not-for-profit organisation or a private company.

The Welsh Government have a strong track record of supporting rail services, from strengthening the Loughor bridge so that the dual track could be restored to ease congestion, to improving the valleys lines and pushing for electrification; supporting improvements to stations and surrounding areas, including integrated transport hubs, and developing plans for the Cardiff metro—not to mention supporting the Heart of Wales line, with exciting plans now to link the line to community regeneration, and looking at the feasibility of reopening the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth line. We now need to drive forward further connectivity across the Swansea Bay city region by improving services to and from Llanelli, Burry Port and Kidwelly and by developing the Swansea 9 lines services in the valleys around Swansea. I very much hope that the Secretary of State will rethink and will give the Welsh Government full powers and full options to look at every possibility for allowing not-for-profit companies, publicly owned bodies and so forth to bid for railway services in Wales.

On the community infrastructure levy, planning matters are wholly devolved, so it makes sense that the community infrastructure levy should be devolved too, given that it is an integral part of planning. The Secretary of State makes the point that developers could be put off by differences. Well, there are already some differences. The same argument was used against devolving building regulations, but they have now been devolved. It is up to the Welsh Government to think through whether particular differences will be a disadvantage or an advantage to Wales. Having the powers does not necessarily mean that they will have to make things different for the sake of being different; it is a discretion that is there to be used. It is crazy not to devolve this power when the CIL is so much part of the planning system.

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I declare that I am a county borough councillor in the Secretary of State’s constituency, although I do not receive an allowance for that. I can speak ad nauseam about the CIL, having served as a councillor for the last eight and a half years in the Vale of Glamorgan. There is a clear line, and I hope my hon. Friend will agree. In terms of planning controls and building controls, but specifically around the CIL, there are already differences, as she mentions, by county borough. In certain counties, such as the one I represent as a councillor, the CIL is significantly higher than, for example, in the one represented by my hon. Friend the Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Gerald Jones). Surely it makes absolute sense to have that devolution so that the Welsh Government can set priorities with Welsh local government, rather than relying on the Department for Communities and Local Government.

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Indeed, my hon. Friend is absolutely right—we have the explanation from the horse’s mouth, because he had to deal with this practically, in his everyday business, before he came into this place. I hope the Secretary of State will look again at this and consider very seriously the devolution of powers over the community infrastructure levy to the Welsh Government.

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I stand to speak to new clause 2 on fixed odds betting terminals. I welcome this amendment to the Wales Bill to confer legislative competence on the National Assembly for Wales to enable it to address the issue of FOBTs in Wales.

As Members will know, I have a long-standing concern about the growth and proliferation of FOBTs across the United Kingdom, and especially in Wales, as the Member of Parliament for Swansea East. That concern is shared by many in Parliament, and that has led to the formation of an all-party group on fixed odds betting terminals, of which I am proud to be the chair. The group is running an inquiry into FOBTs to assess their impact, and we will report to the Government early in the new year.

The new clause would confer legislative competence on the National Assembly for Wales to enable it to address the issue of FOBTs in Wales. That follows the adoption by the Welsh Assembly last year of a Back-Bench motion, supported by Members of all four parties then represented in the Assembly, calling attention to the social problems arising from the increase in gambling, and calling for consideration to be given to devolving responsibility over this matter to enable the Assembly to address it effectively.

The new clause is to be welcomed because it will add some additional control over FOBTs located in all new betting premises in Wales. Given the current low level of regulation surrounding FOBTs, any additional regulation is to be welcomed. The new clause would also, rightly, give Wales parity with Scotland in relation to FOBTs—there is no reason why there should be greater protection of the vulnerable in Scotland than in Wales or, indeed, in the rest of the UK.

However, while the new clause is a useful first step, it does not go far enough in protecting vulnerable communities and high streets in Wales. In particular, it is not retrospective, so it could enhance the value of current betting shops and will not limit the current proliferation of bookmakers and FOBTs. Instead, it will create a protected monopoly of existing betting shops. Moreover, the proposal could be challenging to implement on competition grounds, since it will alter the composition of new betting shops as opposed to current ones. How we implement the new powers in the Bill would also be a question to consider.

Many have reached the conclusion that the only effective way to tackle the problem of FOBTs is to reduce dramatically the stake that can be wagered on these machines from its current level of £100. That has not been addressed in the new clause, and it is the size of the stake that many see as the real issue with FOBTs.

There will be a “Panorama” programme tonight on this very issue, which will expose the problems that these machines are causing and the need for far more stringent regulation of them. I urge all Members of the House, if possible, to watch the programme. Nevertheless, I support the new clause as a first step.

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I want to concentrate my remarks briefly on new clause 3 and the rail franchise. What the Secretary of State has just said to the House about Dŵr Cymru is very helpful, so I will not go over that. However, it is important that the powers are devolved to the Assembly when these franchises come up. The Government have not got a good record when it comes to franchises for Welsh railways, and we saw the debacle with Virgin Trains. When the Wales and Borders franchise was set up, it was clear that responsibilities would lie within Wales. This very simple new clause is asking that the Assembly have the powers to ask publicly owned bodies to bid for the franchise. Let us not forget that the north-east coast railway was taken in-house when it got into trouble. There is already a facility within government for publicly owned running of railways. The new clause would give the Welsh Government the opportunity to put it out to franchise so that the excessive profits that have been made by Arriva trains are reinvested for the public good in Wales. That would be a positive step forward.

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I agree entirely with what the hon. Gentleman is saying. Is he, as I am, intrigued by the Government’s opposition, because it is clearly not ideological? They are happy for a state-owned company from Germany to run railways in Wales, but not for a state-owned company, or a co-op, from Wales to run them in Wales. It feels a bit like—malice, possibly?

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I did not understand the rationale of the Government when the Secretary of State tried to explain that earlier. Not only are German national companies operating, but UK publicly owned companies have been running the east coast line through the Department for Transport. It is a logical step to allow the Welsh Government to follow the same principle in offering this opportunity to publicly owned companies for the benefit of customers.

Let us be honest about our railways: this was a privatisation too far in the 1990s. It was rushed and it has not been working. We do not have privately run companies; we have an awful lot of public money subsidising private companies from across the globe, not just from this country. The new clause asks that the Welsh Government take responsibility and that moneys—profits—that are made are not paid in dividends to large shareholders but reinvested for the good of the customers in Wales. Let us give the Welsh Government the opportunity to be bold and radical, as they have been with water, and to put passengers first.

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I rise to speak to amendments 61 and 66.

Amendment 61 seeks to devolve Welsh language broadcasting and Welsh language media to Wales. There is currently a discrepancy in that the Welsh Government have powers over the Welsh language but no powers over S4C—Sianel Pedwar Cymru—or Welsh language media, including radio and some print media. The Welsh language media are of great cultural, economic and linguistic importance to Wales. In his report on the creative industries in Wales, Professor Ian Hargreaves argued that the level of public debate about S4C was not in line with its importance, both culturally and economically, and asked whether this was

“a consequence of the fact that S4C is funded…largely…from London”.

It is all very quiet, possibly because the money is coming from London—or was at that time, at least. Further, he said:

“The UK authorities involved (Ofcom and DCMS) lack the instinct and self-confidence to animate this uniquely Welsh debate and the Assembly Government lacks the formal mandate.”

This is the basis of my argument.

S4C and its service have endured a difficult period of financial instability following last year’s autumn statement, when the then Chancellor announced cuts to the S4C grant from £6.7 million to £5 million by 2020. The first year of those cuts has been reversed, but only the first year. Last week we were told that the BBC Trust intends to freeze S4C’s funding from now until the end of the current licence fee agreement in 2022. This was portrayed in the media as a victory for the industry, with stability achieved, but it is a cut in real terms. With the proposed review of the funding and governance of S4C, and the BBC charter up for renewal in 2017, the future of the Welsh language channel still remains mired in uncertainty. The UK Government may have an agenda to cut funding for broadcasters in the long term. That is indeed a matter for the UK Government, but why should people in Wales be bound by decisions in London regarding media platforms that, by definition, operate through the medium of one of Wales’s official languages? Of all matters, this is surely one that most clearly pertains to Wales.

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The hon. Gentleman represents a constituency with a number of television producers who produce television programmes for S4C. Can he name a single one who has asked for S4C to be devolved to the competency of the Welsh Assembly?

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No, of course not. This is Plaid Cymru’s policy and this is the argument that has been made by various highly respected academic commentators, and others for that matter. [Interruption.] The Minister starts from the business end; I start from the governance end. The governance of S4C and how it should be regulated should be a matter for the Welsh Government. The argument is in the nature of the beast. It is S4C—Sianel Pedwar Cymru. It is broadcasting in Welsh in Wales: why should not the Welsh Government have responsibility? The case is unanswerable.

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The hon. Gentleman is surely aware of the extraordinary genesis of S4C. If not, I would like to spend an evening with him going over the convoluted actions that took place. We have S4C because Mrs Thatcher was reading Irish history at the time when Gwynfor Evans was promising to fast to death. There was a long and honourable battle, with the sacrifices of young people in Wales, to gain S4C. We cannot complain, as a nation, about the way it has been funded since its genesis.

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I agree entirely that it has been very generously funded, and funded without very much review for 25-odd years until fairly recently. [Interruption.] Indeed—and then what happened? The hon. Gentleman asks whether I am aware of the genesis of S4C. Let me say clearly that I have the conviction to prove that I am very well aware of what happened during that period. I think I had better leave it at that.

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I am sure that my hon. Friend agrees that S4C’s funding has resulted in it currently running more than 50% repeats, which is not satisfactory.

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The television landscape has certainly changed enormously. Many broadcasters are now running a great number of repeats. The point about Welsh language television is that it has a purpose beyond just providing entertainment, or even informing or educating: it is there as part of the national project to sustain, speaking in dramatic terms, the rescue of the language.

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I cannot allow the slur from the hon. Member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd (Liz Saville Roberts) to go unresponded to. A significant proportion of the repeats on S4C are children’s programmes. As the father of five children, I am aware that the more repeats there are, the more they enjoy them.

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Responding also as the father of five children, I would say that repeats of “Cyw” are very popular in my house.

The report of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, “The UK’s Changing Union”, called for full responsibility for S4C to be transferred to the National Assembly and thus to the Welsh Government. Plaid Cymru Members are of the firm belief that Wales should have full control over a channel that belongs to and serves the Welsh people. We should determine its future. The Secretary of State said last week that he will continue to do everything he can to ensure the channel’s continued success, and I take him at his word—I am sure that he meant it very sincerely. Conservative Members claim to have devolution at the core of their world view. “Cut out the mandarins!”, they cry. “The user”, or the customer even, “is king—take it as low as it can go—and not those dratted men in Whitehall.” If so, is not the control of a medium that serves Wales and Wales alone best placed in the hands of the people that it serves? I look forward with interest to hearing the Secretary of State justify this peculiar inconsistency on the issue.

Amendment 66 was tabled following concerns expressed to us by the Welsh Language Commissioner regarding the Bill’s potential effect on the National Assembly’s powers to legislate on matters pertaining to the Welsh language. A possible effect of schedule 2 is that should the National Assembly wish to legislate for the Welsh language, it would require the consent of the relevant UK Minister to confer, impose, modify or remove within that legislation the Welsh language functions of Ministers of the Crown, Government Departments, and other reserved authorities.

Under the current settlement, ministerial consent is required only when legislating to impose Welsh language functions on Ministers of the Crown. The ministerial consent provisions of the Wales Bill in relation to the Welsh language appear to apply to a wider range of persons than is currently the case, which would be more restrictive. I would be interested to hear the Secretary of State’s explanation or justification for that.

Let us consider a practical example. The Welsh Language Commissioner has already engaged in the statutory processes that would result in placing a duty on bodies such as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service, Ofcom and the BBC to adopt Welsh language standards. Our amendment would remove the requirement for ministerial consent for Acts of the Assembly affecting functions of reserved authorities, public authorities and Ministers where the Act of the Assembly relates to a Welsh language function. I am sure that the House will agree that that provision is fair and reasonable, given that the Welsh language is, quintessentially, a devolved issue.

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I suspect that I can offer clarity and reassurance on this issue. There is nothing in the Bill that will affect the Welsh language retrospectively. For example, any standards imposed on a public body as a result of the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 will still be imposed by the Welsh Language Commissioner, with no effect as a result of changes in this Bill. If a future Welsh Language Measure were to be proposed, then it would have an effect, but that takes us back to the issue of democratic accountability. After all, the Welsh language is not only the language of Wales; it should also be the responsibility of this House. On the hon. Gentleman’s concerns, there is nothing in the Bill that will affect the 2011 Measure and the way in which standards are imposed under it.

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I accept that the Minister sincerely holds that view. I am reflecting on the arguments put forward by the Welsh Language Commissioner.

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I met the Welsh Language Commissioner in August. We have subsequently written to her, highlighting the fact that the concerns raised in relation to the operation of the 2011 Measure have no grounds. In other words, the 2011 Measure is not affected by the Bill. There will be an impact if a subsequent Welsh Language Measure is passed by the Welsh Assembly, but it does not affect the way in which the legislation—

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Order. In fairness, I let the first one go on far too long. If you do not want to sum up at the end, do not try to sum up halfway through. Interventions have to be short. There are still another three speakers to come. I am very tolerant, but I am being tested.

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Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. This matter will probably be addressed again when the Bill goes to another place. Perhaps we could have some discussions with the Welsh Language Commissioner in the meantime, to see whether her concerns are still justified.

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The Under-Secretary has said that the Welsh language belongs to this House as well as to the Assembly, so is the hon. Gentleman as concerned as I am that we are unable to conduct debates through the medium of Welsh?

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That is a very interesting and pertinent point. Welsh, of course, is a British language. I will regale the House, if I may, with a point that surprised the predecessor of the hon. Member for Torfaen (Nick Thomas-Symonds) when I made it in the House some years ago when he was having a go at me about my Welsh language enthusiasms. I told him that English is also a Welsh language, which promptly shut him up.

I will turn briefly to Government amendment 13, which removes the requirement for a statement by the Presiding Officer to be made in both Welsh and English. As has already been said, the Assembly’s legal requirements and Standing Orders already require statements to be bilingual, so the amendment removes duplication and I am glad to welcome it.

On amendments 63 to 67, amendment 1 and new clause 2, we would welcome the devolution of gambling, betting, lotteries and the associated licensing. The hon. Member for Swansea East (Carolyn Harris) has done a great deal of work on the issue and I commend her for it. By devolving responsibility for those issues, I am sure we will be able to create solutions that really fit the needs of the people of Wales.

I hope, of course, for a complete capitulation on all those matters by the Secretary of State, but if, unaccountably, he is not that way inclined, I look forward to his comments later this evening or to whatever he would care to correspond with me about by letter. I will not, therefore, seek to divide the House.

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I am pleased that this Bill has come to the House; I, too, sat through many Welsh Affairs Committee sittings. I support new clause 2 because, if agreed, it would allow the Welsh Assembly to take action on fixed odds betting terminals. I want to place on the record my membership of the newly established all-party parliamentary group on FOBTs, and my support for the comments of its chair, my hon. Friend the Member for Swansea East (Carolyn Harris).

FOBTs let people play a variety of games, such as roulette, and they have long been a cause of concern because of the potential for users to lose large sums of money on them. The machines take bets of up to £100, with a maximum delay of 20 seconds between bets, meaning that users can make heavy losses in very short periods of time. There is a widespread view that the maximum stake of £100 is far too high. No other country in the developed world has £100-stake machines, other than in highly supervised casino environments.

Right hon. and hon. Members will have heard these machines described as the “crack cocaine of gambling” by those who work with addicts. The number of machines has grown steadily. Last year, there were some 1,500 of them in Wales. Each betting shop can have up to four of them, and according to Living Room—a Cardiff charity that helps gambling addicts—an estimated £1.6 billion was staked on FOBTs in Wales last year.

Of course, many millions of people partake in gambling, whether by buying a lottery ticket or by betting on the grand national, but for many people gambling can become a very serious addiction, which can threaten a person’s relationship, their livelihood and, in some cases, their life. According to the charity GamCare, the number of people receiving treatment for gambling addictions has risen by 39%, and the number of people who have problems as a result of playing on FOBTs represents 26% of those people who are in contact with the charity. The number of calls from people addicted to FOBTs has gone up by 50% over the past five years.

There is mounting evidence that it is those people who use FOBTs who are most at risk of problem gambling. The Gambling Commission has concluded that

“while gaming machines appear to appeal to many gamblers, they seem to be particularly attractive to those at risk of problem gambling and to those with a gambling problem. Compared to non-problem gamblers, problem gamblers tend to play on gaming machines more frequently and spend more time and money on them.”

It causes me huge concern when I read reports that the number of betting shops with FOBTs is twice as high in the poorest areas of the UK—socially deprived communities—and that a disproportionate amount of the money gambled in them comes from people on low incomes. The Campaign for Fairer Gambling has found that FOBTs have

“the highest ratio of use by the lowest income…gamblers”

and

“the second highest ratio of use by unemployed gamblers”.

One gambler, who was left with debts of £17,000 as a result of using these machines, has described them as

“by far the most addictive form of gambling that’s easily accessible to anyone. I could lose £80 in one night on fruit machines, but with a FOBT you can lose that in literally seconds.”

He added that

“people don’t understand how addictive these things are, they are worse than cocaine and alcohol. You get lost in your own little world and have tunnel vision, nothing matters only that next spin whatever the consequences.”

Regrettably, despite the evidence of the real harm that these machines pose, and of the need for tougher regulation and support for users, the UK Government have not shown leadership and have so far refused to act against them. The only real regulation is that the machines are limited to four per betting shop.

We would take a step forward this evening if we supported the new clause and devolved power to the Welsh Assembly, to enable it to tackle the issue. The Assembly could decide to follow the advice of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, which has recommended reducing the number of machines per shop from four to one, as well as reducing the maximum stake that a user can place.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Swansea East said, the Assembly has already called for powers: last March, it passed a motion calling on the UK and Welsh Governments to work together to devolve more powers over the licensing of gaming machines. It is right that decisions on how to tackle FOBTs are taken in Wales, as is the case in Scotland, and the new clause and associated amendments will allow the Assembly to take a lead in addressing the challenge of problem gambling, which is so associated with those machines. I therefore ask Members to fully support new clause 2.

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Diolch yn fawr iawn, Mr Deputy Speaker. Amendment 67 and new clause 10, which are in my name and those of my parliamentary colleagues, would put the devolution of the Wales and Borders franchise clearly in the Bill, fulfilling the UK Government’s promise to do so. Before I get into my speech, may I say that I will gladly not say a word if the Secretary of State or the Minister intervenes to say that they will proceed with that promise and if they outline the legislative vehicle whereby these powers will be devolved to Wales?

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We are negotiating with the Welsh Government over the use of a transfer of functions order under the 2006 Act.

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The Secretary of State is telling us that he will introduce a statutory instrument once the negotiations are complete. In that regard, I will not be pressing the matter to a vote. I am glad that it is now on the record that he will keep that promise, which was made to the people of Wales in successive statements in the House by the former Prime Minister. Many people in Wales are slightly confused about why the promise has not been included in the Bill, but that is positive news, so I will cut my speech in half.

I would, however, like to raise an associated point about the way in which the franchise may be altered—or, to put it another way, butchered—by siphoning off the more lucrative routes. The Secretary of State is fully aware that those lucrative routes are very valuable to the franchise. The Welsh Government have to put in a huge subsidy, as I understand it, and £700 million was paid between 2011-12 and 2014-15. If those routes are taken away from the franchise, the public subsidy paid by the people of Wales for that franchise will increase significantly.

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The hon. Gentleman makes an excellent point about the finances of any such butchery, as he describes it. Does he agree with the great concern of several of my constituents about the impact of that butchery more generally in west Wales on well-established long-distance trade routes between Aberystwyth and Birmingham International or Manchester?

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The hon. Gentleman makes a valuable point. That is why the franchise was constructed as it was, and it would be a travesty if the more lucrative routes were taken away. In his summing up, I would be grateful if the Secretary of State alleviated some of those fears.

Now that the Secretary of State has responded positively to some of the main issues that I wanted to raise, I will quickly turn to some of the other amendments in the group—two tabled by the Official Opposition, and the other by the Government—before I conclude. Plaid Cymru welcomes amendment 2, which would devolve the community infrastructure levy. As the hon. Member for Llanelli (Nia Griffith) said, it is associated with local government functions, and it makes total sense to synergise that levy in a devolved context. If the Labour party decide to press the amendment to a vote, we will support it.

In many ways, the principle behind amendment 2 is the same as that behind the Government new clause on the police and crime commissioner elections: because those elections are reserved, it is necessary to put that in the Bill. Amendment 2 clearly concerns something that is associated with a devolved function. I ask the Secretary of State to reconsider his position, if not today, then when the Bill is debated in the other place.

New clause 3 would remove restrictions in the Railways Act 1993 on certain public sector bodies bidding to operate a rail franchise in Wales. That is a long-standing Plaid Cymru policy. Many Labour Members, not least the shadow Secretary of State for Wales, have made powerful speeches about it, and when the time comes for a Division on the new clause, Plaid Cymru will support it. Based on what the Secretary of State said in his intervention, the new clause is not premature. It is pertinent that we make progress on it, and we will support the Labour party in the Division Lobby later.

Lastly, Government amendment 27 is a technical change relating to the wording around nationally significant infrastructure projects, and we see no reason to oppose it.

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It is a great pleasure to follow all the hon. Members who have spoken so far. As a child, I was intrigued to discover that it took an elephant two years to give birth, because that always struck me as a rather long time. So it seems with the Wales Bill, too, but it is good to be here at this stage of the journey.

I rise to speak in support of several important but practical new clauses and amendments, including amendment 1 and new clause 2 on fixed odds betting terminals. After the moving speeches by my hon. Friends the Members for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Gerald Jones) and for Swansea East (Carolyn Harris), I think many of us will feel genuinely fired up about the idea of transferring that power to the National Assembly. This is a power that can change people’s lives. This is a power that can do something about the addictive potential of these machines. I very much hope that amendment 1 and new clause 2 are successful.

I support, too, amendment 2, which would transfer power over the community infrastructure levy to the National Assembly. That will create closer links between planning and infrastructure, and it is a good and sensible place for the levy to be devolved to.

Many of my colleagues, including my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Llanelli (Nia Griffith)—my good friend—spoke in great detail about the new clause on railways. It is totally incongruous. It is a case of “Don’t mention the Germans”, a bit like John Cleese in “Fawlty Towers”. It is extraordinary that the Germans can run our trains, and yet public bodies in Wales do not have the right to bid for the rail franchises. Quite frankly, that is ludicrous.

I would like to make a point about amendment 61 on Welsh language broadcasting, because I am a bit sympathetic towards this. My hon. Friend the Member for Newport West (Paul Flynn) is the author of “How to be a Backbencher”. Now that he has a lot of good colleagues on the Back Benches, he can expect us to have read his book with great care. One of the things that good Back Benchers do is to make independent and pertinent points from the Back Benches.

It is somewhat peculiar that the power for the Welsh language is devolved—as it should be—to the Welsh Assembly, but that that is not the case for Welsh language broadcasting. Of course, S4C and many media organisations would be concerned about the proposal, because of the way in which the funding goes to the fourth channel through the licence fee, and I accept that there are practical difficulties with this. It is not that surprising that colleagues from Plaid Cymru—who, after all, want to devolve the whole of Wales—want to devolve this power, but some of the points made by the hon. Member for Arfon (Hywel Williams) on the matter were very pertinent.

This issue goes back to the last Parliament and the whole business of how S4C funding was dealt with, when a Minister from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport came to the Select Committee to tell us that he had never seen S4C but he had heard of Fireman Sam. To be perfectly honest, we must never go back to that shambles. We must never go back to a situation where there is no collaborative working between us in this House and the Welsh National Assembly. What happened in the last Parliament was not on, and it should never, ever be repeated.

I know that we have all enjoyed the Wales Bill and its numerous sittings. I was intrigued to remember that St David said “do the little things.” In fact, he did not say exactly that; he said,

“do the little things that you have seen me do”,

but I have often thought that if he had just said “do the little things”, it would have been very appropriate for us Members in this House going through the minutiae of the Wales Bill.

This Bill has been finished, we hope, and will now move on. However, as we consider devolution in the future, let me make a plea for us to remember that it is an ongoing process—I am not the first person to say so—and that we must see how it develops. For example, let us take the case in the past week of north Wales local authorities speaking of increased devolution to north Wales, with tax-raising and other powers. At its heart, devolution has to be relevant, and to be relevant it has to be relevant to every part of Wales. Its relevance comes with its practical application. I take great pride in the fact that the local authority leaders of north Wales, which include Labour, independent and Plaid leaders—I think I have got all the combinations right—are all very committed to that happening. We may have said goodbye to the Bill for today. We

“say, good-bye—but just for now!”,

as Dylan Thomas might have said. However, the process goes on, and how we deal with that will be pivotal in the future. That is why the north Wales devolution ideas should be part of that process.

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Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, for calling me as, I think, the last speaker on the first group of amendments. This Report stage has been characterised by rather more interest—

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Apart from among the Tories.

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Indeed. There is increased enthusiasm for the Bill, comparing attendance on Report with that in Committee, at least on the Opposition Benches.

I very much concur with the hon. Member for Clwyd South (Susan Elan Jones) on what she said about the particular relevance of some of the amendments, not least the one on betting terminals, amendment 1, as well as new clause 2. A big overarching issue with such Bills is sometimes the question: how is devolution relevant to my life? If there ever was an amendment that would have direct relevance to how people live their lives and are able to be supported in their lives, it is that amendment.

New clause 3 on rail franchising is another such amendment. The hon. Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (Jonathan Edwards) kindly allowed me to intervene on that point. Whether we have the capacity to control the rail network from Aberystwyth to Birmingham International airport will have a direct effect on my local economy, and prove a great convenience or inconvenience to many of my constituents. Such important issues are about making devolution relevant, and about making important decisions that are relevant at the most appropriate level. I therefore very much support at least those two amendments.

I want to say a few words about amendment 60, tabled by the hon. Member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd (Liz Saville Roberts), whom I consider a friend. She serves with great diligence on the Welsh Affairs Committee. Of all the issues we looked at during pre-legislative scrutiny of the now infamous Bill, which had so many flaws, the issue that gained most prominence was that of distinct or separate jurisdictions. The Members who have asked what that actually means should look at the amendment in detail. Indeed, they should also look at the excellent report that the Wales Governance Centre has produced today, which gives a clear indication of why this issue is important.

I happen to share, as does my party, many of the aspirations of my Plaid Cymru friends, but my hesitancy on amendment 60 is about the timing. The executive summary the of Wales Governance Centre report, which is very timely, says that

“the administration of justice will require continuing reform to accommodate increasing divergence between the laws and policies of England and Wales.”

That is a fact. Twenty-four pieces of legislation were passed during the last Assembly term, and there is a growing body of Welsh law that requires attention.

Sadly, the Government have shut the door on the issue. They set up a joint working group. I have seen the terms of reference, but I have not seen any report from the group. We do not know how the meetings have been undertaken, what the outcomes will be or what the outcomes will feed into in the future. That is why I look back with some regret to the Committee stage, during which an amendment calling for a commission on justice in Wales was rejected. As such divergence evolves and a body of Welsh law—it is recognised in this Bill, to the Government’s credit—emerges, there will be nowhere for it to go, which is why the idea of a commission was so important.

My problem with amendment 60 is that, as night turns into day, a great leap will be necessary. As Silk suggested, I think we need to consider a period of review and reflection—not vague, cul-de-sac, long-grass reflection, but something set up in statute, as would have been done by the official Opposition’s amendment in Committee, moved by the hon. Member for Newport West (Paul Flynn). The Wales Governance Centre has endorsed the idea of the need to look at and reflect on these issues, and to return to them in due course. Believe it or not, I suggest this issue will not go away; it will return. To our regret, the Government have shut the door on this issue.

Paul Silk said:

“There should be a review within ten years of the case for devolving legislative responsibility for the court service, sentencing, legal aid, the CPS and the judiciary to the National Assembly.”

His report is now an increasingly dated document. I have referred to it repeatedly, but it was some time ago. When the First Minister produced the Government and Laws in Wales Bill—the Plaid Cymru research department has mischievously used the wording of the Labour party’s Bill, as it was right to do in tabling its amendment—he said something very important when questioned by my colleague Kirsty Williams. He said, in accordance with Silk:

“Let’s not pretend that the devolution of justice is easy or that it can be done quickly. At the very beginning, we have to set up the expertise within Government to deal with issues of justice and to deal with the penal system, and that does take a long lead-in time. So, I think it’s a reasonable period of time—that 10-year period—in order to see justice devolved.”

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The hon. Gentleman will be aware that our amendment 60 is, line for line, what the Welsh Government introduced as their alternative Wales Bill.

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The hon. Gentleman is quite right. I have studied the amendment very carefully, as indeed I studied the Bill that the First Minister presented to the National Assembly and the exchanges between the party leaders about the wording of the Bill on 8 March. The First Minister laid great emphasis, as did my colleague Kirsty Williams, on the timing, and that is the crucial point. I happen to share the aspiration, but I have concerns about the timing. That is why I cannot support amendment 60 tonight—I will not vote against it—and why I am deeply saddened that the Government have not understood the real importance of the issue.

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I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman for making that point, which gets to the nub of the problem. Although we are flattered that Plaid Cymru have chosen to use the words of the Welsh Government’s policy as it was a few weeks ago, that policy has matured. In the present circumstances—very much influenced by what the Wales Governance Centre has said—it would be foolish to go ahead with it at this moment. It is premature.

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The policy may have matured, but I assert that this issue needs to be monitored, because it will not go away. That is why the responsibility is not on my Plaid Cymru friends or indeed the official Opposition, but on the Government to acknowledge the importance of the issue of separate and distinct jurisdictions and not let it disappear from sight. The issue will not go away, and I have every faith that in five years’ time, the hon. Gentleman will be in the Chamber making the same speech he made earlier about the importance of this issue. The issue will not go away, and the Government need to respond to it.

Question put and agreed to.

New clause 4 accordingly read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

Clause 1

Permanence of the National Assembly for Wales and Welsh Government

Amendments made: 3, page 1, line 5, leave out

“after Part 2 (the Welsh Government)”

and insert

“before Part 1 (National Assembly for Wales)”.

The effect of this amendment and amendments 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 is that the new sections about the permanence of the Assembly and the Welsh Government, and recognition of Welsh law, are inserted at the beginning of the Government of Wales Act 2006 rather than after Part 2 of that Act.

Amendment 4, page 1, line 7, leave out “2A” and insert “A1”.

Amendment 5, page 1, line 9, leave out “92A” and insert “A1”.

Amendment 6, page 1, line 10, after “Assembly”, insert “established by Part 1”.

Amendment 7, page 1, line 10, after “Government”, insert “established by Part 2”.

Amendment proposed: 60, page 2 leave out lines 4 to 9 and insert—

Part 2B

Establishment of Two Distinct Jurisdictions

92B Legal jurisdictions of Wales and of England

The legal jurisdiction of England and Wales becomes two legal jurisdictions, that of Wales and that of England.

92C The law of Wales and the law of England

(1) The law of England and Wales is divided into the law of Wales and the law of England.

(2) All of the law that extends to England and Wales immediately before the coming into force of this section—

(a) except in so far as it applies only in relation to England, is to extend to Wales (and becomes the law of Wales), and

(b) except in so far as it applies only in relation to Wales, is to extend to England (and becomes the law of England).

(3) In this section “law” includes—

(a) rules and principles of common law and equity,

(b) provision made by virtue of an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament, an Act of the Welsh Parliament or an Act or Measure of the National Assembly for Wales, and

(c) provision made pursuant to the prerogative.

(4) Any provision of any enactment or instrument enacted or made, but not in force, when subsection (1) comes into force is to be treated for the purposes of that subsection as part of the law that extends to England and Wales (but this subsection does not affect provision made for its coming into force).

92D Senior Courts system

(1) The Senior Courts of England and Wales cease to exist (except for the purposes of sections 92H (3) and (4)) and there are established in place of them—

(a) the Senior Courts of Wales, and

(b) the Senior Courts of England.

(2) The Senior Courts of Wales consist of—

(a) the Court of Appeal of Wales,

(b) the High Court of Justice of Wales, and

(c) the Crown Court of Wales, each having the same functions in Wales as are exercisable by the corresponding court in England and Wales immediately before subsection (1) comes into force.

(3) The Senior Courts of England consist of—

(a) the Court of Appeal of England,

(b) the High Court of Justice of England, and

(c) the Crown Court of England,

each having the same functions in England as are exercisable by the corresponding court in England and Wales immediately before subsection (1) comes into force.

(4) For the purposes of this Part—

(a) Her Majesty’s Court of Appeal in England is the court corresponding to the Court of Appeal of Wales and the Court of Appeal of England,

(b) Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice in England is the court corresponding to the High Court of Justice of Wales and the High Court of Justice of England, and

(c) the Crown Court constituted by section 4 of the Courts Act 1971 is the court corresponding to the Crown Court of Wales and the Crown Court of England.

(5) Subject to section 92I—

(a) references in enactments, instruments and other documents to the Senior Courts of England and Wales (however expressed) have effect (as the context requires) as references to the Senior Courts of Wales or the Senior Courts of England, or both; and

(b) references in enactments, instruments and other documents to Her Majesty’s Court of Appeal in England, Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice in England or the Crown Court constituted by section 4 of the Courts Act 1971 (however expressed) have effect (as the context requires) as references to either or both of the courts to which they correspond.

92E County court and family court

(1) The county court and the family court cease to exist (except for the purposes of sections 92H (3) and (4)) and there are established in place of them—

(a) the county court of Wales and the family court of Wales with the same functions in Wales as are exercisable by the county court and the family court (respectively) immediately before this subsection comes into force, and

(b) the county court of England and the family court of England with the same functions in England as are exercisable by the county court and the family court (respectively) immediately before this subsection comes into force.

(2) For the purposes of this Part—

(a) the county court is the court corresponding to the county court of Wales and the county court of England, and

(b) the family court is the court corresponding to the family court of Wales and the family court of England.

(3) Subject to section 92I references in enactments, instruments and other documents to the county court or the family court (however expressed) have effect (as the context requires) as references to either or both of the courts to which they correspond.

92F Judiciary etc.

(1) All of the judges, judicial office-holders and other officers of Her Majesty’s Court of Appeal in England or Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice in England become judges, judicial office-holders or officers of both of the courts to which that court corresponds.

(2) All of the persons by whom the jurisdiction of the Crown Court constituted by section 4 of the Courts Act 1971 is exercisable become the persons by whom the functions of both of the courts to which that court corresponds are exercisable except that (despite section 8(2) of the Senior Courts Act 1981)—

(a) a justice of the peace assigned to a local justice area in England may not by virtue of this subsection exercise functions of the Crown Court of Wales, and

(b) a justice of the peace assigned to a local justice area in Wales may not by virtue of this subsection exercise functions of the Crown Court of England.

(3) All of the judges, judicial office-holders and other officers of the county court become judges, judicial office-holders or officers of the county court of Wales and the county court of England.

(4) All of the judges, judicial office-holders and other officers of the family court become judges, judicial office-holders or officers of the family court of Wales and the family court of England except that (despite section 31C(1)(y) of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984)—

(a) a justice of the peace assigned to a local justice area in England is not a judge of the family court of Wales, and

(b) a justice of the peace assigned to a local justice area in Wales is not a judge of the family court of England.

92G Legal professions

(1) Every legal practitioner who would (but for this Part) at any time after the coming into force of this Act be entitled to carry on a reserved legal activity for the purposes of the law of England and Wales, in proceedings in England and Wales or before the courts of England and Wales, has at that time the same entitlement for the purposes of the law of England and the law of Wales, in proceedings in England and proceedings in Wales and before the courts of England and the courts of Wales.

(2) In this section—

“legal practitioner” means every solicitor, barrister, notary, legal executive, licensed conveyancer, patent attorney, trade mark attorney, law costs draftsman, accountant or other person who, in accordance with the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29), is entitled to carry on a reserved legal activity;

“reserved legal activity” has the same meaning as in the Legal Services Act 2007.

92H Division of business between courts of Wales and courts of England

(1) The Senior Courts of Wales, the county court of Wales, the family court of Wales and the justices for local justice areas in Wales are to apply the law extending to Wales (including the rules of private international law relating to the application of foreign law).

(2) The Senior Courts of England, the county court of England, the family court of England and the justices for local justice areas in England are to apply the law extending to England (including the rules of private international law relating to the application of foreign law).

(3) All proceedings, whether civil or criminal, pending in any of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, the county court or the family court (including proceedings in which a judgment or order has been given or made but not enforced) must be transferred by that court to whichever of the courts to which that court corresponds appears appropriate.

(4) The transferred proceedings are to continue as if the case had originated in, and the previous proceedings had been taken in, that other court.

Supplementary

92I Power to make further provision

(1) Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision (including provision amending or otherwise modifying any enactment or instrument, including this Act) that appears appropriate in consequence of, or otherwise in connection with, the provision made by this Part.

(2) The provision that may be made under subsection (1) includes in particular provision relating to—

(a) courts,

(b) tribunals,

(c) the judges, judicial officers and other members and officers of courts and tribunals,

(d) the Counsel General or other law officers,

(e) the legal professions,

(f) the law relating to the jurisdiction of courts and tribunals, and

(g) other aspects of private international law (including, in particular, choice of law, domicile and the recognition and enforcement of judgments and awards).

(3) No Order may be made under subsection (1) unless a draft of the Order has been laid before, and approved by resolution of—

(a) each House of the United Kingdom Parliament, and

(b) the Welsh Parliament.”—(Liz Saville Roberts.)

This amendment replaces the Bill’s proposed recognition of Welsh law with provisions to establish two distinct legal jurisdictions of England and Wales, as drafted by the Welsh Government.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

Division 62

12 September 2016

The House divided:

Ayes: 30
Noes: 288

Question accordingly negatived.

View Details

Amendment made: 8, page 2, line 4, leave out “92B” and insert “A2”.—(Alun Cairns.)

Clause 6

Timing of elections

Amendments made: 9, page 6, line 27, leave out

“provision is made for the day of the poll by an order”

and insert

“the day of the poll is determined by a proclamation”.

This amendment is consequential on amendment 11.

Amendment 10, page 6, line 36, after “specify”, insert

“unless the day of the poll is determined by a proclamation under section 4(2) as modified by section 4(2A)”.

This amendment ensures that the Presiding Officer is able to propose a date for an ordinary general election even if the Welsh Ministers have already varied the date of the election under new section 3(1B) as inserted by clause 6(3) of the Bill.

Amendment 11, page 7, line 3, leave out subsections (7) and (8) and insert—

“( ) For subsections (1) and (2) substitute—

(1) Subject to section 3(1A), the Presiding Officer may propose, for the holding of the poll at an ordinary general election, a day which is not more than one month earlier, nor more than one month later, than the first Thursday in May.

(2) If the Presiding Officer proposes a day under subsection (1), Her Majesty may by proclamation under the Welsh Seal—

(a) dissolve the Assembly,

(b) require the poll at the election to be held on the day proposed, and

(c) require the Assembly to meet within the period of seven days beginning immediately after the day of the poll.

(2A) Where a day is specified by an order under section 3(1B), subsection (1) applies as if the reference to the first Thursday in May were a reference to that day.”

( ) In subsection (3), for “(2)(b)” substitute “(2)(c)”.

( ) In subsection (4)—

(a) for “An order under this section may” substitute “The Welsh Ministers may by order”;

(b) for “Secretary of State considers” substitute “Welsh Ministers consider”;

(c) after “poll” insert “under this section”.”

This amendment allow the Presiding Officer to propose a new date for an ordinary general election, subject to new section 3(1A) and (1B) which are inserted by clause 6(3) of the Bill. If such a proposal is made Her Majesty may take certain steps to arrange the new election.

Amendment 12, page 7, line 9, at the end insert—

“(10A) Section 5 (extraordinary general elections) is amended as set out in subsections (10B) and (10C).

(10B) In subsection (1), for “Secretary of State” substitute “Presiding Officer”.

(10C) In subsection (4)—

(a) for “Secretary of State” substitute “Presiding Officer”;

(b) for “Order in Council” insert “proclamation under the Welsh Seal”.”—(Alun Cairns.)

This amendment transfers the function of calling an extraordinary general election of the Welsh Assembly from the Secretary of State to the Presiding Officer. The amendment also makes provision for the Welsh Seal to be used to call the extraordinary general election.

Clause 8

Super-majority Requirement for certain Legislation

Amendment made: 13, page 10, leave out lines 3 to 10. —(Alun Cairns.)

This amendment removes the explicit requirements about the use of Welsh and English for statements made by the Presiding Officer under the new section 111A inserted in the Government of Wales Act 2006 by clause 8.

Clause 12

Financial Control, Accounts and Audit

Amendments made: 14, page 12, leave out line 20.

This is a drafting amendment consequential on amendment 18.

Amendment 15, page 12, line 21, after “119”, insert

“of the Government of Wales Act 2006”.

This is a drafting amendment consequential on amendment 18.

Amendment 16, page 12, line 21, at end insert—

“( ) In section 124 of that Act (payments out of Welsh Consolidated Fund), after subsection (4) insert—

(4A) A sum paid out of the Welsh Consolidated Fund may not be applied for any purpose other than that for which it was charged or (as the case may be) paid out.””

This amendment inserts provision in section 124 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 equivalent to section 65(3) of the Scotland Act 1998.

Amendment 17, page 12, line 22, after “130”, insert “of that Act”.

This is a drafting amendment consequential on amendment 18.

Amendment 18, page 13, line 31, at end insert—

“( ) Omit section 136 of that Act.

( ) Sections 6 and 7 of the National Audit Act 1983 (value for money studies) do not apply in relation to a Wales public authority.”—(Alun Cairns.)

This amendment removes from the Comptroller and Auditor General the power to carry out examinations regarding payments into and out of the Welsh Consolidated Fund and the power to carry out value for money studies in relation to Wales public authorities (as to which, see clause 4).

Clause 15

Change of name of the Assembly etc: translation of references

Amendments made: 19, page 14, line 6, after “Wales”, insert “(Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru)”.

This amendment inserts the Welsh name of the National Assembly for Wales.

Amendment 20, page 14, line 7, after “Commission”, insert “(Comisiwn Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru)”.

This amendment inserts the Welsh name of the National Assembly for Wales Commission.

Amendment 21, page 14, line 8, after “Wales”, insert “(Deddfau Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru)”.

This amendment inserts the Welsh name of Acts of the National Assembly for Wales.

Amendment 22, page 14, line 13, after “be)”, insert

“, or the Welsh equivalent shown in subsection (1),”.—(Alun Cairns.)

This amendment makes clear that subsection (2) of the inserted section 150A operates on changes to the Welsh names of the National Assembly for Wales, the National Assembly for Wales Commission and Acts of the National Assembly for Wales.

Schedule 1

New Schedule 7A to the Government of Wales Act 2006

Amendments made: 26, page 43, line 39, at end insert—

“( ) The reference to prosecutors in sub-paragraph (1)(c) does not prevent an Act of the Assembly from making provision about responsibility for the prosecution of devolved offences.

An offence is a “devolved offence” if provision for the creation of it is within the legislative competence of the Assembly.”.

This amendment makes clear that the reservation at paragraph 6 of inserted Schedule 7A does not affect the ability of an Assembly Act to specify who is to be the prosecutor of an offence within devolved competence.

Amendment 27, page 73, line 11, leave out “(f),”.

This amendment removes the reference to section 14(1)(f) of the Planning Act 2008 from the definition of “relevant nationally significant infrastructure project”. Section 14(1)(f) applies only in relation to England, so the reference to it is superfluous.

Amendment 28, page 75, leave out lines 7 to 10.—(Alun Cairns.)

Without this amendment, an Assembly Act would be unable to extend or modify the functions of the Children’s Commissioner, even with the consent of the appropriate Minister: see paragraph 199 of the inserted Schedule 7A. The removal of Section N8 means that the position is governed by paragraphs 8 and 10 of the inserted Schedule 7B.

Schedule 2

New Schedule 7B to the Government of Wales Act 2006

Amendments made: 29, page 79, line 40, leave out “, 145, 145A”.

This amendment removes the prohibition on an Assembly Act amending section 145 or 145A of the Government of Wales Act 1998 (examinations and studies by the Auditor General for Wales).

Amendment 30, page 81, line 44, leave out “143” and insert “135”.

This amendment and amendment 31 are consequential on amendment 18.

Amendment 31, page 81, line 44, at end insert—

“( ) sections 137 to 143;”.

Amendment 32, page 83, leave out lines 43 and 44.

Paragraph 9(5) of inserted Schedule 7B is otiose (because paragraph 8 operates only on “reserved authorities”; whether a “devolved tribunal” is a reserved authority depends on whether it is a “Wales public authority”, which by definition it must be). So this amendment removes it.

Amendment 33, page 85, line 34, at end insert—

“11A (1) In any enactment (whenever passed or made) not contained in this Act —

(a) a reference to provision within the legislative competence of the Assembly does not include provision that could be made in an Act of the Assembly only with the consent of a Minister of the Crown (under paragraph 8, 10 or 11 or otherwise);

(b) a reference to provision outside that competence includes provision that could be made in an Act of the Assembly only with such consent.

(2) But paragraph 11(2) is to be ignored for the purposes of any such references.”.—(Alun Cairns.)

This amendment makes clear that the various statutory references to provision that is within the legislative competence of the Welsh Assembly do not include provision that may be made by the Assembly only with consent of a Minister of the Crown, but do include provision that is subject only to a consultation requirement.

Schedule 3

New Schedule 3A to the Government of Wales Act 2006

Amendments made: 34, page 86, line 28, leave out “section 5 of”.

This amendment is consequential on amendment 35.

Amendment 35, page 87, leave out lines 40 and 41.

This amendment and amendment 36 remove references to provisions that have no application to England and Wales as a result of amendments made by the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

Amendment 36, page 89, line 39, leave out from beginning to “and” in line 40.

Amendment 37, page 92, leave out lines 6 and 7.

The entry for section 30 of the Jobseekers Act 1995 was included in error. This amendment removes it.

Amendment 38, page 93, line 3, at end insert—

“2A (1) The powers to make regulations under sections 10ZC, 10ZD and 53 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (registration of electors), so far as they are exercisable by a Minister of the Crown to make provision about a UK digital service in relation to elections in Wales, are exercisable by the Welsh Ministers concurrently with that Minister.

(2) In sub-paragraph (1)—

“elections in Wales” means—

(a) an election of Assembly members, or

(b) a local government election (within the meaning given by section 203 of the Representation of the People Act 1983) in Wales;

“UK digital service” means a digital service provided by a Minister of the Crown for the registration of electors.”.—(Alun Cairns.)

This amendment adds a paragraph to the inserted Schedule 3A reproducing the effect of clause 7(2)(b), (6)(b) and (10)(b), which makes certain regulation-making powers concurrently exercisable with the Welsh Ministers.

Schedule 4

New Schedule 9A to the Government of Wales Act 2006

Amendments made: 39, page 93, line 38, at end insert—

“The Advisory Panel to the Welsh Language Commissioner or Banel Cynghori Comisiynydd y Gymraeg.”.

This amendment and amendments 40, 41 and 42 add various boards etc to the new Schedule 9A inserted in the Government of Wales Act 2006 by the Bill. Schedule 9A is a list of Wales public authorities (as to which, see section 157A inserted by clause 4).

Amendment 40, page 95, line 10, at end insert—

“The National Assembly for Wales Commissioner for Standards or Comisiynydd Safonau ar gyfer Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru.

The National Assembly for Wales Remuneration Board or Bwrdd Taliadau Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru.

The National Independent Safeguarding Board or Bwrdd Diogelu Annibynnol Cenedlaethol.”

Amendment 41, page 96, line 10, at end insert—

“The Welsh Language Partnership Council or Gyngor Partneriaeth y Gymraeg.”.

Amendment 42, page 96, line 18, at end insert—

“The Welsh Revenue Authority or Awdurdod Cyllid Cymru.

The Welsh Scientific Advisory Committee or Pwyllgor Ymgynghorol Gwyddonol Cymru.

The Welsh Therapies Advisory Committee or Pwyllgor Cynghorol Therapïau Cymru.”.—(Alun Cairns.)

New Clause 5

Safety zones around renewable energy installations

“(1) Section 95 of the Energy Act 2004 (safety zones around renewable energy installations) is amended as set out in subsections (2) to (5).

(2) In subsection (1A)—

(a) for “means the Scottish Ministers” substitute “means—

(a) the Scottish Ministers”;

(b) paragraphs (a) to (c) are renumbered sub-paragraphs (i) to (iii);

(c) in sub-paragraphs (ii) and (iii) (as renumbered), for “paragraph (a)” substitute “sub-paragraph (i)”;

(d) before “and otherwise” insert—

“(b) the Welsh Ministers, in relation to a renewable energy installation which has, or will have, a capacity of 350 megawatts or less and—

(i) which is to be or is in an area of Welsh waters, and is not being proposed to be extended outside those areas,

(ii) to which sub-paragraph (i) has ceased to apply because of an extension or proposed extension, if subsection (1D) applies, or

(iii) to the extent that it is to be or is in an area of Welsh waters, if sub-paragraph (i) has ceased to apply because of an extension or proposed extension, and subsection (1D) does not apply,”.

(3) After subsection (1C) insert—

“(1D) This subsection applies if there is an agreement in force between the Secretary of State and the Welsh Ministers providing for the Welsh Ministers to be the appropriate Minister in relation to the whole of the installation.

(1E) Where subsection (1D) applies, the Welsh Ministers must consult the Secretary of State about the exercise of their functions as the appropriate Minister.”

(4) After subsection (4A) insert—

“(4B) Before issuing a notice under this section which relates, wholly or partly, to Welsh waters, the Secretary of State must consult the Welsh Ministers.

(4C) Before issuing a notice under this section which relates, wholly or partly, to an area outside Welsh waters, the Welsh Ministers must consult the Secretary of State.”

(5) In section 96 of that Act (prohibited activities in safety zones), in subsection (8)(a), after “the Secretary of State” insert “or the Welsh Ministers”.

(6) In section 104 of that Act (interpretation of Chapter 2 of Part 2), at the end of subsection (1) insert—

““Welsh waters” means so much of the internal waters and territorial sea of the United Kingdom as are adjacent to Wales, and the Welsh zone;

“Welsh zone” has the meaning given in section 158 of the Government of Wales Act 2006.””.—(Guto Bebb.)

This new clause gives the Welsh Ministers power to demarcate safety zones around renewable energy installations in Welsh waters and to make provision prohibiting activities within safety zones.

Brought up, and read the First time.

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I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

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With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

New clause 1—Maritime and Coastguard Agency

“(1) In section 1 of the Coastguard Act 1925 (transfer of the coastguard to the Board of Trade), at the end insert—

“(4) The Secretary of State must consult the Welsh Ministers about the strategic priorities of the Secretary of State in exercising functions under subsection (1) in relation to activities of Her Majesty’s Coastguard in Wales.

(5) In subsection (4) “Wales” has the same meaning as in the Government of Wales Act 2006.”

(2) In section 292 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (general functions of the Secretary of State) at the end insert—

“(5) The Secretary of State must consult the Welsh Ministers about the strategic priorities of the Secretary of State in exercising functions under subsection (1) in relation to the safety standards of ships in Wales and protecting the health and safety of persons on them.

(6) In subsection (5) “Wales” has the same meaning as in the Government of Wales Act 2006.””

This new clause would amend the Coastguard Act 1925 and the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 so as to require the Secretary of State to consult the Welsh Ministers on the Secretary of State’s strategic priorities in relation to the activities of the Coastguard in Wales, including as regards health and safety on ships in Wales.

New clause 6—Tax on carriage of passengers by air

“(1) In Part 4A of the Government of Wales Act 2006, after Chapter 4 insert—

“Chapter 5

Tax on carriage of passengers by air

116O Tax on carriage of passengers by air

(1) A tax charged on the carriage of passengers by air from airports in Wales is a devolved tax.

(2) Tax may not be charged in accordance with that provision on the carriage of passengers boarding aircraft before the date appointed under subsection (6).

(3) Chapter 4 of Part 1 of The Finance Act 1994 (air passenger duty) is amended as follows.

(4) In section 28(4) (a chargeable passenger is a passenger whose journey begins at an airport in the United Kingdom), for “England, Wales or Northern Ireland” substitute “England, Wales or Northern Ireland”.

(5) In section 31(4B) (exception for passengers departing from airports in designated region of the United Kingdom) for “England, Wales or Northern Ireland” substitute “England or Northern Ireland”.

(6) Subsections (3) to (5) have effect in relation to flights beginning on or after such date as the Treasury appoint by regulations made by statutory instrument.””

This new Clause would make air passenger duty a devolved tax in Wales, on the lines of section 17 of the Scotland Act 2016.

New clause 7—Assignment of VAT

“(1) The Government of Wales Act 2006 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 117 (Welsh Consolidated Fund), after subsection (2) insert—

“(2A) The Secretary of State shall in accordance with section 64A pay into the Fund out of money provided by Parliament any amounts payable under that section.”

(3) After that section insert—

“117A Assignment of VAT

(1) Where there is an agreement between the Treasury and the Welsh Ministers for identifying an amount agreed to represent the standard rate VAT attributable to Wales for any period (“the agreed standard rate amount”), the amount described in subsection (3) is payable under this section in respect of that period.

(2) Where there is an agreement between the Treasury and the Welsh Ministers for identifying an amount agreed to represent the reduced rate VAT attributable to Wales for that period (“the agreed reduced rate amount”), the amount described in subsection (4) is payable under this section in respect of that period.

(3) The amount payable in accordance with subsection (1) is the amount obtained by multiplying the agreed standard rate amount by—

10

SR

where SR is the number of percentage points in the rate at which value added tax is charged under section 2(1) of the Value Added Tax Act 1994 for the period.

(4) The amount payable in accordance with subsection (2) is the amount obtained by multiplying the agreed reduced rate amount by—

2.5

RR

where RR is the number of percentage points in the rate at which value added tax is charged under section 29A(1) of the Value Added Tax Act 1994 for the period.

(5) The payment of those amounts under section 64(2A) is to be made in accordance with any agreement between the Treasury and the Welsh Ministers as to the time of the payment or otherwise.”

(4) The Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 is amended as follows.

(5) In subsection (2) of section 18 (confidentiality: exceptions) omit “or” after paragraph (j), and after paragraph (k) insert “, or

(l) which is made in connection with (or with anything done with a view to) the making or implementation of an agreement referred to in section 117A(1) or (2) of the Government of Wales Act 2006 (assignment of VAT).”

(6) After that subsection insert—

“(2B) Information disclosed in reliance on subsection (2)(l) may not be further disclosed without the consent of the Commissioners (which may be general or specific).”

(7) In section 19 (wrongful disclosure) in subsections (1) and (8) after “18(1) or (2A)” insert “or (2B)”.””

This new Clause would allow the payment into the Welsh Consolidated Fund of half the receipts of Value Added Tax raised in Wales, on the lines of section 16 of the Scotland Act 2016.

New clause 8—Youth Justice

“(1) Youth justice is a devolved matter.

(2) The Assembly may establish a non-departmental body accountable to the Assembly to be called Youth Justice Board Cymru to carry out all the existing functions of the Youth Justice Board in relation to youth justice in Wales.

(3) The Assembly may make provision in relation to youth justice in Wales concerning any of the subject matter of—

(a) sections 8 to16, 37 to 42, 47, 48, 65 to 79, 97 and 98 of the Criminal Disorder Act 1998, and

(b) the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.”

This New Clause would establish a separate youth justice system for Wales, in line with the recommendations made by the Silk Commission.

New clause 9—Apprenticeship levy

‘(1) In Part 4A of the Government of Wales Act 2006, after Chapter 4 insert—

“Chapter 5

Apprenticeship levy

116O Apprenticeship levy

(1) The Treasury must make separate provision in regulations for apprenticeship levy charged to a person in Wales with a pay bill.

(2) The Treasury must lay an annual report before the Assembly and the House of Commons on the amount of apprenticeship levy raised in each tax year from persons in Wales.

(3) The Treasury must consult the Assembly before setting a levy allowance or a relevant percentage applicable to persons in Wales.””

This New Clause paves the way for apprenticeship levy introduced in Part 6 of the Finance Bill 2016 to be a devolved tax.

New clause 11—Duty to keep the devolution of policing under review

“(1) The Secretary of State and the Welsh Ministers must keep the functioning and operation of policing in Wales under review, including keeping under review the question of whether policing should be devolved to Wales.

(2) In exercising their duty in subsection (1) the Secretary of State and the Welsh Ministers must have regard to—

(a) divergence in policing as between England and Wales,

(b) the need to treat the Welsh and English languages on the basis of equality, and

(c) any other circumstances in Wales affecting the operation of policing, the maintenance of public order and the prevention and detection of crime.

(3) The Secretary of State and the Welsh Ministers may appoint a panel to advise them on the exercise of their functions in this section.

(4) The Secretary of State must make an annual report on policing in relation to Wales to the Welsh Ministers.

(5) The Welsh Ministers must lay the report before the Assembly.

(6) The Secretary of State must lay the report before both Houses of Parliament.”

This new clause would require the Secretary of State and Welsh Ministers to keep policing in Wales under review and, in particular, the need to devolve policing.

Amendment 70, in clause 36, page 29, line 18, leave out “350” and insert “2000”.

This and related amendments would lift the limit on the Welsh Government’s legislative competence in the field of energy from 350 megawatts to 2000 megawatts.

Amendment 71, page 29, line 22, leave out “350” and insert “2000”.

See amendment 70.

Amendment 72, page 30, line 3, leave out “350” and insert “2000”.

See amendment 70.

Amendment 73, page 30, line 17, leave out “350” and insert “2000”.

See amendment 70.

Amendment 74, page 30, line 38, leave out “350” and insert “2000”.

See amendment 70.

Amendment 75, page 30, line 43, leave out “350” and insert “2000”.

See amendment 70.

Amendment 76, page 30, line 48, leave out “350” and insert “2000”.

See amendment 70.

Government amendment 23.

Amendment 77, in clause 38, page 32, line 17, leave out “350” and insert “2000”.

See amendment 70.

Amendment 78, page 32, line 18, leave out “350” and insert “2000”.

See amendment 70.

Government amendment 24.

Amendment 79, page 32, line 32, leave out “350” and insert “2000”.

See amendment 70.

Amendment 80, page 32, line 34, leave out “350” and insert “2000”.

See amendment 70.

Government amendments 25, 45 to 47, 50, 53, 54, 56 and 58.

Amendment 81, in schedule 6, page 111, line 7, leave out “350” and insert “2000”.

See amendment 70.

Amendment 82, page 111, line 10, leave out “350” and insert “2000”.

See amendment 70.

Government amendment 59.

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I will speak first to the Government amendments in the group, before turning to the amendments tabled by Opposition Members. Most of the Government amendments deal with technical changes to the energy and environment provisions in the Bill; I will discuss those first.

Clause 36 delivers the St David’s Day agreement on the devolution of energy consents, giving the Assembly and Welsh Ministers a substantially greater degree of autonomy in determining the shape of devolved energy policy in Wales. We implemented the decentralisation of consenting responsibilities for all onshore wind projects earlier this year. The Bill will devolve to Wales specific consenting responsibility for all other electricity generating projects up to and including 350 MW in size.

It is important that the Welsh consenting authority has the ability to take measures to ensure the safety of offshore renewable energy installations and those who might come in contact with them. Discretionary powers already exist in the Energy Act 2004 for the Secretary of State to designate safety zones around such installations and to determine the conditions that will apply to the operation of such zones. New clause 5 extends those designation powers to Welsh Ministers in respect of offshore installations up to and including 350 MW in size in Welsh waters—that is, territorial waters up to the 12 nautical mile limit, and beyond, into the Welsh zone—and establishes appropriate arrangements for managing instances where an intended safety zone is likely to extend beyond Welsh waters.

Amendments 50 and 59 make consequential changes arising from new clause 5. Amendment 50 amends the 2004 Act to establish that regulations made under the new clause will be subject to the negative resolution procedure in the Welsh Assembly. Amendment 59 introduces tailored transitional provisions for the purposes of the offshore renewable energy safety zone provisions in the new clause. It provides that applications for the determination of safety zones received prior to the commencement of the devolution provisions will continue to be the responsibility of the Marine Management Organisation.

Government amendments 45, 46, 53 and 58 make consequential changes to ensure that the new consenting regime put in place by the Bill operates smoothly. The Bill devolves to Welsh Ministers the ability to use the consenting regime that already exists under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 for the purposes of granting consent for electricity generation projects up to and including 350 MW in scale in Welsh waters. We recognise that, in due course, Welsh Ministers may wish to modify and improve the offshore consenting regime and, in doing so, apply a consistent regime between territorial waters and the Welsh zone, where the Assembly does not exercise legislative competence.

Amendment 45 will give Welsh Ministers the ability, through a regulation-making power, to make modifications that can apply in territorial waters and the Welsh zone, avoiding any inconsistencies between the two areas and providing more clarity for developers. In establishing regulation-making powers to enable Welsh Ministers to modify and improve the offshore consenting regime in due course, we are keen not to encumber them with restrictions and requirements that might frustrate them in doing so. Amendment 46 therefore serves to disapply in Wales certain aspects of the 1989 Act, leaving Welsh Ministers with greater flexibility for the future.

Amendment 53 makes technical changes consequential on the new devolution boundary that will operate between Welsh Ministers and the Secretary of State once the devolution of electricity generation consenting powers in Welsh waters and marine licensing functions in the Welsh zone is in place. The changes cater for the fact that a marine licence might in future be deemed by Welsh Ministers to be part of a development consent order under the Planning Act 2008.

Amendment 58 introduces tailored transitional provisions for the purposes of the devolved electricity generation consenting provisions of the Bill. In effect, it provides that applications received prior to the commencement of the devolution provisions will continue to proceed to a final decision by the Secretary of State.

Amendments 23 and 24 make technical drafting changes to clause 38 to reflect the fact that, in the onshore context, devolved electricity generation consenting in Wales will be carried out within the regime of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. To avoid ambiguity, the inclusion of the concept of “planning permission” simply reflects the language of that Act.

Clause 42 provides Welsh Ministers with further executive responsibilities in the Welsh offshore region. However, we need to ensure that licensing functions that are reserved activities under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 remain with the Secretary of State in the Welsh offshore region. Amendments 25 and 54 to 56 modify the 2009 Act to clarify the devolution boundary so that, for example, enforcement officers appointed using devolved powers have no powers to enforce part 4 of the 2009 Act, relating to petroleum production or exploration; the amendments also exclude the Welsh inshore and offshore regions from waters in respect of which the Marine Management Organisation exercises certain consenting and safety zone functions.

Amendment 56 modifies the 2009 Act to give Welsh Ministers powers to make regulations about the application procedure when they are both the marine licensing authority and the harbour order authority or generating station authority. Finally, amendment 47 simply removes an obsolete reference to Assembly measures.

The Government amendments are all sensible and necessary, and serve to deliver a clearer devolution boundary, one of the key aims of the Bill.

New clause 1, which Opposition Members tabled, would provide Welsh Ministers with greater influence over the strategic priorities of the delivery of coastguard functions in Wales, the protection of people on ships, and the safety standards that apply to both ships and people on ships in Wales. They are all reserved matters. The Secretary of State would be required to consult Welsh Ministers when exercising functions under two pieces of primary legislation—the Coastguard Act 1925 and the Merchant Shipping Act 1995—when setting the strategic priorities in relation to the Secretary of State’s delivery of functions in Wales.

The new clause seeks to give effect in Wales to a proposal of the Smith commission. As Members on both sides of the House know, the Government gave a commitment in the St David’s Day agreement to consider whether non-fiscal Smith proposals should be implemented in Wales. We are implementing some of the Smith commission’s proposals relating to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for Scotland through the agreement of a memorandum of understanding. I am therefore not persuaded today that there is a case for putting in place a statutory duty on the Secretary of State to consult the Welsh Ministers.

New clause 6 was tabled by Plaid Cymru Members. As the Government committed to do in the 2015 St David’s Day agreement, we have considered the case and options for devolving air passenger duty to the Assembly, informed by a consideration of the impact on nearby English airports. The review was necessary given the specific issues faced on the England-Wales border and the legitimate concerns expressed by English regional airports that if APD were devolved to Wales, the Welsh Government would likely propose significantly lower APD rates, if not scrap it altogether.

As hon. Members will no doubt be aware, Cardiff and Bristol airports are only 60 minutes apart and the population density of the border means that more than 4 million people live within the overlapping catchment area of the two airports. Many travellers and businesses in south Wales currently rely on a thriving Bristol airport for their main air connectivity, and its traffic and route network is substantially greater than that which Cardiff airport can currently offer.

The Government must ensure that devolution does not lead to undue market distortions with negative consequences for both English and Welsh consumers. The Welsh Government have argued for a number of years that the devolution of APD is necessary to support Cardiff airport, Wales’s only international airport. They have also argued consistently that because APD is devolved to Scotland and to Northern Ireland, it must be devolved in Wales. I disagree with both assumptions, as I indicated on Second Reading. What is right for Scotland or Northern Ireland is not necessarily right for Wales, as the asymmetric devolution settlements first put in place by Labour clearly demonstrate. Supporting Cardiff or any other airport does not necessitate giving it special tax status to distort the market artificially in its favour. Indeed, I am very pleased that Cardiff airport is thriving and has increasing passenger numbers without any need to create an un-level playing field for Bristol.

If Welsh APD rates were lowered, it would cause significant and unjustifiable disadvantages for Bristol airport, probably leading to a large decrease of passenger numbers—there could be a decrease of up to 25% if Welsh APD is scrapped altogether.

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The Minister is talking about Cardiff airport, but what consultations did he undertake with the airport management and Cardiff airport passengers? I take issue with him on this: he said that Cardiff airport and Bristol were only 60 minutes apart. Having driven that distance many times, I am pretty sure that that is not the case, not least because of some of the challenges along the M4 at the moment.

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I am sure there are challenges along the M4 at this point in time, but my understanding is that the distance between Cardiff and Bristol can be covered in an hour.

On the consultation, we looked widely at a number of options in relation to the impact of the proposed change. The clear point is that we have to take into account the impact of changes to APD on devolution. We need to consult regional airports in England that will be affected and Cardiff airport, the single international airport in Wales. However, the analysis, which we have concluded, shows quite clearly that the scale of the impact of such a change would be detrimental to Bristol to such an extent that it could have a detrimental effect on the availability of flights to south Wales consumers and businesses. In other words, it could have an unintended consequence that would be bad for the economy of south-east Wales, because we would damage Bristol before we saw any upsurge in Cardiff. On that basis, we have concluded that we are opposed at this point in time to the devolution of APD to Wales.

The Government have listened carefully to the debate about the devolution of APD and are fully appreciative of the importance of the aviation sector for creating jobs and growth in Wales. I understand the reason that hon. Members offer in proposing the change, but we cannot justify the distortion it would cause to the wider economy of Wales and to the economy of the south-west of England. That is why the Government reject the devolution of APD.

New clause 7 seeks to assign a share of the VAT revenues generated in Wales to the Welsh Government, in the same manner that a share of Scottish VAT revenues will be assigned to the Scottish Government from April 2019, following the cross-party Smith commission agreement and given effect through the Scotland Act 2016. It is important to understand the purpose of VAT assignment, which is to increase the link between the Scottish Government’s policy decisions and their budget, and thereby further to increase their accountability for the decisions they take.

Of course, that argument could be made in support of VAT assignment for Wales. The Welsh Government have a similar range of economic policy levers as the Scottish Government, and one of our key aims is to increase accountability—that is one of the key aims of the Bill. However, the independent cross-party Silk commission gave full consideration to assigning a share of VAT receipts generated in Wales. It recognised that the main argument in favour of assignment is that it would strengthen the link between the performance of the Welsh economy and the size of the Welsh Government’s budget. However, the Silk commission pointed out that it would also mean taking on additional revenue risks arising from factors over which the Welsh Government could have less control. The commission concluded that assignment of Welsh VAT revenues to the Welsh Government’s budget should not be pursued.

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I will speak on this issue in detail if I catch Mr Deputy Speaker’s eye later in the debate. The Minister will be aware that those powers were devolved to Scotland a matter of only a year or so ago, whereas the Silk commission reported four or five years ago. Perhaps the Silk commission would have come to a different conclusion if it reported now.

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The hon. Gentleman asks me to comment on a hypothetical assertion. I shall refrain from doing so, but it is important to highlight that the Silk commission considered very carefully the difference between the porous nature of the border between England and Wales and the situation in Scotland. On balance, it is my view that the Silk commission came to the right conclusion, which is why we will reject the hon. Gentleman’s proposals. The Wales Act 2014 legislated for the vast majority of the recommendations in the Silk commission’s first report, and our focus should be to work with the Welsh Government to implement it.

On new clause 8, the youth justice system, as with other elements of the criminal justice system, is not currently devolved, but significant responsibilities in relation to the management and rehabilitation of young offenders are exercised by local authorities in Wales, working in partnership with the police and devolved services such as health, children’s services and education. Devolved and non-devolved services already work successfully together in Wales to prevent youth offending, and to manage and support young offenders in the community. The Youth Justice Board provides national oversight and monitoring of those arrangements, and the Youth Justice Board Cymru has worked closely with the Welsh Government to develop a joint youth offending strategy. That establishes a coherent framework for all those involved in delivering youth justice services and ensures that there is an effective youth justice system that meets the needs of young people in Wales.

The Silk commission noted that many of the causes of youth offending relate to devolved matters, and its recommendation on devolution was aimed at promoting greater integration. However, there was no consensus in favour of devolution when youth justice was discussed as part of the St David’s Day process. The Government believe it is important that legislative competence for youth justice remains reserved to allow us to develop a consistent and coherent approach to criminal justice, and the management of offenders across all age groups, within the single legal jurisdiction. There would be significant practical challenges in devolving responsibility for youth justice in Wales while responsibility for the police, courts and other elements of the criminal justice system are reserved.

We place a high priority on addressing youth offending and maintaining a strong relationship with the Welsh Government on those matters. The Ministry of Justice is currently considering the final report of Charlie Taylor, the former chief executive of the National College of Teaching and Leadership, on his review of the youth justice system. As part of his review, he visited Wales to meet Welsh Ministers and to see local youth offending services. The Ministry of Justice will work closely with the Welsh Government to consider the recommendations made in the final report with a view to publishing the report later this year with plans for reform. Given the co-operation that exists between devolved and non-devolved organisations, which we will seek to maintain in taking forward any plans for reform, we are not persuaded that devolving youth justice to create a separate youth justice system in Wales would result in a more flexible, economical or effective response to youth offending.

New clause 9, proposed by the hon. Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (Jonathan Edwards), would open the door to the apprenticeship levy becoming a devolved tax. When introducing the apprenticeship levy, the Government wanted to make the system as simple as possible for employers to operate, and to avoid adverse impacts on the integrated UK-wide single market. Operating a UK-wide levy based on the national insurance definition of earnings is the best way to achieve this outcome. In particular, it is applied consistently to employers wherever they operate within the UK single market, while this definition of earnings is something that employers are familiar with and is information they readily have in their payroll. This also avoids considerable practical difficulties that would arise if there were different rates and thresholds of the apprenticeship levy in different parts of the UK, which appears to be the thrust of new clause 9. For example, as the charge is on the employer, it would be necessary to determine how such a system would operate for organisations working across borders. This would create additional burdens for businesses that we believe are sensibly avoided. In addition, the Government have made it quite clear that devolved nations will get their fair share of the levy, and discussions are ongoing.

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I would like the Minister to answer my question in this case. There is real uncertainty about how much would go to Wales. How will there be transparency in relation to the apprenticeship levy when there will be companies with a head office in another area outside Wales with employees in Wales?

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The aim of the negotiations between the Welsh Government and the Treasury is to ensure a fair funding formula for Wales. On transparency, I think the hon. Lady is aware that decisions on spending in Wales are decisions for the Welsh Government, so the transparency issue will arise at that point. I can assure her that the ongoing discussions between the Treasury and the Welsh Government are being conducted in the spirit of co-operation. We want the levy to succeed. Whether a young person is from Wales or England, the aim is to ensure there is support for that person’s training. We are therefore fully committed to working with the Welsh Government, but to devolve this tax would create a complexity that is unjustified in the context of the border between England and Wales, and owing to the fact that the border is so different to the situation in Scotland. That is why we think the amendment is misguided.

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Will the Minister give us an assurance that he will do everything possible to hurry up the negotiations and ensure that everything is done to facilitate the smooth operation of the apprenticeship levy? There is a lot of uncertainty for Welsh colleges and Welsh young people about how it will work.

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When the Minister concludes the discussions, hon. Members will be involved. We will certainly try to ensure that the figures in question will be made available. We will be aware of the funding stream that will be made available to the Welsh Government. The expectation is that in view of the number of companies in the UK when compared with the number of companies in Wales as a percentage, Wales will do comparatively well out of any UK-wide settlement, rather than having a devolved response as indicated by the amendment. The expectation is that the discussions between the Welsh Government and the Treasury will be positive. We will be more than willing to provide figures on the support provided to the Welsh Government in relation to the levy.

New clause 11 seeks to introduce a statutory duty for the Government to keep policing in Wales under review. It is intended that the duty should include keeping under review the question of whether policing in Wales should be devolved to the Assembly and the Welsh Government, and would require the Government to provide the Welsh Ministers with an annual report on this matter. I cannot support the proposal. The delivery of an efficient and effective police service to the people of Wales must be our first priority, and we should be very wary of anything that distracts from that. I have serious concerns that the introduction of a statutory requirement to keep this matter under review and to produce an annual report would be just such a distraction that would have a destabilising effect on policing in Wales.

The Silk commission recommendation to devolve policing was considered as part of the St David’s Day process and there was no consensus to take it forward. I remind hon. Members that policing in Wales has already been localised. Everyone in Wales has a direct say in policing in their area through their locally elected and accountable police and crime commissioners. I remind the House that two of them are members of Plaid and two of them are members of Labour, so it cannot be argued that the localisation of the decision to elect PCCs has benefited the Conservatives.

The current England and Wales-wide arrangements for policing work well and the proponents of devolution have failed to adequately address the significant risks that would arise if those arrangements were disrupted. Should circumstances significantly change, I would expect there to be further consideration of this matter. However, in my view new clause 11, which would have the effect of keeping this matter under perpetual review no matter what the circumstances, is unnecessary; indeed, I think it would be counterproductive.

Finally, through amendments number 70 to 82, the hon. Member for Newport West (Paul Flynn) seeks to reopen an important part of the St David’s Day agreement, and a key recommendation of the Silk commission in relation to the future consenting of electricity generation projects in Wales. As I have already said, the Bill gives effect to the political consensus around the devolution of new powers over energy consents. That political consensus was firmly embedded in respect of the fact that Wales and England are, and will remain, linked through a common electricity transmission system that depends on the inputs from a broad range of generating sources. The Government remain firmly of the view that the larger the capacity of those sources, the greater their significance beyond Wales and to the UK as a whole. Consensus was reached around 350 MW being the appropriate threshold, and the Government believe that should remain the case.

I believe I have explained clearly why I cannot support the Opposition proposals put forward today. On that basis, I urge right hon. and hon. Members to withdraw their amendments.

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What a bleak end to the Minister’s speech! His timid conclusion is that we have to stick to the 350 MW limit, which was decided a long time ago, and ignores, without any vision, the glorious opportunity we have in Wales. If anything is the Welsh North sea oil, it is hydro and tidal power. The possibilities are enormous. The Government’s proposal of a 350 MW limit would cover the Swansea lagoon, but it certainly would not cover the 1,800 MW at the other two planned lagoons at Cardiff and Newport. As far as nuclear is concerned, it would not cover Wylfa Newydd. It would not cover the possible alternatives to Wylfa, either.

This proposal also ignores the bold and decisive action taken by our Prime Minister, for which I sent her a letter of congratulation, to halt the Hinkley Point contract hours before the champagne corks would have been popping. Down at Hinkley Point, where they would have had their champagne, if they looked across to Wales they could have seen the second highest rising and falling tide in the world, unused and neglected but an immense source of power, washing past its walls. That could be Welsh power. That could be ours to exploit and for the Government to take on. Such power does not have the problems of the unsightly wind turbines in mid-Wales. It would enhance the natural environment in the same way as hydro. It seems remarkable that in Wales we have 2,200 MW of nuclear power. Who would know it was there? It is hidden under the hills and silent. There are lakes on top of the hills, an enhancement of nature from power stations running since 1963. It was interesting to see during the recess how many Plaid Cymru Members visited the hydroelectric power stations in their constituencies.

The possibilities that the geography of Wales gives us to exploit hydro and tidal power are numberless and immense. It is a source of renewable power which, unlike the sun and wind, is entirely predictable. In Wales, we can guarantee rain for hydro power and we can guarantee for eternity that the tides will flow. This seems to be another lost opportunity. The problems of Hinkley are not just the possibility of Chinese spies, but the possibility of the dearest electricity in the world. We are tied into a deal for 35 years. There is also the problem that EPR reactors have never worked anywhere in the world. Their delays average about 10 years, so we could develop hydro power and the lagoons within the period in which Hinkley—if it goes ahead, which it might not—would deliver.

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I agree with some, though not all, of what my hon. Friend has said, but I strongly agree with him on tidal power. Many people in south Wales just want to get on with tidal power and see it moving forward. There has been a lot of frustration at the situation at UK level and the delaying of decisions. Does my hon. Friend agree that the fundamental issue here is the arbitrary megawatt limit that the Government have imposed? Does he agree that it is arbitrary and that that is why we should support his amendment?

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Yes, it is arbitrary. I know my hon. Friend has connections and would like to see more jobs created in this area, as would we all. This is, in fact, the means through which the greatest number of jobs would be created. The 350 MW limit is meaningless. The Minister mentions the Silk commission, but that was a long time ago—before we realised that there was a huge question mark over Hinkley. We will not know for a fortnight what will go ahead there, but this Bill is a great opportunity for us in Wales. Amendments 70 to 82, which we tabled, offer a marvellous chance to get energy in Wales. Unlike the curse of energy in the past, when we suffered the dirt, degradation and pollution of the coal industry, here we have a source of energy that is benign, clean, green, Welsh and eternal. What could be better than that?

It was disappointing to hear the Minister’s response to our new clause 1, which deals with marine issues. Its purpose is to promote effective consultation and communication between the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Welsh Government in respect of devolved fisheries and marine matters. The new clause would put Wales on the same footing as Scotland. It is increasingly irritating to hear from the Government that what is right for Scotland is never right for Wales. Wales always seems to come second when it comes to doling out these grudged gifts of power from this excessively and neurotically power-attentive Government. For goodness’ sake, let go, and let Wales have at least what Scotland has. What on earth is wrong with that?

Powers in respect of fisheries, marine planning, inshore marine licensing and conservation are already devolved. The Wales Bill makes further provision for ports to be devolved, which is very welcome; for devolution in respect of marine licensing; for conservation to be extended to the offshore area; and for consenting over marine energy projects. That is moving in the right direction, but consultation on the MCA’s priorities would promote joined-up, cross-Government engagement at an early stage on marine and fisheries issues. The new clause is designed to promote consultation and information sharing on matters of mutual interest, which could only benefit the public as well as commercial and conservation areas. It is an entirely sensible and common-sense measure which should be accepted by the Government.

We warmly support new clause 6 on air passenger duty, tabled by Plaid Cymru Members, and will do so if it is pressed to a Division. It seems extraordinary for a Welsh Minister to talk about air travel when we know that the disposition of the airports works in a circle. At the centre of the circle are Heathrow and Gatwick, where all the traffic goes. As we move further from those hubs out to the periphery, the problems get worse. Our airport, Cardiff, is on the periphery of the periphery, so it deserves special treatment—just as the Scottish airports do. For the same reason, we deserve special impetus to make sure that we can compete. We cannot compete on an equal basis at the moment because of the geography involved. The traffic flows towards the centre—towards London and towards Bristol.

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Will the hon. Gentleman explain why, if Cardiff airport is facing handicaps to such an extent, it is one of the fastest-growing airports of the past 12 months?

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That is because of the wisdom of the socialist Welsh Government in taking it over—nationalising it. I am glad that the Minister draws attention to that fact—this triumph of practical socialism, which is turning out to be a success, even without the level playing field and level flying field that we need. Plaid Cymru has tabled this new clause, and we believe that devolving airport duty would allow Welsh airports to compete on a fair basis with the others. We need only to look at the geography. That tells us that the airports at Prestwick and Cardiff are disadvantaged because of the whole nature of flying and the magnetic attraction to the hubs around which the population is distributed. This measure will have to happen at some time in the future. We should acknowledge the success of the Welsh Government’s action over Cardiff airport.

On keeping the devolution of policing under review, the Minister prayed in aid the four police and crime commissioners in Wales. What he did not mention was the fact that those four PCCs are agreed on the need for the control of policing to go to the Welsh Assembly. Our new clause 11 requires the Secretary of State for Wales and his Ministers to

“keep the functioning and operation of policing in Wales under review”.

It is not asking much to suggest that we should look at it every year. This issue has been around for a long time.

Having spent a number of years sitting on the Home Affairs Committee, I would like to see some police forces kept at some distance from the Welsh police forces. I refer to some in Yorkshire and the Met, about which I have some misgivings relating to incidents involving some of my constituents and indeed constituents of my hon. Friends. I believe that there is a tradition of ethical policing in Wales that has its own values and it would be beneficial to keep possibilities in place and under review. We should keep the light shining in the distance as we move towards it.

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I wonder whether the hon. Gentleman would agree with me on this issue. I took part in the parliamentary policing scheme this summer, and I know that there are great concerns among the North Wales police about the drive for them to co-operate with forces over the border. Although that might make sense in terms of combating crime, it will actually result in fewer police officers in many areas of Wales. Our police forces are really concerned about that.

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The hon. Lady makes a powerful point, which we should bear in mind. I believe that we should appreciate and build on the Welsh tradition of policing. The cause is a modest one. We are not asking for full independence of the Welsh police forces straight away, but that is the mood within the police force. The new clause does not call for an immediate devolution of policing, but would allow policing—and particularly the devolution of policing—to be kept under review by both the Secretary of State and Welsh Ministers. The people of Wales should have a greater say over policing, and plans for it should be drawn up by the Welsh Assembly.

The first draft Wales Bill was an affront to devolution. The Welsh Government published an alternative Bill, in which they set out plans for a 10-year strategy for the devolution of policing. I hope that that is not too fast a pace for the Government, but we are not rushing into this. Ours is a modest, sensible approach which the Government should accept.

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I welcome the additional energy consents that the Government are now going to include in the Bill, and I especially welcome the measures relating to grid connections. When planning consent has been determined in Wales for energy projects such as wind turbines, the issue of grid connection has imposed an additional bureaucratic burden. Until now, it has been a matter reserved to the United Kingdom Government, which makes no sense at all.

I support amendments 70 to 76, tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Newport West (Paul Flynn), which would extend the Welsh Government’s power to determine planning consent for energy projects not just to 350 MW, but to 2,000 MW. That would cover not only the Swansea tidal lagoon but the planned further lagoons for Cardiff and Newport, and I hope very much that Members will support the amendments. Not only do tidal lagoons offer predictable clean energy, but the Swansea proposal will not cost the taxpayer a penny until it actually produces electricity, and, moreover, the bosses are very committed to sourcing components as locally as possible. The beneficial effect of companies producing components for tidal lagoons not just in Swansea but in Cardiff and Newport will be apparent to all.

I could go on forever about all sorts of important renewable projects throughout Wales—wind, hydro and tidal—including the projects in Rheidol and Dinorwig, mentioned by my hon. Friend, which use the force of water alone. Let me simply say, however, that it would be very welcome if the Welsh Government gave full consent to those projects, and saw the whole process through from beginning to end.

I also support new clause 6, which would devolve air passenger duty to Wales. That was recommended in the first Silk report, which specifically stated that

“this issue should be considered in the context of the Davies review and any developments in Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Given that APD has been devolved to both the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly, it is surely right for Wales to control the tax as well.

In its evidence to the Silk Commission, the Federation of Small Businesses said:

“if air passenger duty were to be reduced then this could increase the flow of business and tourist visitors to Wales via Cardiff Airport, increasing economic activity and benefiting small businesses in Wales.”

Cardiff airport itself said:

“APD is an appropriate tax to be devolved and offers the Welsh Government a tool which can be directly applied to support objectives of improved connectivity”.

As we have heard, Cardiff airport has recently seen a significant growth in passenger numbers following the Welsh Government’s decision to nationalise it in 2013. The latest figures, as of July 2016, show that passenger numbers are 29% higher than they were last year. Even if the Welsh Government chose to reduce APD somewhat, they might recoup it through additional passenger numbers. That could become a virtuous circle.

I hope very much that the Government will change their mind, will think again about the Silk report and the comments that were made at the time, and will recognise that now is the time for APD to be properly and fully devolved to the Welsh Government.

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I rise to speak in support of new clauses 6 and 7. With your permission, Madam Deputy Speaker, I shall press new clause 6 to a vote at the appropriate time.

This is the fourth occasion since my election in 2010 on which I have tabled a new clause or amendment calling for the devolution of air passenger duty to Wales. I am sure that the House will be extremely relieved to hear that I shall not make a detailed speech, as I have presented my arguments many times before and consider them to be completely bullet-proof. I am grateful for what was said by the hon. Members for Newport West (Paul Flynn) and for Llanelli (Nia Griffith), who made the case for new clause 6 both strongly and eloquently. I will, however, remind the House of the broad reasoning behind Plaid Cymru’s proposal to devolve APD to Wales, and why it is significant to the Welsh economy.

As Members will know, APD has already been devolved to Northern Ireland and Scotland. It was included as a key part of the carefully crafted package of devolved fiscal powers in the Silk commission’s recommendations. Anyone who talks to the commissioners who did that detailed and comprehensive work will be told that the fiscal powers were very much a package. I think it very regrettable that both the Wales Bill and the Finance Bill have subsequently cherry-picked that carefully crafted package. Of course devolving APD would give Wales a competitive advantage, and it was telling that the Minister in his opening remarks said his principal opposition to the devolving of APD was that it would give Wales a competitive advantage. The Wales Office says it is against giving Wales a competitive advantage; I will allow the people of Wales to make up their own minds on that.

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The comment I made very clearly was that the devolving of APD would, according to the surveys we have undertaken, result in damage to the availability and choice for commuters and businesses in south-east Wales.

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I am grateful for that clarification.

Plaid Cymru tried to include APD devolution in the Finance Bills of 2013 and 2014, I recall, but we did fall to some very England-centric comments by the Treasury officials at the time. These arguments have not yet satisfied us, or I imagine the 70% of the people of Wales who support the devolution of APD, as reported in recent opinion polls—as I said in Committee, that is an extremely impressive opinion poll rating.

On Second Reading of the Bill, the Minister said it was right and proper for Wales not to have the same rights regarding APD as the other devolved nations, and he has reiterated that this evening. Why would the Wales Office seek to deny Wales the same powers as Scotland and Northern Ireland? Why would it deny our only international airport in Wales the potential to use those fiscal levers to expand and develop, and why would it deny the ability of the Welsh economy to grow?

Clearly, increasing footfall at the airport would generate substantial revenues elsewhere in Wales, primarily by boosting economic performance across the whole of the economy, not least of course in the Secretary of State’s constituency, Vale of Glamorgan. Let us remember also that, as Members have said, Cardiff airport is owned by the people of Wales. The Welsh Government effectively nationalised the airport and this additional lever would further enable them to utilise a huge asset in the direct ownership of the people of Wales. It is highly regrettable that we have an airport in England, Bristol airport, effectively deciding UK policy, to the detriment of Wales.

While on the subject of Bristol airport, perhaps I should correct a statement I made in Committee, and I am happy to do so. I said Bristol airport could not accommodate long-haul flights and therefore there was no reason not to devolve long-haul APD. I received a strongly worded letter from Bristol airport—as we can imagine—a few days after the debate; it can accommodate long-haul flights. I am happy to correct the record, therefore, but what it cannot accommodate is the world’s largest aircraft, which Cardiff airport can, given the length of its runway. With the prospect of Wales being dragged out of the biggest and most successful trading bloc in the world, now, more than ever, it is important that we connect Wales to the world, and clearly devolving APD to Wales would enable the Welsh Government to do that more effectively.

New clause 7, in the names of my parliamentary colleagues and myself, seeks to equalise the situation between Wales and Scotland on VAT revenues. I will not be pressing it to a vote, due to the time left this evening. However, I remind the House that there is a consensus that devolution of public spending responsibilities should be accompanied by the assignment of significant own sources of revenue. That principle has now been accepted as this Bill progresses, and therefore the debate in Wales between the political parties is about what that fiscal package of tax powers should consistent of.

Wales’s funding framework has been highly unusual from an international perspective: there are not many Governments in the world with significant legislative and spending powers who do not also have a correspondingly important responsibility for raising tax revenues. If the UK Government are serious about securing a lasting devolution settlement for Wales, VAT should be seriously considered as part of the package of devolved fiscal powers.

The Scotland Act 2016 stated that revenues from the first 10 percentage points of the standard VAT rate would be devolved by the 2019-20 financial year. The current UK VAT rate is 20%, and half of all the VAT raised in Scotland will be kept in Scotland. A recent article published by the Wales Governance Centre confirms what I said in Committee, stating that Welsh VAT revenues have

“been far more buoyant than other major taxes, such that VAT has become the largest source of revenue in Wales.”

This is in contrast to the rest of the UK and Scotland, where income tax remains the largest source. The Government Expenditure and Revenue Wales report concluded that around £5.2 billion was raised in VAT revenue in Wales in 2014-15. A similar deal to that of Scotland would mean around £2.6 billion being assigned to the Welsh Government. This would mean that more than a third of total devolved expenditure would be financed by devolved and assigned taxes. By my calculation, that would represent an increase of about 13% compared with the amount to be raised under the current proposals.

I presume that as long as we have a Conservative Government in charge of the Treasury here, economic growth will continue to be driven by consumer spending. If that is the case, it is all the more important that the people of Wales benefit directly from that growth and from their own spending power. By devolving proportionately low revenue yielding taxes compared with the UK average, such as income tax, without devolving proportionately high revenue yielding taxes compared with the UK average, such as VAT, the UK Government are setting the tone in the Bill for an unfair and unstable fiscal position for Wales.

The devolution of VAT rates has been dismissed in the UK in the past on the ground that European Union rules prohibit the variation of VAT rates within a member state. Although we are calling only for parity with Scotland in this instance, the UK’s exit from the EU could open a debate on devolving rate-setting powers to Wales. If, as the International Trade Secretary and the Brexit Secretary seem to want, the UK does not remain part of the single market, that could open up a world of possibilities for fiscal policy. Setting VAT rates could give Welsh Ministers a powerful macroeconomic lever, and could perhaps be used in conjunction with other tax powers in considering the overall progressivity of the tax system in Wales.

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I agree entirely with my hon. Friend. Does he agree that the record of Governments in London, both Labour and Conservative, is not encouraging? Under an agreement made in Helsinki in 2008, states are allowed to vary VAT down to 5% in labour-intensive industries. Were that to happen in respect of, say, tourism and construction in Wales, a huge amount of new business would be generated and the lost tax would be made up very quickly, but this Government and their predecessor did not take advantage of that dispensation. We do not need to wait for Brexit. We could make this change now, but the Government refuse to do so.

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I am grateful to my parliamentary leader for that intervention. Plaid Cymru has a long-standing policy to make the case at Budgets and autumn statements in this House for the lowering of the VAT level for the tourism industry in Wales. The all-party parliamentary group on the tourism and hospitality industry in Wales, chaired by the hon. Member for Ceredigion (Mr Williams), has also called for that reduction, which would be of huge benefit to the industry.

The Under-Secretary of State for Wales, the hon. Member for Aberconwy (Guto Bebb), has said tonight that he will not support the new clause because the proposal was not part of the Silk commission’s recommendations. This is a classic case of the UK Government cherry-picking powers as it suits them and using the Silk commission as a justification for omission—in this case in relation to VAT—while dismissing its recommendations for the inclusion of measures on, for example, APD.

Furthermore, the Silk commission reported before the Scotland Act was passed and well before the UK voted to leave the European Union. Both events are pivotal in determining a devolution settlement for Wales that is intended to last a generation and both are ignored at our peril. The British state will go one of two ways after Brexit: a return to highly centralised control here in Westminster or accelerated devolution to a more decentralised state. Buoyed by the referendum result, proponents of the former are already mobilising against devolved politics, with the leader of the Conservative party in the Assembly even questioning over the summer the existence of the institution. On the other hand, however, more sensible voices such as the Constitution Reform Group in the other place headed by Lord Sainsbury, another Conservative, are calling for a voluntary union between the nations of the British state. I place myself firmly in the latter camp.

The pace of events is accelerating quickly and Brexit will only lubricate the situation. The UK Government must keep up. There is a danger that both the Scotland Act and the Wales Bill will be redundant before their provisions even come into force. Denying Wales the same powers as Scotland on VAT seems a deliberate attempt to undermine revenues for the Welsh Government, especially considering the buoyancy of VAT revenues in Wales. As the Secretary of State and the Minister reflect on the Bill in the coming weeks and months, I hope that they will withdraw their objections.

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I want to say a few words about new clause 11 and whether the devolution of policing is to be kept under review. I begin with a non-partisan point. When I was a Wales Office Minister for some 18 months, it struck me during meetings at the Home Office to consider policing in England and Wales how it became matter of fact simply to talk about England. That changed when I banged the table a few times, but it was interesting, going back several years now, that there was already a mindset that policing had been devolved to Wales—so they thought—and that it need not be considered by the Home Office. One of the unintended consequences of devolution is the assumption, certainly made by senior civil servants at that time—I suggest that it is still made—that policing has been devolved and that it should be considered on an England-only basis. It is not enough for us to keep on reminding people that it is not devolved; we have to realise why that assumption has been made and work out what is the logical direction of travel. A fair point made frequently by our colleagues in the Welsh Assembly is that policing is the only non-devolved emergency service in Wales.

Over the past few years, we have seen a movement towards the practical involvement of the Welsh Assembly in the day-to-day development of policing strategies, particularly on community safety. They fund a large number of police community support officers—I think they call them community support officers—and there are initiatives on counter-terrorism and how to get effective policies to tackle the threat. The Tarian unit is looking at organised drugs crime in Wales and how to combat it. Also, as has been mentioned, Wales has four police and crime commissioners who argue strongly and logically that the time has come for the devolution of policing to be seriously considered. The four police authorities in Wales have created a police liaison team that involves senior officers regularly meeting the Welsh Government. In a sense, a dovetailing is already taking place before our eyes on day-to-day policing.

I am not suggesting that this is an easy matter to be considered and then easily devolved, as it is not; it is complex and difficult. For example, the funding arrangements for policing in Wales are the most complicated of those of all the public services. More than a third of all police funding in Wales comes from the Home Office —that is more than £250 million a year, so we are talking about a heck of a lot of money. Before any devolution occurs, we want to be sure that we have funding arrangements commensurate with the powers that are devolved. That important issue must be central to any discussions and future negotiations.

We will also have to be mindful of the need for effective cross-border co-operation in any devolution of policing. As we all know, crime does not recognise any international boundaries these days, and it certainly does not recognise Offa’s Dyke, so we need strong, automatic mechanisms of co-operation in place as part of any devolution strategy. On co-operation, it is also particularly important that we examine the issue of police training and recognise that no matter what the devolution package is, it is extremely unlikely that Wales would develop its own training strategy for police officers. We would have to buy in, if necessary, from the national College of Policing, which is based in Berkshire and does an excellent job on police training. We also need to continue our involvement with the National Policing Improvement Agency. Policing must not be separated; we need to make sure that a close partnership is developed and put in place, taking into account the current funding arrangements, which are no longer suitable for the situation in which we find ourselves.

This issue will not go away, because of political imperatives and because the practicalities of tackling crime efficiently necessitate more devolution and greater partnership with the institutions of government that exist in Wales and are developing—this Bill helps in their development. We do not need a knee-jerk reaction, simply saying that the devolution of policing can be done easily and quickly, as it cannot. However, this needs to be kept under review, as this sensible and moderate new clause suggests. I heard the Minister’s negative comments, but I hope that he will recognise reality and keep this issue full square on the table, so that we have an active and positive consideration, and that when the time is right and there is a political consensus for it, we devolve policing powers for Wales.

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I wish to speak briefly about two areas: the amendments on energy generation and new clause 6 on air passenger duty.

On energy, I have already indicated my support for many of the comments that were made by our Front-Bench spokesman and indeed that were coming from those on the Government Benches, too. I believe the Welsh Government should be having more say on this issue because the Welsh Government and the Welsh Assembly have set a very different direction on sustainability and energy production right from the outset. We saw the principle of sustainable development and sustainability embedded in the first Wales Act, and the sustainable futures Act and other legislation passed in the Assembly have also shown a different direction. I trust people there to make a better choice about the energy mix and energy production matrix in Wales than we are seeing coming from the UK Government, particularly when they abolish the Department of Energy and Climate Change and downgrade sustainability and climate change in their overall agenda. We have a different approach in Wales. The megawatt limits that are set at the moment are arbitrary, and we ought to be giving as much encouragement as possible to local decision making on this, for many reasons. In particular, I would like the removal of some of the impediments to local energy generation by community energy schemes, as so much damage has been done to these schemes.

At the Co-operative party conference this weekend—I am a proud Co-operative party MP as well—I heard about the damage that has been done to community and co-operative energy across the UK by the rapid changes, for example, to feed-in tariffs, and the bureaucracy surrounding such schemes. It has been a huge mistake and has caused great damage to the industry. We have a thriving community energy sector in Wales that I want to see grow and expand. Given the framework that the Welsh Government and the Welsh Assembly have set from the beginning and which is very much embedded in their structures, it makes clear sense to devolve and expand the powers in this area.

It may seem odd for me to talk next about air travel and new clause 6. I believe that the expansion of air travel must be in balance with other forms of transport and within the framework of the Climate Change Act 2008, Welsh domestic legislation on sustainability and the Paris agreement. I am not convinced by the case that the Minister outlined today about air passenger duty. I find it particularly curious that the Secretary of State, who has Cardiff airport in his constituency, just 15 minutes away from the boundaries of my own, is willing to oppose this idea. Expanding provision at Cardiff airport will lead to shorter journey times, less congestion, less traffic and less cost for consumers in Wales. It will generate jobs and opportunities for the Secretary of State’s constituents and mine, many of whom work in the airport and in the aerospace industry and supply industry locally.

On the idea that it takes just 60 minutes to get across to Bristol, I have travelled to and from Bristol airport on a number of occasions. I have travelled there by all the different modes of transport—I have driven in my car, I have taken the train to Bristol Temple Meads and caught the connecting bus, and I have taken the coach directly to the airport. Bristol airport is a very nice place and I had a very nice experience there. I have nothing bad to say about Bristol airport itself, but it is complicated to get there. It takes a long time. With Cardiff airport just 15 minutes down the road from my constituency and from our capital city, it seems odd that a Wales Office Minister—indeed, the Secretary of State—rather than getting the best deal for Wales, should stand up for an airport on the other side of the Severn bridge and encourage passengers to go over there.

There is a further issue. Ministers have talked about the opportunities for Welsh passengers to travel from Bristol airport. Those will remain, but we do not benefit as much from passengers coming from the south-west, for one very good reason: the Severn bridge tolls. Why would passengers choose to come across to Cardiff airport, which entails crossing a toll bridge, when they have an airport on their own doorstep? We need to think carefully about what is the right decision.

I was not an absolute believer in the original Welsh Government decision to get involved in running the airport. I admit I was a sceptic, but they did the right thing and their decision has borne fruit, as we heard. Passenger numbers are up 29%, as my hon. Friend the Member for Llanelli (Nia Griffith) said. A service has been launched to London to allow a connection to many of the international business flights from London City airport. Companies such as FlyBe are expanding their opportunities. It was good enough for the Welsh football team to travel in and out of Cardiff airport. I find it odd that the Minister and the Secretary of State appear to be more interested in protecting the position of Bristol, rather than doing what is right for Wales and especially for consumers in south Wales, who want to be able to travel from Cardiff airport and to connect.

That is particularly pertinent in light of the result of the EU referendum. If we want Wales to be able to take advantage of the global trade agreements that the Government are supposedly going to magic up for us in the next couple of years, we must enable businesses, especially larger ones, to connect to flights to the City of London and elsewhere quickly and efficiently, and not have to take two or three modes of transport to get to an airport quite far south of Bristol. We ought to make the most of our own airport on our own doorstep, which is at the hub of a thriving aerospace industry.

Let us not forget that we have the British Airways Maintenance Cardiff centre. The hon. Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (Jonathan Edwards), I think, mentioned the length of the runway and the airport’s ability to handle the world’s largest aircraft. That is crucial. Could we not make more of those synergies with 777s and, we hope, with A380s and 747s, which are already maintained there and perhaps in future could fly from there as well?

I will support new clause 6 because it would benefit Wales, my constituency, Cardiff South and Penarth, and constituents in the Vale of Glamorgan, and it makes sense in terms of the efficiency and sustainability of air travel from Wales in the future.

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I rise to speak to new clauses 8 and 9, in my name and those of my Plaid Cymru colleagues. These provisions aim to guarantee the devolution of the youth justice system and the funds generated by the apprenticeship levy respectively. I will first discuss new clause 8.

Continuing with the ineffective and complex mix of devolved and non-devolved bodies to manage our youth justice system is not congruent with the Government’s promise of a clear devolution settlement for Wales. The illogical settlement of the current system was highlighted by former Youth Justice Board chair Professor Rod Morgan, and reiterated by the Silk commission, which found that

“factors linked to youth offending were often related to devolved services, such as education and training, social services, and health, while youth offenders were dealt with through non-devolved services, such as the police, Youth Offending Teams and youth courts.”

The 61 youth offenders currently in custody in Wales could receive significantly better treatment as a result of a simple change in the Bill. Equally, youth offenders in north Wales, who are, as a matter of course, sent over the border because of a lack of provision in the region, would be much better served by a devolved system. Why does the Minister, therefore, wish to retain the current unwieldy and unclear system when the evident priority should be to rehabilitate these children and young people?

As with every Plaid Cymru amendment brought forward, this is not a matter of politics, but common sense. Independent experts—independent experts, once again—are lining up to tell the Minister why he should devolve youth justice. I have already mentioned the Silk commission and Professor Rod Morgan, but the list goes on. Wales’s second Children’s Commissioner, Keith Towler, stated quite clearly that devolution responsibility over youth justice would make a massive difference in the way young people caught up in the justice system are supported, and it might even help cut crime. Leading legal academic, Richard Owen, has undertaken research to show the huge potential benefits of devolving youth justice.

However, perhaps the strongest statement came from the Howard League for Penal Reform, which has campaigned on the issue of youth justice for many years. When it found out that Plaid Cymru was putting forward this new clause, it wrote to me directly saying:

“When it comes to Welsh children in trouble with the law, Wales should be able to come up with a Welsh solution to a Welsh concern. This is particularly the case because both social services and education policy are already devolved and it is a welfare-led approach which will prove most effective for troubled children.”

The Youth Justice Board in Wales already recognises that in its children-first approach, and there is an opportunity to build on that distinctiveness and to protect it from any Westminster-led reforms that fail to take into account the specific needs of Welsh children. Why do the Secretary of State and the Government continue to fail to listen to these independent experts?

The indications are that the Government’s upcoming report into youth justice, undertaken by Charlie Taylor, the former chief executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, is likely to come out in favour of further devolution. Why not, therefore, use the biggest legislative vehicle for devolution in Wales for years to remove youth justice from the reservations now? I anticipate that this matter, like many matters relating to justice, will be discussed here once again and without delay when that report is published later this year.

The Government have already said that they are looking to devolve aspects of youth justice to other areas of the UK. Can the Minister explain to the people of Wales why such authorities as the Greater Manchester combined authority are set to gain increased competence over youth justice, when the established National Assembly for Wales, with a track record on closely related issues, is not? Is he not standing up for Wales among his Tory Cabinet colleagues?

The relatively insignificant £300,000 cost the Government estimate would be involved in setting up a Welsh youth justice system would pale into insignificance compared with the positive outcomes for young people caught up in the criminal justice system. Financial savings might even be made if, as predicted by many experts, offending rates decrease following its devolution. The benefits for the UK Government and the Welsh Government are clear. This is not only a morally responsible policy, but a logical and financially sensible thing to do. Although we will not push the new clause to a vote, will the Minister please outline why he is not listening to the Silk commission and the plethora of experts urging him to devolve youth justice?

New clause 9 relates to the devolution of the funds generated through the apprenticeship levy. The Government’s chaotic and haphazard approach to the apprenticeship levy has left all the devolved Administrations in confusion. While the specifics are clear for businesses in England, the way in which businesses, public organisations, colleges and training providers in Wales will be able to access and benefit from the moneys generated by the levy remains completely opaque. Plaid Cymru has a long-standing commitment to improving the standard and increasing the number of apprenticeships in Wales. With every other area of apprenticeships, skills and training already devolved, it is incomprehensible that the Government have chosen to impose this as a blanket policy across the UK. Beyond the issues I have outlined as a matter of principle, an unacceptable number of questions remain unanswered. How will the levy work in relation to companies that employ people across the border? How will Wales receive the money owed to it through the levy, and how will we know that it is a fair allocation? Although we do not wish to press the new clause to a vote, we are asking for a clear commitment from the Secretary of State to ensure that Wales gets its fair and transparent share of the receipts generated by the apprenticeship levy.

I now turn to amendments tabled by the Government and Opposition Front Benchers. The Government’s new clause 5 is based on the premise of giving Welsh Ministers power to demarcate safety zones around renewable energy installations in Welsh waters and prohibit activities within such safety zones. That does indeed seem empowering. Unfortunately, however, it further highlights the senseless limit of 350 MW capacity on renewable energy projects, to which we are fundamentally opposed. Amendment 45 and its consequential amendment 47 remind us again of this limit. We welcome new clause 1, tabled by the official Opposition, which would amend the Coastguard Act 1925 and the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 so as to require the Secretary of State to consult Welsh Ministers in relation to the activities of the coastguard in Wales.

New clause 11 relates to keeping the devolution of policing to Wales under review. I could say much, but, like my hon. Friend the Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (Jonathan Edwards), I have discussed these matters so many times in this Chamber that I feel it does not need to hear me reiterate them. I am glad that there is consistency in Plaid Cymru’s argument and that Labour is perhaps moving in the right direction.

Amendments 70 to 82 attempt to increase the limit on the Welsh Government’s legislative competence in the field of energy from 350 MW to 2,000 MW. That would of course be welcome. However, why do the official Opposition still believe that we must put an arbitrary limit on the Welsh Government’s powers at all when there is no such limit on the powers of the Scottish Government? I was pleased that for once the official Opposition supported our amendment in Committee to remove the limit altogether, so I am disappointed that in these amendments they appear to have rowed back on their support for allowing Welsh natural resources to be in the hands of the people of Wales.

I would greatly appreciate from the Minister clarification of amendment 50, which relates to the negative resolution procedure for Welsh Ministers under the Energy Act 2004, as that is not particularly clear as it stands.

Question put and agreed to.

New clause 5 accordingly read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 3

Rail: franchising of passenger services

“(1) Section 25 of the Railways Act 1993 (public sector operators not to be franchisees) is amended as follows.

(2) At the end of subsection (2A) insert “or a franchise agreement in respect of services that are or include Wales-only services.”

(3) After subsection (2A) insert—

“(2B) For the purposes of this section a “Wales-only service” has the same meaning as in section 57 of the Railways Act 2005.”

(4) This section does not have effect in relation to any invitation to tender under section 26(2) of the Railways Act 1993 issued before the day on which this section comes into force.”—(Paul Flynn.)

This new clause would remove a restriction in section 25 of the Railways Act 1993 on certain public sector bodies bidding to operate a rail franchise that is made up of or includes rail services within Wales.

Brought up, and read the First time.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time.

Division 63

12 September 2016

The House divided:

Ayes: 191
Noes: 286

Question accordingly negatived.

View Details

New Clause 6

Tax on Carriage of Passengers by Air

“(1) In Part 4A of the Government of Wales Act 2006, after Chapter 4 insert—

“Chapter 5

Tax on carriage of passengers by air

116O Tax on carriage of passengers by air

(1) A tax charged on the carriage of passengers by air from airports in Wales is a devolved tax.

(2) Tax may not be charged in accordance with that provision on the carriage of passengers boarding aircraft before the date appointed under subsection (6).

(3) Chapter 4 of Part 1 of The Finance Act 1994 (air passenger duty) is amended as follows.

(4) In section 28(4) (a chargeable passenger is a passenger whose journey begins at an airport in the United Kingdom), for “England, Wales or Northern Ireland” substitute “England, Wales or Northern Ireland”.

(5) In section 31(4B) (exception for passengers departing from airports in designated region of the United Kingdom) for “England, Wales or Northern Ireland” substitute “England or Northern Ireland”.

(6) Subsections (3) to (5) have effect in relation to flights beginning on or after such date as the Treasury appoint by regulations made by statutory instrument.””—(Jonathan Edwards.)

This new Clause would make air passenger duty a devolved tax in Wales, on the lines of section 17 of the Scotland Act 2016.

Brought up, and read the First time.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time.

Division 64

12 September 2016

The House divided:

Ayes: 195
Noes: 281

Question accordingly negatived.

View Details

Clause 38

Associated Development of Overhead Lines

Amendments made: 23, page 32, line 12, after “generating station”, insert “granted planning permission or”.

This amendment is to pick up the phrasing of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, which refers to planning permission being granted rather than consent.

Amendment 24, page 32, line 25, after “generating station”, insert “granted planning permission or”.—(Alun Cairns.)

This amendment is to pick up the phrasing of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, which refers to planning permission being granted rather than consent.

Clause 42

Marine Licensing in the Welsh Offshore Region

Amendment made: 25, page 34, line 26, at end insert—

“( ) In section 241 (marine licensing: Northern Ireland), in subsection (3)—

(a) in paragraph (a), for “or the Welsh inshore region” substitute “, the Welsh inshore region or the Welsh offshore region”;

(b) after that paragraph insert—

“(aa) any activity in the Welsh offshore region falling within the subject matter of Part 6 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (pollution etc).””.—(Alun Cairns.)

The subsection inserted by this amendment amends section 241 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 as subsections (2) to (4) amend sections 113, 236 and 240.

Schedule 5

Minor and Consequential Amendments

Amendments made: 43, page 97, line 4, at the end insert—

“4A (1) Section 116 (Welsh Seal and Letters Patent) is amended as follows.

(2) In the heading, for “and Letters Patent” substitute “: Letters Patent and proclamations”.

(3) In subsection (3), at the end insert “and all royal proclamations under section 4(2) and section 5(4), which have passed under the Welsh Seal”.”.

This amendment inserts a paragraph into Schedule 5 of the Bill to allow Orders in Council to be used to make provision about the form, content and publication of proclamations under the provisions inserted by amendments 11 and 12.

Amendment 44, page 105, line 2, at end insert—

“National Audit Act 1983 (c. 44)

28A (1) Section 6 of the National Audit Act 1983 (public departments etc) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (3) omit paragraphs (aa) and (ab).

(3) In subsection (3)(b) omit the words “, Schedule 9 to the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006”.

(4) Omit subsection (3A).

28B (1) Section 8 of that Act (right to obtain documents and information) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1) omit the words “and except in relation to an examination under section 6 above in respect of the Welsh Ministers or the National Assembly for Wales Commission”.

(3) Omit subsections (3), (4) and (5).

28C In section 9 of that Act (reports to House of Commons) omit subsection (2).”.

The paragraphs inserted by this amendment are consequential on amendment 18.

Amendment 45, page 108, line 10, at end insert—

“39A In section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 (consents required for construction etc of generating stations), after subsection (8) insert—

“(8A) The Welsh Ministers may by regulations make provision about the grant of consents under section 36 or 37 in relation to Welsh waters, including in particular provision about—

(a) the making and withdrawal of applications;

(b) fees;

(c) publicity and consultation requirements;

(d) rights to make representations;

(e) public inquiries;

(f) consideration of applications.””

The paragraph inserted by this amendment gives the Welsh Ministers power to determine the process applicable to applications for their consent under the Electricity Act 1989 - i.e. applications for consent for generating stations in Welsh waters that do not exceed 350 MW.

Amendment 46, page 108, line 21, at end insert—

“40A (1) Schedule 8 to that Act (consents under sections 36 and 37) is amended as follows.

(2) In the heading, after “consents” insert “of the Secretary of State and the Scottish Ministers”.

(3) In paragraph 8 (supplemental), after sub-paragraph (1) insert—

“(1A) In this Schedule references to applications for consent shall not include applications to the Welsh Ministers.””

This amendment is consequential on amendment 45.

Amendment 47, page 108, line 31, at end insert—

“Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (c. 37)

41A In section 45A of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (power to make consequential provision), in subsection (4), for the words from “a Measure” to “an Act of the Assembly)” substitute “an Act of the Assembly”.”.

The paragraph inserted by this amendment removes an obsolete reference to Assembly Measures.

Amendment 48, page 108, line 31, at end insert—

“Government of Wales Act 1998 (c. 38)

41B In section 145 of the Government of Wales Act 1998 (examinations into use of resources) omit subsection (6).

41C In Schedule 6 to that Act (Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales) omit paragraph 9.

Care Standards Act 2000 (c. 14)

41D In Schedule 2 to the Care Standards Act 2000 (the Children’s Commissioner for Wales) omit paragraph 12.”.

The paragraphs inserted by this amendment are consequential on amendment 18.

Amendment 49, page 108, line 31, at end insert—

“Local Government Act 2000 (c. 22)

41E In section 7 of the Local Government Act 2000 (power to modify enactments concerning plans etc: Wales), in subsection (9), for the words after “For the purposes of subsection (8),” substitute “section 108A of the Government of Wales Act 2006 (legislative competence) has effect as if subsection (2)(c) of that section and paragraph 1 of Schedule 7B to that Act were omitted.”

Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (c. 31)

41F (1) Section 5C of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (guidance) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (4)(a), for “a body exercising devolved Welsh functions” substitute “a Wales public authority”.

(3) For subsection (5) substitute—

“(5) In subsection (4)(a) “Wales public authority” has the same meaning as in the Government of Wales Act 2006 (see section 157A of that Act).””

The paragraphs inserted by this amendment amend a statutory provision referring to the legislative competence of the Welsh Assembly (to reflect the Government of Wales Act 2006 as amended by the Bill) and substitute a reference to “Wales public authorities” (see clause 4).

Amendment 50, page 108, line 31, at end insert—

“Energy Act 2004 (c. 20)

41G (1) Section 192 of the Energy Act 2004 (powers exercisable by statutory instrument) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1), after “the Secretary of State” insert “, the Welsh Ministers”.

(3) In subsection (2)(a), after “regulations” insert “made by the Secretary of State or the Treasury”.

(4) After subsection (2) insert—

“(2A) Where —

(a) this Act provides for an order or regulations made by the Welsh Ministers to be subject to the negative resolution procedure, and

(b) a draft of the order or regulations has not been required, in accordance with this or any other enactment, to be laid before and approved by a resolution of the National Assembly for Wales,

the statutory instrument containing the order or regulations shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the National Assembly for Wales.”

(5) In subsection (3), for “the power” substitute “a power of the Secretary of State or the Treasury”.

(6) In subsection (4), after “the Secretary of State” insert “, the Welsh Ministers”.

41H In Schedule 16 to that Act (applications and proposals for notices under section 95), in paragraph 9(a), after “the Secretary of State” insert “or the Welsh Ministers”.”

The paragraphs inserted by this amendment deal with the negative resolution procedure for regulations etc made by the Welsh Ministers under the modified Energy Act 2004.

Amendment 51, page 108, line 31, at end insert—

“Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2005 (c. 10)

41I In Schedule 1 to the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2005 (appointment etc) omit paragraph 20.

Commissioner for Older People (Wales) Act 2006 (c. 30)

41J In Schedule 1 to the Commissioner for Older People (Wales) Act 2006 (the Commissioner) omit paragraph 14.”.

The paragraphs inserted by this amendment are consequential on amendment 18.

Amendment 52, page 108, line 31, at end insert—

“Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 (c. 51)

41K (1) Section 24 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 (functions to which sections 21 and 22 apply) is amended as follows.

(2) Omit the definition of “Welsh regulatory function” in subsection (10).

(3) After that subsection insert—

“(11) For the purposes of this section a regulatory function is a “Welsh regulatory function” if or to the extent that it is exercisable in relation to Wales and is a function which—

(a) could be conferred by provision falling within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales (see section 108A of the Government of Wales Act 2006), or

(b) relates to matters in respect of which functions are exercisable by the Welsh Ministers.”

41L In section 27 of that Act (power to make orders, rules and schemes), in subsection (6), for paragraph (c) substitute—

“(c) so far as they are powers that—

(i) could be conferred by provision falling within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales, or

(ii) are exercisable in relation to matters in respect of which functions are exercisable by the Welsh Ministers, the First Minister for Wales or the Counsel General to the Welsh Government,

shall also be exercisable by the Welsh Ministers.”

Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 (c. 18)

41M In section 66 of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 (devolved statistics), for subsection (3) substitute—

“(3) In this Part “Welsh devolved statistics” means statistics which relate to the exercise of functions by a Wales public authority (within the meaning given by section 157A of the Government of Wales Act 2006), other than statistics produced by a person acting on behalf of—

(a) the Crown, or

(b) a public authority,

in the exercise of functions that could not be conferred by provision falling within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales (see section 108A of that Act).”

Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 (c. 17)

41N In section 37 of the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 (extension of the functions of Citizens Advice etc), in subsection (5), for the words from “a Measure” to “an Act of the Assembly)” substitute “an Act of the Assembly”.

Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 (c. 13)

41O In section 74 of the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 (general interpretation), in paragraph (a) of the definition of “devolved Welsh matter”, for “section 108” substitute “section 108A”.”

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (c. 22)

41P In section 64 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (power to make consequential and transitional provision etc), in subsection (6), for the words from “a Measure” to “an Act of the Assembly)” substitute “an Act of the Assembly”.

Climate Change Act 2008 (c. 27)

41Q In section 70 of the Climate Change Act 2008 (interpretation), in subsections (4)(b) and (6)(b), for “relating to matters within” substitute “capable of being conferred by provision falling within”.”.

The new paragraphs inserted by this amendment amend statutory provisions referring to the legislative competence of the Welsh Assembly (to reflect the Government of Wales Act 2006 as amended by the Bill) and remove obsolete references to Assembly Measures.

Amendment 53, page 108, line 31, at end insert—

“Planning Act 2008 (c. 29)

41R In section 149A of the Planning Act 2008 (deemed consent under a marine licence), in subsection (3)(b), after “the Secretary of State” insert “or the Welsh Ministers”.

41S Omit section 202 of that Act (powers of National Assembly for Wales).

41T In Schedule 5 to that Act (provision relating to, or to matters ancillary to, development), in paragraphs 30A and 30B, after “the Secretary of State” insert “or the Welsh Ministers”.”

Section 202 of the Planning Act 2008 is repealed by this amendment because it amends a provision that has itself been repealed. The other two amendments are consequential on the fact that the Welsh Ministers will be able to issue marine licences in Welsh waters beyond the territorial sea.

Amendment 54, page 108, line 38, at end insert—

“43 In section 13 of that Act (safety zones: functions under section 95 of the Energy Act 2004), in subsection (3)—

(a) in paragraph (a) omit “or”;

(b) after paragraph (b) insert—

“(c) any area of the Welsh inshore region, or

(d) any area of the Welsh offshore region.””

The paragraph inserted by this amendment amends section 13 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 as paragraph 42 amends section 12.

Amendment 55, page 108, line 38, at end insert—

“44 In section 60 of that Act (meaning of “retained functions” etc), in subsection (4), in paragraph (c) of the definition of “secondary devolved Welsh functions”, for “relating to matters within” substitute “they are capable of being conferred by provision falling within”.”

The paragraph inserted by this amendment amends a statutory provision referring to the legislative competence of the Welsh Assembly (to reflect the Government of Wales Act 2006 as amended by the Bill).

Amendment 56, page 108, line 38, at end insert—

“45 (1) Section 78 of that Act (special procedure for applications relating to harbour works) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (5), after “subsection (6)(c) or (d)” insert “or (6A)(b)”.

(3) In subsection (6), at the beginning insert “Subject to subsection (6B),”.

(4) After that subsection insert—

“(6A) The Welsh Ministers may by regulations—

(a) make provision falling within subsection (7) for cases where—

(i) the Welsh Ministers are both the marine licence authority and the harbour order authority, and

(ii) they have decided that the two applications are to be considered together and have given notice of that decision to the applicant;

(b) make provision falling within subsection (7) or (8) for cases where—

(i) the Welsh Ministers are both the marine licence authority and the harbour order authority, and

(ii) they have concluded that one of the applications is not going to be made.

(6B) The Secretary of State may not make provision under this section for cases where the Welsh Ministers are both the marine licence authority and the harbour order authority.”

46 (1) Section 79 of that Act (special procedure for applications relating to certain electricity works) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (5), after “subsection (6)(c) or (d)” insert “or (6A)(b)”.

(3) In subsection (6), at the beginning insert “Subject to subsection (6B),”.

(4) After that subsection insert—

“(6A) The Welsh Ministers may by regulations—

(a) make provision falling within subsection (7) for cases where—

(i) the Welsh Ministers are both the marine licence authority and the generating station authority, and

(ii) they have decided that the two applications are to be considered together and have given notice of that decision to the applicant;

(b) make provision falling within subsection (7) or (8) for cases where—

(i) the Welsh Ministers are both the marine licence authority and the generating station authority, and

(ii) they have concluded that one of the applications is not going to be made.

(6B) The Secretary of State may not make provision under this section for cases where the Welsh Ministers are both the marine licence authority and the generating station authority.”

(5) In subsection (9), in the definition of “generating station authority”, at the end insert—

(c) the Welsh Ministers, in any case where the generating station application falls (or would fall) to be determined by the Welsh Ministers;”.”

This amendment gives the Welsh Ministers powers to make provision about the application procedure to be followed in circumstances where they are both the marine licence authority and the harbour order authority or generating station authority.

Amendment 57, page 108, line 38, at end insert—

“Welfare Reform Act 2009 (c. 24)

47 In section 45 of the Welfare Reform Act 2009 (the appropriate authority by which regulations under section 41 are made), in subsection (2)(b), for the words from “a Measure” to “an Act of the Assembly)” substitute “an Act of the Assembly”.

Equality Act 2010 (c. 15)

48 (1) Section 2 of the Equality Act 2010 (power to amend section 1) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (6), for the words from “an authority” to “correspond” substitute “a Wales public authority (within the meaning given by section 157A of the Government of Wales Act 2006) whose functions correspond”.

(3) In subsection (11) omit paragraph (b).

49 (1) Section 157 of that Act (interpretation) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsection (2) substitute—

“(2) A relevant Welsh authority is a Wales public authority (within the meaning given by section 157A of the Government of Wales Act 2006) other than the Assembly Commission.”

(3) For subsection (5) substitute—

“(5) A function is a devolved Welsh function if—

(a) it relates to a matter in respect of which functions are exercisable by the Welsh Ministers, the First Minister for Wales or the Counsel General to the Welsh Government, or

(b) provision conferring the function would be within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales.”

Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (c. 29)

50 In section 28 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (power to make further amendments), in subsection (3), for paragraph (a) substitute—

“(a) the Welsh Ministers, where the amendment—

(i) relates to a matter in respect of which functions may be exercised by the Welsh Ministers, the First Minister for Wales or the Counsel General to the Welsh Government, or

(ii) would be within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales if contained in an Act of the Assembly, and”.

Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011 (c. 4)

51 In Schedule 5 to the Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011 (consequential amendments relating to Part 2) omit paragraphs 26 to 28.

52 Omit Schedule 6 to that Act (amendments of Schedules 5 and 7 to the Government of Wales Act 2006).

Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (c. 13)

53 In Schedule 16 to the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (minor and consequential amendments) omit paragraph 353.

Localism Act 2011 (c. 20)

54 In section 51 of the Localism Act 2011 (meaning of “public authority” and related terms), in subsection (6)(c), for “section 108” substitute “section 108A”.

55 In section 61 of that Act (meaning of “Welsh public authority” and related terms), in subsection (4), for “section 108” substitute “section 108A”.

56 In Schedule 13 to that Act (Infrastructure Planning Commission: transfer of functions to Secretary of State) omit paragraph 79.

Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (c. 9)

57 In Schedule 3 to the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (corresponding code of practice for Welsh devolved powers of entry), in paragraph 1(1), for the words after paragraph (a) substitute—

“(b) associated powers.

The code may only contain provision that would be within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales if contained in an Act of the Assembly.”

Energy Act 2013 (c. 32)

58 In Schedule 12 to the Energy Act 2013 (minor and consequential amendments) omit paragraph 90.

Public Audit (Wales) Act 2013 (anaw 3)

59 In Schedule 4 to the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2013 (minor and consequential amendments) omit paragraph 78.

Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (c. 12)

60 In Schedule 11 to the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (minor and consequential amendments) omit paragraph 43.

Water Act 2014 (c. 21)

61 In Schedule 7 to the Water Act 2014 (further amendments) omit paragraph 135.

Wales Act 2014 (c. 29)

62 In section 6 of the Wales Act 2014 (taxation: introductory) omit subsections (3) and (7) to (9).

63 In section 7 of that Act (amendments relating to the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs) omit subsection (14).

64 Omit section 22 of that Act (budgetary procedures).

Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (c. 6)

65 In section 29 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (power to issue guidance), in subsection (4)(a), for “a Welsh authority” substitute “a Wales public authority”.

66 In section 30 of that Act (power to give directions: general), in subsection (3), for “a Welsh authority” substitute “a Wales public authority”.

67 (1) Section 35 of that Act (Chapter 1: interpretation), is amended as follows.

(2) For subsection (4) substitute—

“(4) “Wales public authority” has the same meaning as in the Government of Wales Act 2006 (see section 157A of that Act).”

(3) For subsection (5) substitute—

“(5) A function is a “devolved Welsh function” if—

(a) it relates to a matter in respect of which functions are exercisable by the Welsh Ministers, the First Minister for Wales or the Counsel General to the Welsh Government, or

(b) provision conferring the function would be within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales.”

Deregulation Act 2015 (c. 20)

68 (1) Section 109 of the Deregulation Act 2015 (functions to which section 108 of that Act applies) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (3)(c), for “relates to matters which are devolved Welsh matters” substitute “could be conferred by provision falling within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales”.

(3) In subsection (6) omit the definition of “devolved Welsh matter”.

Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (c. 26)

69 In section 18 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (power to specify regulatory functions), in subsection (5)(c), for “section 108” substitute “section 108A”.

70 In section 22 of that Act (meaning of “qualifying regulatory provisions” etc), in subsection (7)(c), for “section 108” substitute “section 108A”.

71 In section 39 of that Act (regulations about procurement), in subsection (4)—

(a) after “if” insert “it is a Wales public authority (within the meaning given by section 157A of the Government of Wales Act 2006) or if”;

(b) in paragraph (b) omit “or”;

(c) omit paragraph (c).

72 (1) Section 153C of that Act (power to relax restriction on public sector exit payments) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsections (5)(b), (8)(a) and (8)(b), for “relevant Welsh authority” substitute “Wales public authority”.

(3) In subsection (9), for the definition of “relevant Welsh authority” substitute—

““Wales public authority” has the same meaning as in the Government of Wales Act 2006 (see section 157A of that Act).”

73 In section 157 of that Act (power of Secretary of State to waive repayment requirement), in subsection (6)(b), for the words after “responsible authorities who” substitute “are Wales public authorities within the meaning given by section 157A of the Government of Wales Act 2006”.

Housing and Planning Act 2016 (c. 22)

74 (1) Section 207 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (engagement with public authorities in relation to proposals to dispose of land) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (6)—

(a) omit “or” at the end of paragraph (a);

(b) omit paragraph (b).

(3) After that subsection insert—

“(6A) Regulations under subsection (3) may not be made so to require a Wales public authority to carry out engagement under subsection (2).”

(4) In subsection (7), at end insert—

““Wales public authority” has the same meaning as in the Government of Wales Act 2006 (see section 157A of that Act).”

75 (1) Section 208 of that Act (duty of public authorities to prepare report of surplus land holdings) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsection (10) substitute—

“(10) Regulations may not specify a Wales public authority for the purposes of subsection (1).”