No law-making powers for Wales

It’s been a busy week for Peter Hain. As well as dodging brickbats in Northern Ireland, he has announced new powers for the Welsh Assembly. The new legislation will still leave Wales with substantially less autonomy than Scotland.

The White Paper falls well short of recommendations made in the independent Richard Commission report to devolve full law-making powers for health and education handed over by 2011.

Instead the Assembly, from 2007, would be able to bid to Westminster to create new laws or amend existing ones.

That bid would be approved or rejected by Westminster following a 90-minute debate and vote in both Houses of Parliament.

Mr Hain said the fast-tracking would mean Wales would no longer have to "fight for space" in the Queen’s Speech.

He added any move towards handing down full law-making powers "clearly would need a referendum", but ruled that out until at least 2011. (Western Mail)






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