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Y Pwyllgor Materion Cyfansoddiadol a Deddfwriaethol

Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee

19/11/2018

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Angela Burns AM yn dirprwyo ar ran Suzy Davies
substitute for Suzy Davies
Dai Lloyd AM
Dawn Bowden AM
Lee Waters AM
Mandy Jones AM
Mick Antoniw AM Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair

Swyddogion Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru a oedd yn bresennol

National Assembly for Wales Officials in Attendance

Alys Thomas Ymchwilydd
Researcher
Gareth Howells Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
Katie Wyatt Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
Mike Lewis Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk
P Gareth Williams Clerc
Clerk
Sarah Sargent Ail Glerc
Second Clerk

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.

The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 14:30.

The meeting began at 14:30.

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau
1. Introduction, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

Right. Welcome to the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee meeting. We start with item 1: introduction, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest. Suzy Davies has given her apologies, and I welcome to the committee Angela Burns as a substitute. Are there any declarations of interest? If there aren't any declarations of interest, we'll move on to item 2.

2. Offerynnau nad ydynt yn cynnwys materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 na 21.3
2. Instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3

Instruments raising no reporting issues under Standing Orders 21.2 or 21.3—so, statutory instruments with clear reports. Affirmative resolution instruments: we start with the Climate Change (Carbon Budgets) (Wales) Regulations 2018. These regulations are part of a suite of five regulations made under Part 2 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016. Part 2 of the Act requires Welsh Ministers to meet targets for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from Wales. The regulations provide for the maximum total amount for the net Welsh emissions account, a carbon budget for the first two budgetary periods 2016 to 2020 and 2021 to 2025. Section 31 of the Act requires Welsh Ministers to set the carbon budgets for the first two budgeting periods before the end of 2018. Any comments from lawyers? No. Any comments from Members on these?

No. So we note those.

Item 2.2: the Climate Change (Interim Emissions Targets) (Wales) Regulations 2018. These again are regulations that make provision for interim emissions targets in accordance with section 30 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 for the years 2020, 2030, 2040. Section 34 of the Act requires Welsh Ministers to set interim emissions targets before the end of 2018. Any issues? No. Any comments from Members on that?

Item 2.3, then: the Climate Change (International Aviation and International Shipping) (Wales) Regulations 2018. These are regulations that provide a formula for determining what emissions of greenhouse gases from international aviation and international shipping are to be regarded as Welsh emissions for the purpose of section 34(2) of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016. Any issues on that? Any comments from Members?

No. Then we move on to the next item, which is the Climate Change (Net Welsh Emissions Account Credit Limit) (Wales) Regulations 2018. These are regulations that set a limit on the number of carbon units that can be credited to the net Welsh emissions account in accordance with section 33 (4) of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016. Any comments?

3. Offerynnau sy'n cynnwys materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt i’r Cynulliad o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 neu 21.3
3. Instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Assembly under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3

We move on to instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Assembly under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3. Affirmative resolution instruments: you have before you the Carbon Accounting (Wales) Regulations 2018, and with your papers is the report, the regulations and the explanatory memorandum. These regulations are part of the suite of five regulations made under Part 2 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 and which make provision about carbon accounting carbon units for the purpose of calculating the net Welsh emissions account under Part 2 of the Act. We have identified a merits point. I refer to the lawyers now.

The report notes one point in respect of exiting the EU. In the event of a 'no deal' exit, there is a risk that Wales won't have access to an EU registry, which can be thought of as an online bank account where carbon dioxide allowances are allocated and transferred. The UK Government is considering contingency measures for this scenario and will issue further advice later this year.

Okay. So, whatever contingency provisions will come before us, so we'll make sure that we're aware of that.

Chair, would it be helpful to have a continuity Bill from that point of view, then—continuity Act, should I say?

I'm sure that will be a matter that you might wish to raise later on in the agenda. And possibly during the course of the week.

Item 3.2, the Non-Domestic Rating (Multiplier) (Wales) (No. 2) Order 2018—again, you have before you a report, an Order, an explanatory memorandum. Interestingly, you will note that the Order specifies that, for the financial year beginning on 1 April 2019, the amount for item B within the whole formula is 281.7. I don't know if our lawyers want to explain or clarify that.

14:35

Only quickly. This Order specifies the multiplier to be used in calculating non-domestic rates. The figure is 281.7, and while that is set out in the regulation—in the Order, sorry—itself, there's no reference to the figure itself in the explanatory memorandum. It's been raised with the Welsh Government and they've assured us it will be covered in future explanatory memoranda. 

Well spotted, okay.

We move on to written statements according with Standing Order 30C, which are the EU exit statements, and the item we're on to is the Exotic Disease (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, wherein you have a statement and a commentary. The statement was issued last week, and was laid before the Assembly on 9 November, following the laying of the regulations in Westminster and the UK Parliament on 7 November 2018. Any comments, any matters on that? No. 

So, we move on to item 5—'Standing Order 30B Report: the European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks'. This is the first of the reports, three-monthly reports, that Government has committed to laying. Comments? Gareth, did you have any comments on this?

Perhaps just to note that, in the foreword, the document says that

'the UK Government has concluded it does not need to bring forward any section 12 regulations at this juncture'

and later on, in paragraph 1.15, it says:

'Intensive work will continue with the devolved administrations on the 24 areas in which a legislative framework may be required. It is anticipated that the resulting proposals will be submitted for consideration by Ministers from the UK Government and the devolved administrations in the next reporting period.' 

Okay. That's on page 98 of the bundle. I think what it really means is, well, we've got our first three-monthly report, which hasn't used any significant powers, but the next three-monthly report, clearly, there will be much more substance to it and will require, I think, much more attention to it. Are there any general comments on the report?

If not, we move on to item 6, the Law Derived from the European Union (Wales) Act 2018 (Repeal) Regulations 2018—again, we're now on the item in the agenda that you mentioned earlier, Dai. We have before us the reports laid before the Assembly on 26 September, the regulations that were laid on 26 June, the amended explanatory memorandum, and then the statement of 13 November 2018. The regulations repeal the Law Derived from the European Union (Wales) Act 2018 in its entirety, and are made under section 22 of the Act. They were subject to enhanced procedure and were laid before the Assembly on 26 June 2018. The committee considered and reported on the draft regulations on 24 September 2018. On 13 November, the Government laid a revised explanatory memorandum, explaining that the 60-day period for representations expired on 1 October, and the committee report constituted the only representation made.

Welsh Ministers—. So, basically, this will be going to the Plenary session on Tuesday. Is that right? Is it tomorrow? Yes. Okay. So, any comments on it?

Only that, this committee, we're discussing the technical merits of this repeal Bill. I don't agree with the policy direction and I'll be saying that tomorrow, but, as regards the job of this committee, which is to look at 'Can you do that?', well, plainly, you can do it. It's that I don't happen to agree with that, that's all. It's a point that David Melding has made in the past, when we were bringing in this continuity Act in the first place—there was no problem with the technical merits of it; it's just that he didn't agree with the policy direction. Now, I'm invoking the same argument in reverse, as it were, and will have more to say about it tomorrow, no doubt, if called to speak. 

Yes, I think there are 60 minutes allocated for debate tomorrow. This legislation, which is on the statute book at the moment, of course, was part and parcel of the quid pro quo in respect of the inter-governmental agreement. So, that's the framework, and that's obviously a matter for debate in the Plenary tomorrow. Unless there's anything on the actual technical aspects to this, we can move on. 

14:40
7. Papurau i’w nodi
7. Papers to note

We now move on to item 7, papers to note. Item 7.1, we have the letter that was—you did see it at the last meeting: the Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. If I recall right, this is essentially about whether there is sufficient time in order to change and make arrangements in respect of warnings on the packaging as a result of EU legislation. It seems to me that it's a matter for Westminster; it's just for us to note. There's nothing further for us to do, unless there's any comments from Members.

Okay, content. So, we'll move on then. There's a letter from the First Minister in response to the committee's report on the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Bill. We have a letter from the First Minister. You'll recall that I wrote to the First Minister at the request of the committee. We drew attention to a number of aspects to do with the Bill, and to do with certain constitutional aspects of it. They've been dealt with—some favourably, some less favourably—by the First Minister. I'm not sure whether there's anything further we can do on it, but are there any comments that any Member wants to raise on it? 

If there isn't anything further on that, I think that brings us to the end of the items for open session.

8. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o’r cyfarfod
8. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the meeting

Cynnig:

bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi).

Motion:

that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi).

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

So, in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi), I invite the committee to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting. Do you agree? So, we now move into private session.

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 14:41.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 14:41.

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