Y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a’r Cyfansoddiad

Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee

11/01/2021

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Carwyn Jones MS
Dai Lloyd MS
David Melding MS
Mick Antoniw MS Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Gareth Howells Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
P Gareth Williams Clerc
Clerk
Rhiannon Lewis Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
Sarah Sargent Ail Glerc
Second Clerk

Cynnwys

Contents

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau 1. Introduction, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest
2. Offerynnau nad ydynt yn codi 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
3. Offerynnau sy'n codi materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt i'r Senedd o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 neu 21.3 3. Instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3
4. Offerynnau nad ydynt yn cynnwys materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 na 21.3 ond sydd â goblygiadau o ganlyniad i ymadawiad y DU â'r UE 4. Instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3 but have implications as a result of the UK exiting the EU
5. Offerynnau sy'n codi materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt i'r Senedd o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 neu 21.3 - trafodwyd yn flaenorol 5. Instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3 - previously considered
6. Adroddiad Rheol Sefydlog 30B: Deddf yr Undeb Ewropeaidd (Ymadael) a Fframweithiau Cyffredin 6. Standing Order 30B Report: The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks
7. Datganiadau ysgrifenedig o dan Reol Sefydlog 30C 7. Written statements under Standing Order 30C
8. Datganiadau Ysgrifenedig o dan y Protocol rhwng Llywodraeth Cymru a'r Pwyllgor 8. Written Statements under the Protocol between the Welsh Government and the Committee
9. Papurau i’w nodi 9. Papers to note
10. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod ac o eitem 1 o'r cyfarfod ar 18 Ionawr 2021 10. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting and from Item 1 of the meeting on 18 January 2021

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.

Cyfarfu'r pwyllgor drwy gynhadledd fideo.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:30.

The committee met by video-conference.

The meeting began at 09:30.

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

I welcome Members to this virtual meeting of the committee this new Gregorian year. In accordance with Standing Order 34.19, I've determined that the public are excluded from the committee's meeting in order to protect public health. In accordance with Standing Order 34.21, notice of this decision was included in the published agenda for this meeting. The meeting is being broadcast live on Senedd.tv, and the Record of Proceedings will be published as usual. Aside from the procedural adaptation for conducting proceedings remotely, all other Standing Order requirements remain in place. We have a full attendance at committee today. The usual housekeeping arrangements will apply. Can I ask Members if there are any declarations of interest to be made? I don't see any, so we move on straight on to the agenda.

2. Offerynnau nad ydynt yn codi 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

We move on to item 2 of the agenda, and the Land Transaction Tax (Specified Amount of Relevant Rent) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. These regulations amend the Land Transaction Tax (Specified Amount of Relevant Rent) (Wales) Regulations 2018, which specify the amount of relevant rent under paragraph 36(1)(b) of Schedule 6 to the Land Transaction Tax and Anti-avoidance of Devolved Taxes (Wales) Act 2017. The Plenary debate in respect of this item is scheduled for 26 January 2021, along with two further sets of tax-related regulations, which are being considered at items 3.11 and 3.12 during today's meeting. Are there any issues from the lawyers? I don't see any comments or observations from the Members. I don't see any.

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

Okay, so we move on to item 3 of the agenda. We move on to the Digital Health and Care Wales (Establishment and Membership) Order 2020. The Members have the report, the regulations and the explanatory memorandum before them. The Order provides for the establishment of Digital Health and Care Wales and makes a provision about its constitution and overarching functions. Further details about how DHCW will operate is contained in the regulations, which are considered at item 3.2, which came into force at the same time as the Order on 30 December 2020. If I can just go over to the lawyers for any comments.

There's just one merits point, asking why the explanatory memorandum and regulatory impact assessment have been laid in English only, and the Welsh Government has not yet responded.

Okay. So, we await that response. Any comments or observations from Members? I don't see any.

So, we move on to item 3.2, the Digital Health and Care Wales (Membership and Procedure) Regulations 2020. These regulations supplement the Order at item 3.1 and make detailed provision about the membership and procedures of Digital Health and Care Wales. Again, I'll go over to the lawyers now for any report.

There are two technical points and three merits points. The first technical point raises a query as to what a non-officer member must do to remove an associate member from office, in particular around the giving of a written notice to the associate member. The second technical point notes an incorrect cross-reference in the regulations.

The first merits point asks why certain definitions are listed in alphabetical order in the Welsh version, but follow a slightly different order in the English version. Again, the explanatory memorandum is in English only, so that is raised as a merits point. And the third merits point notes a minor error in a footnote in the regulations. The Welsh Government has not yet responded.

Okay. Thank you for that, Gareth. Any other comments or observations from Members? We note those points.

On to item 3.3, the Business Tenancies (Extension of Protection from Forfeiture etc.) (Wales) (Coronavirus) (No. 3) Regulations 2020. Section 82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 ensures that re-entry or forfeiture for non-payment of rent may not be enforced in relation to relevant business tenancies during the relevant period. The relevant period is defined by the Act as beginning on 26 March 2020 and ending on 30 June 2020, or such later date as may be specified in the regulations made by the relevant national authority. In relation to Wales, this is the Welsh Ministers. So, the regulations extend the moratorium provided by section 82 of the Act until 31 March 2021. I go over to the lawyers for any report.

09:35

There is one technical point that notes the English phrase 'ending with' should read in Welsh 'gorffen â' not 'gorffen ar', as recommended with Welsh Government's drafting guidance. And in the report, the 'a' in 'gorffen a' should have a to bach, a circumflex, so we need to add that before publishing the report.

Okay. Well spotted. Any comments or observations from Members? I always appreciate the detail in which these regulations are scrutinised.

Item 3.4 is the Personal Protective Equipment (Temporary Arrangements) (Coronavirus) (Wales) Regulations 2020. These regulations implement temporary arrangements to facilitate the production and supply of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. These arrangements are similar to the proposals in the European Commission's recommendations of 13 March 2020 on conformity assessment and market surveillance procedures within the context of the COVID-19 threat, but arrangements in these regulations are specific to Wales and came into force on implementation period completion day, which was 31 December 2020. The easements are time limited in that a Health and Safety Executive assessment of the PPE is required by specific dates. If I can go over to the lawyers for a report.

There is just one merits point that notes the regulations contain a declaration by the Welsh Ministers that the regulations do not have a significant impact on a person's rights. Therefore, the regulations can follow the negative resolution procedure, even though an affirmative procedure usually applies to regulations made under these sections of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.

Okay, and thank you for that. Any comments or observations from Members? If there are none, on to 3.5, then—the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Public Health Information to Travellers) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020. These regulations amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 and the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Public Health Information for Persons Travelling to Wales etc.) Regulations 2020. They were made on 11 December. They came into force at 4 a.m. on 12 December. Again, over to the lawyers for a report.

There are four merits points, raising familiar issues regarding breach of the 21-day rule, the Welsh Government's position on any potential interference with human rights, and lack of consultation on regulatory impact assessments.

Okay. Those are regular points that we're noting on these. Any comments or observations? If not, we move on to item 3.6, which is the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 22) Regulations 2020. Members have all the relevant papers, including the written statement from the Government of 17 December 2020. So, this is the twenty-second set of regulations to make amendments to international travel regulations, which impose requirements on persons entering Wales having been abroad. These regulations were made on 18 December and they came into force on 19 December. Gareth, any comments?

The draft report again raises familiar issues around, for example, consultation et cetera. While also welcoming the Welsh Government's commitment to publish an integrated impact assessment of the international travel isolation rules, I haven't been able to find that impact assessment so I'm not sure if it has actually been published yet.

Okay, if you can update us on that. Any comments or observations from Members? If there are not, I move on to the next item and say that items 3.7, 3.8, 3.9 and 3.10 are all scheduled to be debated in tomorrow's Plenary session. So, going on to item 3.7, this is the Health Protection (Coronavirus, South Africa) (Wales) Regulations 2020, and these amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020. They make changes to those regulations necessitated by what we've all seen, I think, in the media of the emerging health risks reported from South Africa that a new strain of coronavirus with high levels of transmissibility has been identified. The regulations were made on 23 December and came into force on 24 December. Over to the lawyers. 

09:40

There are four technical points and four merits points. The technical point notes minor drafting errors and one minor inconsistency between the English and Welsh texts. The Welsh Government response was received on Friday afternoon after today's papers were circulated. The Welsh Government simply notes two of the points, and will correct two of the other points. And, again, there are familiar merits points relating to, for example, human rights, consultation and regulatory impact assessments. The merits point also notes that these regulations came into force before they were laid before the Senedd, and the Welsh Government's explanation of the urgency in this case.

Thank you for that. Any comments or observations from Members? No.

So, we move on to 3.8. These are regulations that revoke the—. Sorry, I beg your pardon, these are the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020. They revoke the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 4) (Wales) Regulations 2020. They impose a number of restrictions and requirements in response to the risks to public health arising from coronavirus, and since being made, they've been amended twice. The amending regulations will be considered under the next two items we have on our agenda today. Gareth.

There are, again, the familiar merits points around the Welsh Government's justification for any potential interference with human rights and no consultation et cetera. There is also a merits point that notes the scientific evidence the Welsh Government relied on in making these regulations, including the chief medical officer's recommendation that the whole of Wales move to alert level 4 in response to the public health situation. 

Okay, thank you for that report. Any comments from the Members? I don't see any.

So, we move on to 3.9, which is the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. These were made on 19 December and came into force at 11.59 p.m. on that same day. These regulations amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, with the effect of commencing those regulations at the beginning of 20 December 2020, with the exception of Part 6, and to move Wales into tier 4 from the same date. Gareth.

There are two technical points and five merits points. The technical points note relatively minor drafting errors, and an inconsistency between the English and Welsh texts. And, again, the merits points raise familiar issues, including the final merits points, which notes the recommendation of the chief medical officer, including the recommendation that the relaxation of the rules over the Christmas period should be limited to just Christmas day. 

Okay, thank you for that. Any comments or observations? No.

So, we move on to item 3.10, which is the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020. Again, Members have had all the relevant papers, including the letter from the First Minister of 21 December 2020, and the written statement of 22 December. These regulations introduce an offence in alert level 4 of failing to comply with the requirement to not sell or supply alcohol after 10 p.m. or before 6.00 a.m. The requirement applies to those responsible for premises with a license to sell or supply alcohol for consumption off the premises. The regulations were made on 21 December and came into force on 22 December. Gareth.

The draft report just simply, again, raises familiar merits points regarding the urgency of the regulations and lack of consultation et cetera.

Okay. Any comments or observations from Members? No, I don't see any.

So, we move on to items 3.11 and 3.12. These are items which are scheduled to be debated in the Plenary session on 26 January 2021.

So, we go on to item 3.11, which is the Landfill Disposals Tax (Tax Rates) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020. Members have the papers, including the letter from the Minister for Finance and Trefnydd of 21 December 2020. They amend the standard rate, lower rate and unauthorised disposals rate for landfill disposals tax, which will apply to taxable disposals made after 1 April 2021. I think there's a merits point that's been identified. Gareth.

09:45

Yes, just one merits point that notes that devolved taxes such as the landfill disposals tax are paid into the Welsh consolidated fund.

Okay, thank you for that. Any other comments or observations?

If not, we move on to item 3.12, the Land Transaction Tax (Tax Bands and Tax Rates) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. These amend the land transaction tax regulations of 2018. They insert revised tax bands and percentage tax rates for higher rates residential property transactions, non-residential property transactions and chargeable consideration that consists of rent. The letter we had at item 9.8 of today's agenda from the National Residential Landlords Association is relevant to these regulations. Gareth, there are technical and merits points identified.

There are three technical points and two merits points. At the beginning of all items of subordinate legislation there is a very useful paragraph that includes a list of the enabling powers that the Welsh Ministers are relying on to make the subordinate legislation. In this case, the Welsh Government has failed to cite one of the acquired enabling powers, so the draft report raises a technical point questioning which powers the Welsh Ministers have relied on in making these regulations. The Welsh Government response was received on Friday afternoon, again, after today's papers were circulated, and the Government accepts the point by also saying that failing to cite the enabling power does not invalidate the regulations, because it is clear that the Welsh Ministers do actually have the power to make these regulations, and I agree with that entirely. The Welsh Government has, however, said that it will make the necessary correction at the next available opportunity.

The second and third technical points note a minor drafting error and a minor inconsistency between the English and the Welsh. The Welsh Government accepts these points and will correct the errors.

The first merits point notes the urgency with which these regulations were made and the media coverage of the criticism that the Welsh Government received, and the draft report quotes some criticisms from the president of the Law Society. The Welsh Government has responded to that merits point, noting that the changes were introduced shortly after they were announced in order to limit the bringing forward of transactions for the purpose of avoiding the increase in tax rates. The Welsh Government response also says that, while the changes increase the higher tax paid from 22 December, there is also a reduction in most cases for non-residential property transactions. The second merits point notes again that devolved taxes such as the land transaction tax are paid into the Welsh consolidated fund.

Thank you for that comprehensive report. Any comments or observations? David Melding.

I thank you, Cadeirydd. I think this issue of a lack of consultation is important. I know on things like tax bands and, indeed, more fundamental changes to tax, there is a necessity for the Government to be able to operate in a way that doesn't create some perverse incentives to do something to get round an impending measure, but I think the principle of these things does need to be raised. It feeds into the whole issue of how we consult, because I was going to raise this under some of the points that we will have under agenda item 5 about schools and college regs, on which, we realise you have to act quickly sometimes, but they knew six weeks ago that this was a reasonable scenario, and were they consulting then about how they would proceed should that scenario unfold unfortunately, i.e. a more transmissible disease form coming into circulation, about what they might then do. So, I think this whole issue of how, in an emergency situation, you can consult is important, but it also feeds into this issue that the residential landlords association have raised, and that sector—we just talked earlier about extending a moratorium, and there's a great national need to do some of these things, but they clearly have an impact on a lot of people and a lot of businesses, where they are managing a service that is really quite important for the economy. This is not just about landlords getting additional cash for the sake of it, they are there having to operate in a challenging business environment. So, I do have a lot of sympathy and, obviously, the Law Society has amplified this point.

And I think, in our legacy document, we should be encouraging the sixth Senedd to look at this whole issue of consultation and how it's done during periods of stress or national emergency, because we're going to have over a year of this sort of situation, it seems—by the time we get to March, it will be a year, and it could go beyond that—and I think this lack of preparation about how we would operate in these circumstances—. All right, we get that explanatory memorandum that says that it's not been possible to undertake a normal consultation because of the health emergency, but that's not a complete get out of jail card, it seems to me, in how we should be shaping the law, although clearly there are restrictions on what, practically, you can do in terms of consultation. But the likes of the NRLA are very well formed organisations. They are there, they have a powerful policy capacity, and they are interlocutors that could be consulted. So, I think this is an important issue, really, to flag up. 

09:50

I think those are all well-made points, and I think on this committee we've adopted a very practical approach to what are the real difficulties and practical restrictions on some of the normal scrutiny and consultation exercises because of the public health emergency. But I think there is a well-made point when you know something is almost certainly going to arise again in the period of time ahead that there are steps that can be taken. It may well be that there would be no change in position because of the imminent importance of the public health measures that need to be taken, but I think, in terms of the legacy side, there are a number of issues there that are well made and that we would want to consider within our report, and, I think, in terms of the overall consideration of how scrutiny has operated on what is a lot of very significant legislation that's had to go through very, very quickly and often without any or with minimal scrutiny or post-implementation scrutiny. Any other comments or observations from Members? I think the clerk has noted those particular points. 

4. Offerynnau nad ydynt yn cynnwys materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 na 21.3 ond sydd â goblygiadau o ganlyniad i ymadawiad y DU â'r UE
4. Instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3 but have implications as a result of the UK exiting the EU

If we move, then, on to item 4. We move on to the Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. These are regulations that implement directives from the European Parliament and Council on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment. These are projects for the restructuring of rural land holdings and projects for the use of uncultivated land or semi-natural areas for intensive agricultural purposes. The regulations were made on 4 December 2020, and they came into force on 31 December 2020. The Senedd lawyers have identified a number of points for reporting, and have noted, I think, implications as a result of the UK's exit from the EU. Gareth, anything you wish to add?

Yes, only to note that these regulations now form part of retained EU law. 

Okay. Thank you for that. Any other comments or observations? I don't see any, so we'll move on to item 5.

5. Offerynnau sy'n codi materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt i'r Senedd o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 neu 21.3 - trafodwyd yn flaenorol
5. Instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3 - previously considered

We move on to the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions and Functions of Local Authorities) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2020. We as a committee considered this instrument at our meeting on 14 December, and we laid our report on the same day, and we've now received the Welsh Government's response. Gareth, any comments on that?

The committee asked the Welsh Government to explain what economic help was available to businesses in particular and the hospitality sector affected by the restrictions. And the Welsh Government sets out the economic packages available, including the UK Government's job retention scheme and self-employed income support scheme, and the Welsh Government's restrictions business fund, and that additional support is being made available to the hospitality, tourism, leisure and supply chain businesses experiencing greater than 60 per cent reduction in turnover.

09:55

Thank you for that. Any other comments or observations? In that case, we move on to item 5.2, which is the Public Health (Protection from Eviction) (Wales) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020. Again, Members have the report and the Welsh Government response. This was an instrument we considered on 14 December, and laid our report the same day. A Welsh Government response was received following the meeting and circulated to Members ahead of the Plenary debate that took place on 15 December. So, we're just really formally noting that response. Any other comments or observations on that? Gareth.

One issue here worth raising, I think, is that the committee—not for the first time—has asked the Welsh Government to set out its justification for the interference that these landlord and tenant regulations have on the rights of landlords in particular, and the Welsh Government response simply says,

'We consider that the Regulations are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.'

Yes, I think that's also one of the things that will come into our legacy report in terms of some of these responses. I don't think there's any advantage to pursuing this specifically further now, unless Members of the committee wish to. Gareth.

If I may, the committee wrote to the Minister on 21 December about these regulations and is still awaiting a response.

We'll have that. I think this falls into one of those areas that we'll want to consider within the sort of legacy element as well; it features as part of that jigsaw of those issues, I think.

Any other comments or observations? If not, we'll move on to item 5.3, the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (School Premises and Further Education Institution Premises) (Wales) Regulations 2020. Again, we considered this instrument at our meeting on 14 December. We laid our report the same day, and as with the previous regulations, the Welsh Government response was received and circulated prior to the Plenary debate on 15 December. And so Members are now invited to formally note that response. So, can we note that? Any comments? No.

6. Adroddiad Rheol Sefydlog 30B: Deddf yr Undeb Ewropeaidd (Ymadael) a Fframweithiau Cyffredin
6. Standing Order 30B Report: The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks

In which case, we move on, then, to item 6, which is the Standing Order 30B Report: The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks. Members will know that the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 requires the UK Government to report periodically to the UK Parliament on matters relating to common frameworks and the use of the section 12, the so-called 'freezing powers', to temporarily maintain existing EU law limits on devolved competence. The Welsh Government's written statement of 17 December 2020 notifies Senedd Members of the ninth such report, which covers the period from 26 June 2020 to 25 September 2020.

So, a further update on common frameworks will be considered during the private session. We'll consider that there. Are there any comments or observations that Members wish to make at this stage? I think the summary of it is that the UK Government has not used the freezing powers, but there are issues there that I think we'd want to consider in private session, particularly since it doesn't reflect the fact that the Senedd voted against giving legislative consent to the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill on 9 December 2020, or the possible legal challenge that they'd been notified of, so those are matters we can consider further, I think, in private session. If there aren't any other comments or observations, we'll defer that to private session.

7. Datganiadau ysgrifenedig o dan Reol Sefydlog 30C
7. Written statements under Standing Order 30C

We move on to item 7 now, which is the Fertilisers and Ammonium Nitrate Material (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021. The Welsh Government statement gives notification that it has consented to the making of these regulations for reasons including efficiency and expediency. The statement also notes that the regulations make amendments to implement the Northern Ireland/Ireland protocol. Gareth, any comments?

No. Any comments or observations from Members? No. In which case, we move on to item 7.2, which is the Plant Health (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. And again, the Welsh Government statement notifies us that it has consented to the making of these regulations for the same reasons as the above. The statement also notes that the regulations ensure that we meet our obligations under the Ireland/Northern Ireland protocol. Any comments or observations? I don't see any.

10:00
8. Datganiadau Ysgrifenedig o dan y Protocol rhwng Llywodraeth Cymru a'r Pwyllgor
8. Written Statements under the Protocol between the Welsh Government and the Committee

We move on to item 8, then, which are the written statements under the protocol between the Welsh Government and this committee. So, we have the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Agriculture (Domestic Support) Regulations 2020. Now, Members will recall that the protocol between the Welsh Government and the committee was revised in November last year, and included an agreement that the Welsh Government commits to following the principles of the Standing Order 30C process when Welsh Ministers consent to regulations that are made under sections 12, 13 and 14 of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, sections 8A, 8B and 8C of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 as amended by the 2020 Act, and by the agriculture, fisheries, environment and trade Bills, once enacted, where the Government has committed to not normally legislating in devolved areas before seeking the Welsh Ministers' consent.

So, this is the first such statement issued in accordance with this new aspect of the revised protocol. Perhaps we could discuss this or defer this to private session. We can discuss that further, so add this to the list of items that we'll discuss in private session, unless there are any comments or observations now from Members. I see that there aren't.

9. Papurau i’w nodi
9. Papers to note

So we move on, then, to item 9.1, which is a letter from the Chair of the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for the Economy on the shared prosperity fund. So, we're invited to note that. The Northern Ireland committee obviously shares similar concerns to us regarding the shared prosperity fund, and like us they receive a high allocation of funding from this source, and they are asking our views on how the fund will operate, and the devolution of the fund to the devolved Assembly. So, I think it's a matter we can explore further in the private session if Members are in agreement. Thank you for that.

Moving on to item 9.2—we have a number of letters and items to note—a letter from the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs on the UK Fisheries Bill. Again, to note the letter from the Minister, which responds to issues that we raised in relation to the UK Fisheries Bill and the section 109 Order under the Government of Wales Act 2006. Any comments or observations? No, I don't see any. 

Item 9.3, a letter from the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip on the Domestic Abuse Bill. Again, we're invited to note that correspondence. 

Moving on, then, to item 9.4, correspondence from the Law Commission on its consultation paper on devolved tribunals in Wales. Again, we've had the link, we've seen the consultation paper. Are there any comments or observations on that? This is really just to note, I think. Obviously, a very important consultation that runs until 19 March 2021.

We move on, then, to item 9.5, which is a statement by the UK Government on the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill. So, we're invited to note this, and I think this is something that we should defer to private session. The UK Government says in the statement that they've followed the spirit and letter of the devolution settlement at every stage and worked hard to secure legislative consent. It makes reference again to being fully committed to the Sewel convention. I think there may be issues that we want to raise with regard to the probity of that particular statement. Perhaps we could defer that to private session, if Members are in agreement. I think you are—I think I see nodding agreement. 

We have a letter, 9.6, from the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs with regard to the British-Irish Council environment work sector ministerial meeting. Again, just to note the letter from the Minister, which is sent in accordance with the inter-institutional relations agreement. Can we note that?

On to item 9.7, which is a letter from the Minister for environment, dated 16 December 2020, which provides an update on the UK Agriculture Bill, which is now the Agriculture Act 2020. Any issues on this perhaps we can discuss in private session. 

Right, next is 9.8, the letter I referred to earlier, which is the letter from the National Residential Landlords Association to the Minister for Finance and Trefnydd with regard to changes to the land transaction tax higher rates. I think we've discussed this. If there are any further issues, perhaps we can discuss these in private session.

Item 9.9, correspondence from the Minister for Health and Social Services with regard to the legislative consent memorandum on the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill. Again, it's correspondence to note, which updates us in relation to the Welsh Government's LCM on medicines and medical devices. Any comments or observations?

If not, we'll move on to 9.10, which is the letter from the Counsel General on the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations). So, a letter, again, to note in relation to the extraordinary meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) that is being sent to us in accordance with the inter-institutional relations agreement. Okay.

We move on, then, another letter from the Counsel General on the ministerial forum for trade, doing something similar, updating us. Okay, we note that.

10:05
10. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod ac o eitem 1 o'r cyfarfod ar 18 Ionawr 2021
10. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting and from Item 1 of the meeting on 18 January 2021

Cynnig:

bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi) a (ix) ac o eitem 1 o'r cyfarfod ar 18 Ionawr 2021.

Motion:

that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi) and (ix) and from item 1 of the meeting on 18 January 2021.

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

That brings us to item 10, which is that, in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi) and (ix), I now invite the committee to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting. Is that agreed? Thank you very much for that. We now go into private—

If I may, could the committee also resolve to agree to go into private for item 1 of the meeting on 18 January 2021 as well please? 

Okay, is that agreed? Okay, thank you, and we now move into private session and, again, to note the point with regard to 18 January. 

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 10:06.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 10:06.