Y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a’r Cyfansoddiad

Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee

07/06/2021

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

David Rees MS Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Jack Sargeant MS
Mark Isherwood MS
Rhys ab Owen MS

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Gareth Howells Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
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.

Cyfarfu'r pwyllgor drwy gynhadledd fideo.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 10:30.

The committee met by video-conference.

The meeting began at 10:30. 

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

Can I welcome Members and the public to this morning's first virtual meeting of the Interim Subordinate Legislation Committee? In accordance with Standing Order 34.19, I have determined that the public are excluded from the meeting in order to protect public health. And 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 of conducting proceedings remotely, all other Standing Order requirements remain in place. We've received no apologies for today's meeting, and I'm pleased to welcome all four Members—all three Members and myself—to the meeting today.

A couple of housekeeping arrangements: can you please make sure that your mobiles are either switched off or are on silent mode? The Senedd operates in a medium of both English and Welsh, and interpretation is available during this morning's meeting, if you require it, simultaneously. Members are reminded that the sound operator is controlling the microphones and, as such, you do not need to mute or unmute yourself during the public meeting. 

2. Cylch Gwaith y Pwyllgor
2. Committee Remit

Okey-doke. We move on to item 2, the committee remit, and I think it's important for the public to be aware of the purpose of this committee, and it is an interim committee whilst we as a Senedd establish the committee structures for the rest of the five-year term. And paper 1 of the paper pack sets out the remit and responsibilities of this Interim Subordinate Legislation Committee, and its purpose is to actually carry out the functions of the responsible committee set out in Standing Order 21, and that will be our replacement committee when it's in place.

The paper also sets out the background to the committee and provides further information on Standing Order 21. And our role is, essentially, to provide reports to the Senedd about statutory instruments, drawing attention, for example, to technical points that relate to drafting and highlighting policy issues of significance. We are not here to discuss the policies themselves; that's to be debated by the Senedd as a whole, when they debate these regulations or statutory instruments. However, whilst we have a role to scrutinise the Welsh Government, the committee is not responsible for considering actual policy—again, I reiterate that—that is for a policy committee. And I do appreciate that there are no policy committees in place at this point in time, but there is an opportunity within the discussion of anything in Plenary sessions to have those discussions on policy. And, as I said, just to remind us, I will just reiterate: we are temporary. There will be a permanent committee that replaces us, and, once that permanent committee is established, this committee will no longer operate; it'll become the responsibility of that permanent committee. Okay. Mark, you raised your hand. Did you want to say something?

[Inaudible.]—clarify, Chair. Thanks. In the briefing paper accompanying this, I don't see any reference to merits scrutiny. Can I confirm that the remit of the committee does also include merits scrutiny?

Yes, it does, under Standing Order 21.3.

Okay. Then, in that case, are we all clear on the remit of the committee?

3. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o Eitem 4
3. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from Item 4

Cynnig:

bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o eitem 4 y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi) a (ix).

Motion:

that the committee resolves to exclude the public from item 4 of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi) and (ix).

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

Item 3, therefore, is a motion under Standing Order 17.42(vi) and (ix) for the committee to resolve to exclude the public from item 4 on today's agenda. Do Members agree that we do so? I see everyone nodding, so we will. We will move into private session now, and we will reconvene in public in, probably, about 10 minutes. So, we'll say 10:45.

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 10:33.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 10:33.

10:45

Ailymgynullodd y pwyllgor yn gyhoeddus am 10:45.

The committee reconvened in public at 10:45.

5. Offerynnau nad ydynt yn cynnwys unrhyw faterion i’w codi o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 neu 21.3
5. Instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3

Can I welcome Members and the public back to this morning's meeting? We now move on to item 5 on the agenda, and item 5 is where there are instruments that have been laid that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3. We see the paper on statutory instruments with clear reports. We made negative resolutions. The first one is item 5.1: the Relaxation of School Reporting Requirements (Wales) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021. The instrument amends a number of existing regulations relating to school reporting requirements in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on schools. Our lawyers and advisers have not identified any points for reporting under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3, therefore I'm not inviting the lawyers to speak on this. But do any Members wish to make any comments or observations on this particular regulation? I see no-one—. Mark.

I just wanted to clarify, as my understanding is this relates to reporting of attendance and attainment records, whether clerks and lawyers are satisfied that this meets the merit requirements being limited to that, and not eroding any other reporting duties.

The regulations say that they impact on four particular types of reporting, and that's what the regulations actually do. We don't think they go beyond what they say they do.

Okay. Anyone else got any other questions for clarification? No. Okay. Thank you for that.

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

We move on to item 6, to the instruments that do raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3. The first one, item 6.1, is the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 7) Regulations 2021. We received, obviously, papers relating to this one, and it amends the health protection regulations 2020. It includes a requirement for people arriving in Wales to isolate for a period as determined by the regulations, and they amend Schedule 3A to the international travel regulations, which contain the list of countries and territories subject to additional measures. And regulation 2 adds the Maldives, Nepal and Turkey to that list. Now, the Senedd lawyers have identified three merits points for reporting, so I'm going to ask Gareth to give us his comments upon this before I ask Members if they wish to make any comments. Okay. So, Gareth, over to you.

Diolch, only to note that agenda item 6.1 and 6.2 deal with international travel restrictions, which is a fast-changing area. For example, Portugal, including Madeira and the Azores, are currently on the green list, but will move to the amber list from 4 a.m. tomorrow, and there are seven other countries that will move from the amber list to the red list at the same time. So, just to note that these regulations are constantly changing.

Just to clarify, do these regulations actually include those last changes that were made, or are we expecting regulations to come forward to make those different changes next week?

I think we're still awaiting those regulations, and then they will come before the committee after they've been made.

Okay. Does any Member wish to have a comment upon—? Well, in that case, Gareth, item 6.1 and 6.2 are both international travel. Does any Member have a comment upon either 6.1 or 6.2? I see there is no-one making comments. So, thank you for that.

Let's move on to item 6.3 in that case—. Just for the record, item 6.2 is the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel, Operator Liability and Public Health Information to Travellers) (Wales) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2021. And, again, because Gareth indicated that the two are linked and highlighted both, there's no clear difference there. It makes minor amendments to the operator liability regulations to reflect these restrictions on international travel. Okay. Just to clarify that point.

Okay, item 6.3, is the Plant Health etc. (Fees) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. Now, this instrument provides for fees to be charged for plant health checks on commodities imported into Wales from EU member states, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. There will be a debate on this—I think it's scheduled for 15 June—and, again, Senedd lawyers have reported two merits points for reporting, and, Gareth, can you confirm as to whether you will be talking about item 6.4 as well, or are you just going to do 6.3 first?

10:50

On both, Chair, I have nothing to add to what is in the draft reports.

Okay. In that case, let's go on to talk about 6.4, which is the Plant Health (Fees) (Forestry) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021, and that's also providing an exemption from the payment of fees for pre-export and export certification services for goods that are moving from Wales to a business or private individuals in Northern Ireland. The exemption also applies to movements of goods by private individuals, and, again, the debate will be on 15 June. As you just heard, Gareth has got nothing else to add to what was in the report, and just to remind Members, these are part and parcel of some regulations that need to be amended as a consequence of the exit from the EU, and the transition period coming to an end and the new protocols being in place. Does any Member want to make a comment on these? No-one is putting their hand up, so I'm assuming everyone is happy with the paper and the report we've had. So, thank you. I think we've now completed the ones we are discussing today, Gareth. Clerk, anything else we need to confirm here?

No, Chair, thank you.

Okay. Now, as I said, these will go to Plenary for discussion and if anyone has policy issues, then, please, that's the time to raise them there. Okay?

Coming to the end of the meeting, therefore, can I remind Members that we will be meeting next week to discuss further regulations that have been laid by the Welsh Government in relation to coronavirus regulations? Therefore, we'll be scheduling a meeting for next Monday at the same time. And with that, I now close the meeting.

Daeth y cyfarfod i ben am 10:52.

The meeting ended at 10:52.