Y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a’r Cyfansoddiad
Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee13/12/2021
Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol
Committee Members in Attendance
|Alun Davies MS|
|Huw Irranca-Davies MS||Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor|
|Peter Fox MS|
|Rhys ab Owen MS|
Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol
Senedd Officials in Attendance
|Gareth Howells||Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol|
|P Gareth Williams||Clerc|
|Rachael Davies||Dirprwy Glerc|
|Sarah Sargent||Ail Glerc|
Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Mae hon yn fersiwn ddrafft o’r cofnod.
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. This is a draft version of the record.
Cyfarfu’r pwyllgor drwy gynhadledd fideo.
Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 14:33.
The committee met by video-conference.
The meeting began at 14:33.
Good afternoon, prynhawn da, and welcome to this virtual meeting of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee. We're coming into public session now. My apologies to those who might have been waiting for us to start a little earlier, but we've been in a briefing session from the Welsh Government on the Welsh Tax Acts etc. (Power to Modify) Bill. It ran a little bit overlong, but it was a very useful session, which will inform our future reporting and considerations on reporting. It was introduced to the Senedd today. Just to note as well that we had Members of the Finance Committee join us in that session, and I think that aided how productive that session was. So, I'm sorry for the slight delay but we are joining with you now.
I'd just remind everybody watching that this is being broadcast live on Senedd.tv. The Record of Proceedings will be published as usual. And aside from the procedural adaptations for conducting proceedings virtually, all the other Standing Order requirements remain in place. We have no apologies for today's meeting; we have a full turnout of our committee Members. Normal housekeeping arrangements, which we've been through in the private session, apply to this, and there is full translation in English, for Welsh, available. Microphones are being controlled by the hidden operator.
We're going to move on to item 3, which is instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3. And we have, under paper 1, item 3.1, a statutory instrument with clear reports, which is SL(6)098, the Non-Domestic Rating Contributions (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. As I say, our lawyers have not identified any points for reporting, so could I just ask committee members: are we happy to agree with the draft report? And we are; there are no comments on that. We're happy to agree that.
We move to item No. 4. We have instruments that do raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3. And under this, we have item 4.1, SL(6)099, the Government of Wales Act 2006 (Budget Motions and Designated Bodies) (Amendment) Order 2021. Now, this Order amends the 2018 Order of the same name, which designates specified bodies for the purpose of including, within a budget motion, the resources expected to be used by those bodies. This inserts 38 new bodies into the list of designated bodies contained in the 2018 Order. Now, our lawyers have identified one merits point for reporting. Gareth, are you going to expand on this for us, please?
Diolch. Usually, an Act will say that regulations made under the Act must follow the negative procedure or the affirmative procedure. Here, the enabling Act gives the Welsh Ministers a choice of which procedure to follow. The Welsh Ministers have followed the negative procedure, which appears to be an appropriate choice in this case, and that's reflected in the report.
So, I ask Members if they are happy with that. Thank you very much. We're happy to agree that report.
We move on to item 4.2, SL(6)103, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 17) Regulations 2021. These regulations, which we'll all be familiar with, these particular regulations add Nigeria to the list of countries or territories to which additional measures are applicable to persons travelling from a country or territory listed in Schedule 3A. They came into force at 4 a.m. on 6 December 2021. Our lawyers have identified three merits points for reporting. Over to you again, Gareth.
They are, again, some of the standard coronavirus related merits points, relating to a breach of the 21-day rule, justification for any potential interference with human rights and lack of formal consultation.
Thank you very much, Gareth. We're familiar with those. Just to ask Members, are we content to agree those points? We are. Thank you.
That brings us, then, to made-affirmative resolution instruments. Item 4.3, we have SL(6)101, the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 21) Regulations 2021. These regulations amend the health protection et cetera regulations 2020 by introducing new isolation rules for those who are identified as a close contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus, which is or may be the omicron variant. And these regulations came into force at the beginning of 3 December 2021. Our lawyers have identified three merits points for reporting. Gareth, do you have an update for us on this?
Again, there are the standard coronavirus related merits points, and the draft report also notes that there is no reference to an equality impact assessment having been carried out for these regulations. The Welsh Government response was received this morning, saying that a summary impact assessment will be published as soon as practically possible, which doesn't really tell us very much. While the urgency may justify a delay in publishing an impact assessment, it might have been helpful if the Government had said or had confirmed that it did consider equality in the making of these regulations, even if the assessment document itself cannot immediately be published. And in the context of coronavirus regulations, chasing the Welsh Government for information about equality impact assessments has become a bit of a theme for this committee and its predecessor committee in the fifth Senedd.
Thank you, Gareth. Colleagues, whilst we always pick up on this, thanks to the astute observation of Gareth and our lawyers and the team helping us here, it may be something we want to return to in private, because as well as picking up in reporting points, we just might want to, helpfully, find another way to suggest to the Government that they can help themselves within this just by putting out, in advance, the fact that they've done the impact assessments, because the normal response we have is that they are being done or they have been done, but we're not being told in a timely manner. But, on that basis, are you happy to agree the reporting points? We are. Thank you very much.
And then we move to item No. 5, which is papers to note. We have various correspondence here to note, including item 5.1, correspondence from the chair of the Finance Committee in respect of the Welsh Government draft budget—an update on the scrutiny of the Welsh Government draft budget 2022-23. We also have item 5.2. Sorry, could I ask first of all, are we happy to note that item, and we can return to it, if necessary, later? We are. Thank you.
We have correspondence, then, under item 5.2, from the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd on the Sea Fisheries (Amendment etc.) (No. 2) Regulations 2021. Now, in this letter, the Minister informs us that she has given her consent to the UK Government to make the Sea Fisheries (Amendment etc.) (No. 2) Regulations 2021. Now, Members will note that the Minister considers it appropriate to consent to the UK Government legislating on the Welsh Government's behalf on the several and wide-ranging number of matters traversed by the regulations. And the Minister also states that, should she withhold consent, these matters would need to be made through legislation by the Welsh Government. I just note that for the moment, and we might want to return to that again in private session, if you're happy to note that. Okay.
And then we go on to item 5.3, correspondence from the Minister for Climate Change in respect of the Pesticides (Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulations 2022, where the Minister informs us that she has given her consent to the UK Government to make the Pesticides (Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulations 2022. Now, again, Members will note the Minister asked for consent in respect of the regulations and that the provisions could be made by Welsh Ministers in exercise of their powers. And you'll note also that the Minister considers that legislating separately for Wales
'would be neither the most appropriate way to give effect to the necessary changes nor a prudent use of Welsh Government resources given other important priorities.'
We simply highlight that again, which we might want to return to in private, because, again, it's a theme of where the legislation is made and the implications that flow from that. But we're happy to note that? We are. Okay. Thank you.
Item 5.4, correspondence from the Minister for Finance and Local Government in respect of the Welsh Government response to our committee's report on the Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill, which we spoke to recently in the Senedd. So, I'd invite Members to note that letter from the Minister, which addresses the matters that were raised in the Plenary debate on the legislative consent motion for the Bill on 23 November. The letter also, as well as responding to the matters in the Plenary debate, provides the Minister's formal response to the committee's report on the legislative consent motion. You'll recall that we mentioned in that debate that we hadn't had a formal response, even though letters had been sent out. We now have it as part of that. Are we happy to note and return to that in private? We are. Thank you very much.
bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi).
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.
In which case—thank you for bearing with us—I ask Members now if, under item No. 6, under Standing Order 17.42, we are happy to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting so that we can carry on with our business in private. Are we in agreement? We are. In which case, we will move into private session now, and I'll wait, from our team, to be told that we are in private.
Derbyniwyd y cynnig.
Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 14:45.
The public part of the meeting ended at 14:45.