Y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a’r Cyfansoddiad

Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee

10/01/2022

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Alun Davies MS
Huw Irranca-Davies MS Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Peter Fox MS

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Gareth Howells Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
Jennifer Cottle Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
P Gareth Williams Clerc
Clerk
Samiwel Davies Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
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 13:31.

The committee met by video-conference.

The meeting began at 13:31.

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau a dirprwyon
1. Introductions, apologies and substitutions

Prynhawn da a chroeso ichi i gyd. Blwyddyn newydd dda hefyd.

Good afternoon and welcome, everyone. Happy new year to all of you, too.

First time we're back after Christmas here, so welcome to you all to this first meeting in 2022 of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee. We've got a large agenda in front of us this afternoon in public session—no evidence sessions, but a lot of business to get through, which has stacked up as per normal over the Christmas period. So, for those who are watching in who are wondering why we have such a full session today, this quite often happens when we have a lot of instruments and legislation to look at, coming back after the Christmas period, so do bear with us. Just some housekeeping things, as per normal. We have the full translation facilities in Welsh and English. No need to control your microphones for the committee members, and just watch out for that slight delay on the broadcast when we switch from English to Welsh.

So, we have had apologies in advance from one of our committee members, Rhys ab Owen, but otherwise we have full attendance by our other committee members. We are broadcasting this live on Senedd.tv. Aside from the procedural adaptations for holding these proceedings virtually, all other Standing Order requirements remain firmly in place. So, assuming that we all have our mobile devices switched to silent, we will proceed. 

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

Our first substantive item is item 2, which is instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3. So, we have some statutory instruments with clear reports first of all. Under item 2.1, we have SL(6)109, which is the M48 Motorway (Eastbound and Westbound Exit Slip Roads at Junction 2 (Newhouse Roundabout), Chepstow) (40 mph Speed Limit) Regulations 2021. This instrument introduces a reduction of the maximum speed limit to 40 mph on lengths of the east and westbound exit slip roads of the M48 motorway at junction 2 in the county of Monmouthshire. Our lawyers have not identified any points for reporting. Gareth, from a legal perspective, no comments on this. Thank you very much. So, are we happy to agree the draft report? We are. Thank you very much.

That takes us on to item 2.2, SL(6)111, the Equality Act 2010 (Disabled School Pupils) (Wales) Regulations 2021. This sets out arrangements by which a local authority must make provision of advice and information about disability discrimination in schools to disabled pupils. And again, no points for reporting, so unless we have any comments or observations, are we happy to agree that draft report? We are. Thank you.

On to item 2.3, SL(6)113, the Federation of Maintained Schools (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. This makes amendments to the Federation of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2014, in regard specifically to the disqualification criteria for teacher governors. And again, there are no points for reporting, so I assume we're happy to confirm the draft report. We are. Thank you very much.

3. Offerynnau sy’n cynnwys 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

Item 3. We turn now to instruments that do raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 and 21.3, and, first of all, we have made negative resolution instruments. Under item 3.1, SL(6)102 is the Education (Student Fees, Awards and Support) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2021. This instrument amends seven sets of regulations concerning student finance. The student finance regulations amended by this instrument contain criteria following which certain groups may be eligible for student support, home fee status and the tuition fee cap. Our lawyers have identified one technical and one merits point for reporting. We have not, to our knowledge—although our lawyers will update us now—received a Government response. Gareth, could I come to you, please?

13:35

Diolch. The first technical point notes an incorrect cross-reference in the regulations, and the second point, the merits point, queries whether the explanatory memorandum cites the correct enabling powers that the Welsh Ministers used to make these regulations, and no Government response yet.

Thank you very much for that, Gareth. And with those reporting points, are we happy to agree the report? We are. Thank you very much.

Item 3.2 is SL(6)110, the Eligible Community Councils (General Power of Competence) (Qualifications of Clerks) (Wales) Regulations 2021. As the title suggests, this instrument specifies the qualifications that the clerk to a community council must hold in order for the community council to meet one of the three eligibility conditions to become an 'eligible community council' under the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021, enabling the council to exercise the general power of competence. Our lawyers have identified one merits point for reporting. Gareth, over to you, please.

The merits point notes there has been no stand-alone regulatory impact assessment for these regulations, but a regulatory impact assessment was carried out for the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021, which included an assessment of the likely costs and benefits of complying with these regulations.

Thank you for that reporting point, Gareth, and on that basis, I assume, colleagues, we're happy to agree that report and the reporting points. We are. Thank you very much.

We turn now to something that we're quite familiar with on this committee. The following two instruments that we're going to discuss at items 3.3 and 3.4 make amendments to the health protection (coronavirus) et cetera regulations 2020, and the health protection (coronavirus) et cetera regulations 2020—the ones pertaining to international travel and the ones pertaining to public health information for persons travelling to Wales et cetera.

So, if we turn to the first one, item 3.3 is SL(6)104, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Public Health Information to Travellers) (Wales) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 4) Regulations 2021. And related to these we have a draft report for our consideration and a letter under paper 5 from the Minister for Health and Social Services to the Llywydd of 6 December 2021. As we stated earlier on and as we're used to now, this instrument makes amendments to the international travel regulations in relation to pre-departure testing requirements. Our lawyers have identified three merits points for reporting. Gareth, over to you.

There are just the standard coronavirus-related merits points, relating to breach of the 21-day rule, lack of formal consultation et cetera, and, of course, the other thing to note is that since these regulations were made, coronavirus rules have changed and are continuing to change quickly in response to the omicron variant.

Yes, indeed, and that makes sense to the public, who may be looking in to this or looking at the transcript afterwards as to why we cast our eyes over this in a very diligent way, but in a post-match-analysis sort of way to make sure that they have been done correctly. That's why we're doing it, to make sure that they have indeed been done correctly. With those reporting points—. Peter, over to you.

Thank you, Chair. It's only really that I'm not sure where we would raise an issue regarding some of these travel arrangements, as, at the moment, we're seeing people—I know a lot of colleagues will be receiving concerns from members of the public who can't record third vaccinations on COVID passes—not allowing them to travel and, in some ways, making them stay in this country, which is wrong. Where do we ask our legislature to amend that to make more sense? I know we're looking at these retrospectively, but I'm sure we should be able to make recommendations sometimes where we see some clear things that don't seem right.

13:40

Thank you, Peter. It's quite a helpful intervention because it helps explain not just in terms of you and committee members, but also the public watching as well. We can return to this in private session, but, for the public session, it's worth saying that I think we have the ability to do that through the policy and thematic committee—so, looking at the policy implications of these, of course—but also individually, either on the floor of the Senedd or in writing to Ministers and to Welsh Government as well. And, of course, when these are debated on the floor, for the public's information as well as us here on the committee—[Inaudible.]

Huw, we lost you there for a period. Could you repeat what you were saying?

I'm just pausing there because my internet appears to be a little bit stretched. I wonder, could I just check with any colleagues whether they can hear me at the moment?

Thanks, Alun. In which case, I'll continue—my screen has frozen, but as long as you can hear me. Peter, is that adequate as an explanation for the moment in terms of where to raise the policy issues?

I think that's very helpful, Chair. I thought that would be the answer, but I thought it was important as people looking in, when we discuss these sorts of things, might wonder why we're not challenging them, and I think you've explained that well.

Thank you, Peter. And, absolutely, by the way, just for the public who are looking in, we will, as elected representatives, where we feel appropriate, make those policy challenges, but the purpose of this committee, for those watching in, as we look at these particular sets of regulations relating to coronavirus, is very much to look at the legal and merits points, whether they're fit and proper, as opposed to whether the policy is the right policy, if you know what I mean. But, thank you, Peter. 

Okay, we'll move on, then, to item 3.4, which is on a similar topic, and the second of these, SL(6)112, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Public Health Information to Travellers) (Wales) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 5) Regulations 2021. This has a draft report accompanying it and a letter from the Minister for Health and Social Services to the Llywydd. It amends the international travel regulations to remove all countries from the red list. While now empty, the red list is maintained in the international travel regulations to facilitate a fast response to emerging variants if needed in future. So, our lawyers have identified three merits points for reporting. Gareth.

Again, they are the same merits points as were raised with the previous regulations.

Thank you very much, Gareth. Are we content to agree those reporting points? We are. Thank you very much. 

We move on to item 3.5, SL(6)117, the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Extension of Period of Protection from Eviction) (No. 4) (Wales) Regulations 2021. Again, we have a draft report, and a letter on this occasion from the Minister for Climate Change to the Llywydd. The coronavirus Act 2020, by way of explanation, provides protection from eviction by increasing the notice period a landlord is required to give a tenant when seeking possession, and this instrument extends until 24 March 2022, from the previous end date of 31 December 2021, the period during which increased notice must be given to tenants granted tenancies under the Rent Act 1977 and the Housing Acts of 1985, 1988 and 1996. Our lawyers have identified four merits points for reporting. Gareth, over to you again, please.

13:45

If I could note the second merits point in particular, which notes the Welsh Government's justification for any potential interference with human rights, in particular the rights of landlords to control their properties—the properties that they rent out to tenants. The Welsh Government response relies heavily on the risks posed by the omicron variant as justifying this further extension of the right of tenants not to be evicted.

Thank you very much, Gareth. In light, Peter, of your earlier comments as well, it's worth observing that some of these policy issues have been discussed on other committees—the balance between rights and so on. But, the rights issue is one that's pertinent to this committee as well, to make sure that the Government has done its due diligence in assessing that balance of rights. So, on that point, are we happy to agree the reporting points and the reports? We are. Thank you very much.

And then, we move on to two more instruments, both of which make amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020, which are known as the principal regulations. The first of these is item 3.6: SL(6)120, the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 24) Regulations 2021. Again, we have a draft report and a letter from the First Minister to the Llywydd, dated 21 December 2021. This makes amendments to the principal regulations in relation to isolation requirements relating to the close contacts of persons who test positive for coronavirus. Gareth, you've identified some reporting points, merits points.

They are just the standard coronavirus-related merits points, again.

And again, are we happy, colleagues, to agree those reporting points? We are. 

And then that brings us on to the last of these on the coronavirus regulations. It's SL(6)125, the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 26) Regulations 2021. Again, we have a draft report and a letter from the First Minister to the Llywydd. This makes amendments to the principal regulations in relation to self-isolation requirements. The instrument was made on 30 December 2021 and came into force on 31 December. Gareth, you've identified four merits points for reporting.

Again, the same standard points I've raised as in the previous regulations.

There we are. In that case, I suspect we will be content to agree those reporting points. We are; we agree and note them. Thank you very much.

Okay. So, that brings us on to—. We have a great deal of business in front of us today, so bear with us if you're reading through the transcript, and for committee colleagues as well. A lot of work has gone into what we've got in front of us here today. First of all, we'll turn our attention to the composite negative resolution instruments. Item 3.8, we have SL(6)106, the Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2021. This instrument amends the Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) Regulations 2009, which provide the basis for the repayment of student loans made by Welsh Ministers and they include the provision for interest to be charged on student loans. So, our lawyers have identified one technical point for reporting, which notes, quite interestingly, that the instrument has been made as a composite instrument. This is an interesting point, I think, because of the implications in terms of the legislation being made in English only, but, Gareth, let me hand over to you on that point.

Yes. It's a composite instrument, meaning that it's been made by both the Welsh Ministers and UK Government Ministers. They have the same policy, so they've used it, implementing that policy in a single instrument rather than both doing separate instruments. And because the instrument is laid before both the Senedd and the UK Parliament, it is made in English only, which is a reporting ground under Standing Orders.

13:50

Thank you very much indeed for that, Gareth. And, just out of interest for those observing this public session, this is something that I understand, from discussions with the committee team, that our predecessor committee actually raised with UK Government. It's something that we might want to return to in private session and have a brief discussion on, the technicality of whether you can actually lay some of these composite motions in English and Welsh, but we can return to that subsequently. Are we happy to agree the reporting points? We are. Thank you very much.

And that brings us then on to the next session of our work today, which is the affirmative resolution instruments. Under item 3.9, we have SL(6)105, the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements and Default Scheme) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2022, and we have a draft report accompanying that. This instrument seeks to make amendments to the Council Tax Reduction Schemes and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2013 and the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Default Scheme) (Wales) Regulations 2013, including in relation to the calculation of an applicant's entitlement to a reduction under a council tax reduction scheme. So, on the technical and merits points, our lawyers have identified some points here. Gareth.

Diolch. The draft report raises three concerns with the drafting of these regulations, but the Welsh Government has responded to say that the drafting is correct. I agree with the Welsh Government's response: the drafting does seem to be correct, and therefore there are no further issues to raise with these regulations.

That's excellent. Thank you, Gareth. And, sometimes, actually drawing attention to these things and getting the clarification and correcting the errors is part and parcel of what this committee does as well. So, thank you very much for that. Are we happy to agree the reporting points there? We are.

And on we go, then, to the made affirmative resolution instruments today, and the following three sets of regulations that we'll turn to, all of them make amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020—the principal regulations, as they are known—and all of them are due to be debated in Plenary tomorrow, 11 January 2022. And again, Peter, not just for you, but for members of the public observing this, at that point when they reach the floor of the Senedd, not only can the technical and merits points be discussed by Members of the Senedd, but also the policy aspects of them as well.

So, if we turn to the first of these, item 3.10 is SL(6)108, the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 22) Regulations 2021, and three sets of accompanying papers. This instrument makes amendments to the principal regulations, including in relation to the requirements for the use of face coverings, and our lawyers have identified four merits points for reporting. Gareth, you're having a busy afternoon today. Over to you again.

If I could note the third merits point, which is a recurring issue about the arrangements the Welsh Government has made regarding the equality impact assessments for these regulations. The Welsh Government has responded, saying that the updated summary impact assessment will be published shortly. And, as to the fourth merits point, it asks the Welsh Government to provide more information about the evidence relied upon to introduce these changes, in particular regarding the changes to the COVID pass system. That is the removal of prior recovery or natural immunity as a means of demonstrating your COVID status. The Welsh Government response refers to the unpredictable nature of natural immunity, which makes it unsuitable as a way of certifying a COVID status, particularly when compared with vaccination and testing. The response also provides a link to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies advice, which refers to uncertainties about the biological make-up of omicron, including its transmissibility. And the response also says that the rules around natural immunity and evidence of vaccination will be kept under review, as case rates change and as the vaccination programme continues.

13:55

Thank you very much, Gareth, and I think it's quite helpful, in light of the earlier discussion amongst committee colleagues and what was raised by Peter, that the examination by this committee, whilst not making a value judgment on the policy, can helpfully flush out the evidence that then allows Senedd Members to make an informed decision on these measures. So, thank you for that, Gareth. Are we happy, on that basis, to note the reporting points? We are. Thank you very much.

And then we turn to item 3.11, which is in this bunch of regulations here, which is SL(6)118, the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 23) Regulations 2021. We have a draft report and a letter from the First Minister to the Llywydd on 17 December. The amendments made by this instrument relate to working-from-home requirements. The instrument came into effect on 20 December 2021 and, Gareth, you've identified some merits points here.

The draft report raises the same issues as the previous regulations. So, it again asked the Welsh Government to provide a bit more information about equality impact assessments and the evidence behind these regulations, in particular, evidence that supports the requirements around working from home. The Welsh Government has not yet responded.

Thank you for that. Are we happy to agree those reporting points? We are; thank you very much.

And we will move on then to item 3.12, SL(6)124, the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 25) Regulations 2021. There's a draft report and a letter from the First Minister to the Llywydd on this, and this instrument amends the principal regulations with effect from 6 a.m. on 26 December 2021, so that Wales moved, as we know, from alert level 0 to alert level 2. We have three merits points there, Gareth.

And they are just some standard coronavirus-related merits points.

Thank you very much. Are we happy to agree those reporting points? We are.

We move on to item 3.13, SL(6)122, the Landfill Disposals Tax (Tax Rates) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. Again, there are two sets of papers there for you on this particular one, and this instrument prescribes the standard rate, the lower rate and the unauthorised disposals rate for landfill disposals tax that will apply to taxable disposals made on or after 1 April 2022. Gareth, you've identified one merits point here.

Yes, it's simply a note that these taxes, which are devolved taxes, are paid into the Welsh consolidated fund, and that's a reporting ground under Standing Orders.

Thank you very much. I think we'll be happy to agree that, looking to colleagues—yes, we are.

4. Offerynnau a ystyriwyd yn flaenorol i’w sifftio ac sy’n awr yn destun craffu o dan Reolau Sefydlog 21.2 a 21.3
4. Instruments previously considered for sifting and now subject to scrutiny under Standing Orders 21.2 and 21.3

We now turn to, then, item No. 4. This relates to instruments that were previously considered for sifting and are now subject to scrutiny under Standing Orders 21.2 and 21.3. So, the first one of these is under item 4.1. It's SL(6)107, the Food Information (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. We have a draft report to consider. Now, this instrument was previously laid before the Senedd for sifting in accordance with paragraph 9 of Schedule 5 to the European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020, and the committee agreed that the negative procedure was the appropriate procedure for the instrument. Now, this instrument implements article 5 of annex 15 to the trade and co-operation agreement between the EU and the UK. Annex 15 to the TCA makes provision for trade in wine, and article 5 provides for transitional measures relating to the labelling and placing on the market of wine produced before the date of entry into force of the TCA. Are there any issues arising from this, Gareth?

Nothing further to what you've outlined, Chair.

Okay. Any comments from colleagues or are we happy to agree the reporting points? We are happy to agree that. Thank you.

14:00
5. Fframweithiau Cyffredin
5. Common Frameworks

Which brings us on now, having dealt with some important, there, regular bread-and-butter issues, to another aspect that we turn our attention to regularly, which is the common frameworks, and, in so doing, just to confirm to committee members and for the public record, the Counsel General has accepted our invitation to attend the meeting on 31 January, at which we will discuss with him cross-cutting issues emerging from the common frameworks programme. So, just to note that before we move on to the items in front of us. 

The first one of these items, item 5.1 in common frameworks, is the one that relates to the provisional organs, tissues and cells (apart from embryos and gametes) common framework. We have a pack of papers, three papers, relating to this, including correspondence and the details on the common framework. I simply ask at this point Members to note the provisional common framework and also to note that the Health and Social Care Committee has written to the Minister for Health and Social Services to request further information in relation to a number of issues in respect of both this framework and the blood safety and quality common framework that we're going to consider next as well. So, just to note that on the policy side. Are we happy to note that? We are. 

Which does then bring us to that second one I mentioned, which is, under item 5.2, the provisional common framework on blood safety and quality. Again, we have three papers in the pack of information on this. I just invite you at the moment to note the provisional common framework and the letter from the Health and Social Care Committee to the Minister for Health and Social Services. Are we happy to note that? We are.

And then we move on to item 5.3, again relating to common frameworks. This is correspondence with the House of Lords Common Frameworks Scrutiny Committee on scrutiny of the common frameworks programme, and again it's just to note at the moment the correspondence with Baroness Andrews in relation to the common frameworks programme. Happy to note? And we can—. If there's anything to discuss on this, we can come back to it in private session. Thank you.

6. Cytundeb Cysylltiadau Rhyngsefydliadol
6. Inter-Institutional Relations Agreement

Item No. 6, then. We turn our attention to the inter-institutional relations agreement and we have, under 6.1, correspondence from the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd and the Minister for Climate Change in respect of the inter-ministerial group on environment, food and rural affairs. The letter we have from the Minister sets out the dates for meetings of the inter-ministerial group on environment, food and rural affairs during 2022 and just to remind everybody this is now in accordance with the inter-institutional relations agreement. So, we're pleased to see this happening. We can pick up anything from this in private session. Are we happy to note for now? We are.

7. Papurau i'w nodi
7. Papers to note

Which then brings us then to item No. 7. We have some papers to note at this stage, which we can come back to in private session if needed.

First of all, item 7.1. We have a written statement by the Welsh Government in respect of the Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill. The statement, the written statement, was laid under Standing Order 30, and the statement relates to the specific provisions in the Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill that will modify the Welsh Ministers' functions, but they do not require a legislative consent motion under Standing Order 29 as the Senedd does not have legislative competence in respect of these provisions. So, if we can note that for now.

And then we'll move on to item 7.2. We have correspondence from the Minister for Climate Change in response to our committee's report on the legislative consent memorandum on the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill. If we're happy to note—if on any of these colleagues want to pause and say anything, by all means do, otherwise we'll note them and move on then. 

Item 7.3, correspondence from the Minister for Finance and Local Government in respect of the legislative consent memorandum on the Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill. So, are we happy to note that? We are.

We move on to item 7.4, correspondence from the Local Government and Housing Committee in respect of the legislative consent memorandum on the Building Safety Bill. This is highlighting concerns about the Welsh Government’s use of legislative consent memorandums on UK Bills, something that this committee has looked at. But, for the moment, are we happy to note? We are. Thank you.

We turn to item 7.5, correspondence from the Minister for Climate Change in response to the committee’s report on the legislative consent memorandum on the Building Safety Bill. Again, if you’re happy to note, we can defer discussion.

Item 7.6, correspondence from the Minister for Finance and Local Government in response to our report on the legislative consent memorandum on the Subsidy Control Bill. Again, I suspect we’re happy to note that. Very good.

And then we’ll move on to item 7.7, correspondence from the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd on the Whelk Fishing Permit (Wales) Order 2021. I can see a wry smile from our former agriculture and rural affairs Minister there as that one came up. The letter notes that the Whelk Fishing Permit (Wales) Order 2021 was signed by the Minister on 7 December 2021, and that the Order applies to all UK and foreign licenced fishing vessels who wish to fish for whelk in the Welsh zone.

So, we note that and move on to 7.8, correspondence from the Law Commission in respect of the Law Commission's report on devolved tribunals in Wales, and it notes that the Law Commission's report on the devolved tribunals in Wales has been published.

Item 7.9, we have correspondence from the Minister for Education and Welsh Language in respect of the relationships and sexuality education—the RSE—draft code. And this was issued—. The letter from the Minister was issued to all Members of Senedd to provide an update about the relationships and sexuality education draft code and the supporting statutory guidance. So, I think we’re happy to note that.

This takes us on to three letters, all of which refer to notification that the Welsh Government has consented to the UK Government making regulations in relation to Wales. Members will know that the Welsh Government has committed to provide such notifications to us and to the Senedd under the terms of the recently refreshed inter-institutional relations agreement between the Senedd and Welsh Government. We welcome this and continue to welcome this because of the transparency it allows for us as scrutineers. So, under these, we have item 7.10, correspondence from the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd in respect of the Approved Country Lists (Animals and Animal Products) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2021. The Minister’s letter, by the way, sets out the reasons for giving consent to the makings of these regulations, but it also notes that it was not possible to provide advance notice.

Item 7.11, correspondence from the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd in respect of the Official Controls (Extension of Transitional Periods) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2021. Again, I’d invite Members to note the letter. It sets out the background to the making of the regulations and the reason for her and the Government giving consent. Members will note the Minister does express some concerns with the UK Government’s decision to waive pre-notification for goods from Northern Ireland and Ireland, and has suggested that it may raise questions in relation to the World Trade Organization and the trade and co-operation agreement. But, for now, if you’re happy to note that.

That takes us on to item 7.12, correspondence again from the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd in respect of the Official Controls (Temporary Measures) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2021. There’s a letter and a written statement, and the Minister notes that consent was given to this instrument as the amendments being made are temporary, emergency easements. And the Minister’s letter also notes that she previously consented to equivalent extensions to these regulations in January and May of 2021. So, if we note those.

We go on to item 7.13, correspondence from the Chair of the Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee to the Chief Executive and Clerk of the Senedd Commission on the use of the term 'BAME'. So, I invite Members to note the letter from the Chair to the Chief Executive and Clerk.

We can move on then to 7.14, correspondence from the First Minister in respect of the protocol on scrutiny of regulations arising from the UK’s exit from the European Union. If we note the letter from the First Minister there, arising from the UK's exit from the European Union, which has now lapsed, of course, and the First Minister's letter relates to the recently refreshed inter-institutional relations agreement, and it may be that we want to defer discussion on this to the private session then.

Thank you, everybody involved in the committee and anybody who reads through the transcript, for bearing with us on that. That's a lot of work that's stockpiled over the Christmas period that we've now concluded. 

14:10
8. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i wahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod
8. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of 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.

We now need to go into private session so we can discuss that and some other matters as well. So, under Standing Order 17.42, could I ask committee members if they're happy to exclude the public for the remainder of the meeting?

Can I just say, before we go into private session, Huw, I think we should put on record our gratitude to Gareth and his team of lawyers for the work they've done through recess in ensuring that we've been able to go through business as efficiently as we've been able to this afternoon? I think it speaks very highly of the commitment and the work of the legal teams over recess. 

Thank you, Alun, and I think that's something that Peter and I would definitely agree with. Thank you very much for putting that on record.

Diolch. That is appreciated. Diolch.

There we are, and we will now go into private session, and I will wait for our team to tell us when we are in private.

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 14:12.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 14:12.