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Pwyllgor o’r Cynulliad Cyfan

Committee of the Whole Assembly

20/03/2018

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

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

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 13:00.

The meeting began at 13:00.

1. Bil Cyfraith sy'n Deillio o'r Undeb Ewropeaidd (Cymru)—Cyfnod 2: Ystyried Gwelliannau
1. Law Derived from the European Union (Wales) Bill—Stage 2: Consideration of Amendments

Rwy'n galw'r Aelodau i drefn a chroesawu'r Aelodau i'r Pwyllgor o'r Cynulliad Cyfan, sy'n ystyried Cyfnod 2 o'r gwelliannau i'r Bil Cyfraith sy'n Deillio o'r Undeb Ewropeaidd (Cymru).

I call Members to order and welcome Members to the Committee of the Whole Assembly, which is considering Stage 2 of the amendments to the Law Derived from the European Union (Wales) Bill.

Grŵp 1: Adran 4—Deddfiadau sy’n Deillio o’r UE (Gwelliannau 1, 2, 3, 4)
Group 1: Section 4—EU Derived Enactments (Amendments 1, 2, 3, 4)

Mae'r grŵp cyntaf o welliannau yn ymwneud ag adran 4, deddfiadau sy'n deillio o'r Undeb Ewropeaidd. Gwelliant 1 yw'r prif welliant yn y grŵp hwn, ac rydw i'n galw ar arweinydd y tŷ i gynnig y prif welliant ac i siarad am y gwelliant hwn a'r gwelliannau eraill yn y grŵp—Julie James.

The first group of amendments pertain to section 4, European Union derived enactments. Amendment 1 is the lead amendment in this group. I call on the leader of the house to move the lead amendment and to speak to this and the other amendments in the group—Julie James. 

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 1 (Mark Drakeford).

Amendment 1 (Mark Drakeford) moved.

Diolch, Llywydd. I'm sure that Members will appreciate that the task of preparing this Bill over a relatively short period and in a way that is intellectually coherent and legally robust has been a formidable challenge. At the start of this debate, I'd like to pay tribute to those officials who've worked so very hard to bring it forward.

Since introducing the Bill, we've continued to test its robustness and consider how efficiently it will deliver our desired outcomes. Amendments 1 to 4 have resulted from that further consideration and address purely technical issues with the current draft. 

The principal amendment in this group is amendment 2 and it addresses two separate issues. First, as currently drafted, section 4 could be interpreted as suggesting that only enactments that are entirely within the Assembly's legislative competence would be the subject of the power in that section. This is not our intention. Our intention is that the power in section 4 should be capable of being used so that an enactment that is partly within the Assembly's legislative competence and partly outside legislative competence could be disapplied in relation to Wales, and then restated to the extent that it is within the Assembly's competence.

For example, an EU-derived enactment could contain powers that grant both the Welsh Ministers and UK Ministers the power to make regulations but where the power of the Welsh Ministers is limited to devolved matters. This amendment will enable the Welsh Ministers to disapply the Welsh Ministers' power contained in that enactment and restate it within any necessary modifications without in any way stepping outside competence.

Amendment 2 makes it clear that the power in section 4 can be used in relation to enactments that lie partly within and partly without the Assembly's legislative competence. However, to be clear, the amendment will not enable the Welsh Ministers to be able to repeal or restate enactments that are wholly outside devolved competence. The power will remain limited by reference to the competence of the Assembly.

The second purpose of amendment 2 is to reduce the number of enactments that would have to be fully restated under section 4. The amendment would enable the Welsh Ministers to specify subordinate legislation that would simply continue, in effect, with any necessary modifications set out in regulations, rather than require that the secondary legislation is restated. The approach in section 4 for subordinate legislation would then broadly mirror the approach already taken in section 5. An example of the overall effect of this amendment is provided by the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations (RoHS) 2012. Looking at the first purpose of this amendment, without the amendment, provisions of these regulations would not fall within the scope of section 4, as some of the regulations are not wholly within devolved competence.

Taking the second purpose of the amendment, it enables the Welsh Ministers to provide that, to the extent the regulations relate to devolved matters, they are to continue in effect. Without the amendment, it would be necessary to restate the devolved provision contained in the regulations.

Amendments 1, 3 and 4 are consequential to amendment 2, in particular amendments 3 and 4 ensure that, in relation to subordinate legislation, continued in effect by virtue of regulations made under the amended section 4, only modifications that are necessary could be made to it. These amendments represent an important improvement in the clarity and efficiency of the Bill, and I urge Members to support them. 

Nid oes siaradwyr eraill ar y grŵp yma, felly rydw i'n cymryd nad yw arweinydd y tŷ eisiau defnyddio'i hawl i ymateb i unrhyw ddadl, ac felly y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 1? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn, felly, i bleidlais electronig. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 39, 11 yn ymatal, un yn erbyn, ac felly derbyniwyd gwelliant 1.

I have no other speakers on this group, and therefore I assume that the leader of the house doesn’t want to take her right of reply. So, the question is that amendment 1 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We will therefore move to an electronic vote. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 39, 11 abstentions, one against. Therefore, amendment 1 is agreed.

Gwelliant 1: O blaid: 39, Yn erbyn: 1, Ymatal: 11

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 1: For: 39, Against: 1, Abstain: 11

Amendment has been agreed

Grŵp 2: Enwau Bwydydd Gwarchodedig (Gwelliannau 7, 11)
Group 2: Protected Food Names (Amendments 7, 11)

Y grŵp nesaf o welliannau yw grŵp 2, ac maent yn ymwneud ag enwau bwydydd gwarchodedig. Gwelliant 7 yw'r prif welliant yn y grŵp yma, ac rydw i'n galw ar Simon Thomas i gynnig y prif welliant ac i siarad am y gwelliant yma a'r gwelliannau eraill yn y grŵp. Simon Thomas.

The next group of amendments is group 2, and this relates to protected food names. Amendment 7 is the lead amendment in this group, and I call on Simon Thomas to move and speak to the lead amendment and the other amendments in the group. Simon Thomas. 

13:05

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 7 (Simon Thomas).

Amendment 7 (Simon Thomas) moved.

Diolch yn fawr, Llywydd. Rwy'n cynnig gwelliant 7 a gwelliant 11 yn y grŵp, sydd yn fy enw i, ac ar ran grŵp Plaid Cymru. Rwy'n gobeithio, gan ein bod ni'n cyfarfod fel pwyllgor cyfan y Senedd—y Cynulliad y prynhawn yma, nad yn unig yr enwau sydd ger eich bron ymlaen llaw y byddwch chi'n eu galw i gymryd rhan yn y trafodaethau yma ond y byddwch chi'n agor y drws i'r pleidiau eraill. Rwy'n edrych ymlaen at glywed pam mae'r Torïaid yn gwrthwynebu'r gwelliannau, fel maen nhw'n dechrau gwneud, neu'r Bil ei hunan, ac rwy'n edrych ymlaen at, ac yn colli a dweud y gwir, rai o'r cyfraniadau mwy cyfansoddiadol y bydd ambell i Aelod fan draw yn eu gwneud. 

Ond mae'r gwelliannau hyn yn ymwneud yn benodol â'r angen i warchod enwau gwarchodedig Cymreig wrth inni ymadael â'r Undeb Ewropeaidd, a bydd y gwelliannau yn rhoi dyletswydd ar Weinidogion Cymru, gan fod y Bil yma'n rhoi pwerau sylweddol i Weinidogion Cymru—cofiwch chi hynny—i warchod yr enwau hynny ac i wneud yn siŵr ein bod ni'n gwneud ein gorau glas i aros tu fewn i system enwau dynodedig yr Undeb Ewropeaidd, sef yr hyn sy'n cael ei nabod gan fwyaf fel PGI, er bod yna enwau eraill o gwmpas.

Nawr, ar hyn o bryd, mae yna 16 o gynhyrchion bwyd Cymreig wedi eu cofrestru o dan y drefn Ewropeaidd ac mae yna ddau arall yn aros i gael eu derbyn. Mae rhai ohonyn nhw yn gyfarwydd iawn, iawn i Aelodau. Mae cig oen a chig eidion o Gymru, wrth gwrs, wedi eu gwarchod; caws Caerffili, er ei fod yn cael ei gynhyrchu yng Ngheredigion—jest dros y ffin, tu fas i Geredigion; Halen Môn. Mae siwin neu frithyll y môr sydd wedi cael eu dala yn y ffordd draddodiadol mewn cwrwgl yn cael eu hamddiffyn, a ham sir Gâr, a gewch chi yn y farchnad yng Nghaerfyrddin. Mae'r rhain i gyd wedi eu gwarchod, fel, wrth gwrs, rydym ni'n gwybod am y bwydydd gwych pan fyddwn ni'n mynd dramor, yn mynd ar y cyfandir ac yn gweld y bwydydd gwych sydd wedi eu gwarchod yn fanna.

Ond nid jest yr enwau sydd yn bwysig, ond y statws economaidd a diwylliannol sydd y tu ôl iddyn nhw. Felly, mae Hybu Cig Cymru wedi canfod bod allforion cig oen o Gymru wedi tyfu 25 y cant ers inni gael y statws dynodedig PGI. Mae yna werth economaidd iddyn nhw. Mae'r Comisiwn Ewropeaidd wedi canfod bod gwerth ar gyfer unrhyw gynnyrch sydd wedi ei ddynodi yn ddaearyddol yn £1.55—hynny yw, mi gewch chi £1.55 yn fwy y bunt am fod gyda chi'r statws yma o PGI neu debyg. Dim ond heddiw mae'r Western Mail wedi cyhoeddi bod 55 y cant o gwsmeriaid yng Nghymru yn ffafrio prynu bwyd gyda statws PGI, 37 y cant yn dweud y bydden nhw'n fwy tebyg o lawer o brynu cig oen o Gymru pe bai e'n dwyn y statws yna, oherwydd ei fod e'n dwyn y statws yna; a 49 y cant—yn uwch—ar gyfer cig eidion a dweud y gwir. Mae bron hanner o gwsmeriaid Cymru yn ffafrio cig eidion o Gymru oherwydd bod gyda fe'r statws yma. Felly, mae amddiffyn y statws yma yn bwysig iawn.

Nawr, yn San Steffan, wrth gwrs, rydym ni'n cofio bod y Bil yma yn fersiwn o'r Bil sy'n mynd drwy San Steffan, y Bil ymadael â'r Undeb Ewropeaidd. Nid ydym ni wedi cael y cytundeb rhwng y Llywodraeth yma a Llywodraeth San Steffan i weld pa lwybr i fynd arno, ond mae'n bwysig rhoi ar gofnod bod y Gweinidog busnes, sydd yn gwneud swydd debyg i un Julie James, yn San Steffan wedi dweud nad oes modd gwarantu bod enwau fel hyn yn cael eu diogelu wrth inni ymadael â'r Undeb Ewropeaidd. Mae perig fanna i allforion o Gymru, i ffermwyr ac amaethwyr Cymru ac i gynhyrchwyr bwyd Cymru. Felly, mae'n bwysig, rydw i'n meddwl, ein bod ni fel Cynulliad yn ystyried y materion yma wrth drafod ein deddfwriaeth ein hunan. Rwy'n gobeithio'n fawr, felly, y bydd y Cynulliad yn ymateb yn bositif i'r gwelliannau hyn ac yn gwneud pob dim o fewn ein gallu ni i sicrhau ein bod ni'n cadw statws enwau gwarchodedig ar gyfer bwydydd da iawn o Gymru.

Thank you very much, Llywydd. I move amendments 7 and 11 in the group in my name and on behalf of the Plaid Cymru group. I do hope that, as we are meeting as the Committee of the Whole Assembly this afternoon, it’s not only the names that you have before you prior to the meeting that you will call in this debate, but you will open the door to the other parties. I look forward to hearing why the Conservatives oppose the amendments or the Bill itself, and I look forward to hearing—and I miss, in fact—some of the more constitutional contributions that some Members opposite may make.

But these amendments relate specifically to the need to protect the protected Welsh food names as we exit the European Union, and the amendments will place a duty on Welsh Ministers—as this Bill does provide significant powers to Welsh Ministers; do bear that in mind—to protect those names, and to ensure that we do our very best to remain within the designated name system of the European Union, what is known for the most part as PGI, although there are other designations, of course.

Now, at the moment, there are 16 Welsh food products that have been registered under the European regime and another two are awaiting approval. Some of them are very familiar to Members: Welsh lamb and beef, of course, are protected; Caerphilly cheese, although it’s produced in Ceredigion—just over the border from Ceredigion, actually; Halen Môn/Anglesey Sea Salt; sewin or sea trout that have been caught with traditional methods using coracles; and Carmarthen ham, which you can buy in Carmarthen market. They’re all protected, as are the excellent foods that we see when we travel abroad and on the continent, which have the protected status there.

But it’s not just the names that are important, but the economic and cultural status underpinning them. So, Hybu Cig Cymru has found that lamb exports from Wales have grown 25 per cent since PGI status was awarded. So, there’s economic value to this. The European Commission has discovered that the value for any product with a geographical designation is £1.55. That is to say that you will get £1.55 per £1 because you have this PGI status, or a similar status. And just today, the Western Mail published that 55 per cent of customers in Wales favour buying foods with PGI status; 37 per cent say that they would be far more likely to buy lamb from Wales if it had that status and because it has that status. For beef, it’s higher. Indeed, for beef, almost 50 per cent of Welsh customers favour Welsh beef because it has this status. So, safeguarding the status is extremely important. 

In Westminster, there’s a version of the Bill going through Westminster—the European withdrawal Bill. There is no agreement yet between the Government here and the Government in Westminster as to what route we should go down, but it’s important to place on record that the Minister for business, who has a similar role to Julie James, in Westminster, has said that it isn’t possible to guarantee that these designations are safeguarded as we exit the European Union. And there is a risk there to Welsh exports, to Welsh farmers and to food producers in Wales. So, it is important that we as an Assembly consider these issues as we discuss our own legislation. I very much hope, therefore, that the Assembly will respond positively to these amendments and that we do everything within our power to ensure that we retain the protected designations for the excellent quality foods from Wales.      

I'm delighted to support Plaid Cymru's amendment on this particular aspect of the exit of Britain from the EU. As Simon Thomas has amply pointed out, there is economic advantage in these protected designations, and I see the opportunity, in years to come, being outside the EU, to use the freedoms that we will have in terms of marketing Welsh produce to expand the market for goods. We've been precluded from doing this, in many respects, hitherto, because of the requirements of EU legislation. Freed from that, we will be able to paddle our own canoe—or coracle, as the case may be. And then, products such as Conwy mussels, Halen Môn salt, Pembrokeshire early potatoes, will be able to take advantage of the new freedoms. So, I think these are so self-evidently obvious that further exposition is unnecessary, and, with that, I'll sit down.

13:10

Galwaf ar arweinydd y tŷ, Julie James.

I call on the leader of the house, Julie James.

Diolch, Llywydd. As Simon Thomas said, food names that are protected by geographical indicators are important to the Welsh economy and a key part of promoting the Welsh food and drink industry. I think Neil Hamilton was attempting to agree with him, but then I felt the rest of his remarks went slightly off the point that Simon Thomas was trying to make. I think we all agree, anyway, that products such as Welsh lamb, Halen Môn Anglesey sea salt, and, with a very recent designation, caws Caerffili, traditional Caerphilly cheese, are well recognised, and protection has provided businesses with a unique selling point and protection against fraud and imitation, as Simon pointed out.

Geographical indicators for food are governed at the EU level by an EU regulation on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs. Our preference for the future is for the arrangements for the protection of products to be developed in conjunction with the rest of the UK and the EU. This is fully in line with our, and Plaid Cymru's, commitment to the fullest possible participation in the single market compatible with no longer being a member state, and would be the very best way to continue to enjoy the commercial benefits that currently flow from this recognition.

Our aim is therefore to ensure that current protections afforded to Welsh produce continue after the UK withdraws from the EU, and we will keep the Assembly informed about progress in this matter. However, in the absence of a negotiated EU-wide agreement for this important issue, we would be able to make regulations under section 3 of this Bill to make corresponding provision to that contained in the relevant EU regulation and EU tertiary legislation. This would ensure that Welsh produce that currently enjoys protection against imitation would continue to do so in Wales.

Given the thinking that is currently under way, and our intention to protect our producers where appropriate, I believe that the proposed amendment is not necessary. It could also cast doubt on the powers available under section 3 by inadvertently suggesting that that power is not sufficiently broad to provide for the continued protection of food geographical indicators. However, I want to absolutely emphasise that the Welsh Government certainly values the geographical indicators, and we will do all we can to ensure that the protections currently afforded by them to Welsh businesses continue to be available following the UK's exit from the EU. I therefore urge Members not to agree to amendments 7 and 11, because we think that the provisions that Simon Thomas wants to achieve are already contained within section 3.

Simon Thomas i ymateb i'r ddadl.

Simon Thomas to respond to the debate.

Thank you, Llywydd, and I'll take support from whichever quarter it comes, even if I don't agree with the reasons, always, for that support, but I'm very grateful for that. I think Welsh food is brilliant. I think we have the best pasture in the world, we have the highest quality animal welfare, the best leeks, of course, as well as the early potatoes, and the best cockles and mussels. As I say those, I'm just trying to tempt David Melding to take part in the debate by saying 'cockles and mussels', but he still sits down and doesn't take part in this.

I'm very lucky; I live in Aberystwyth. Those of us who live in Ceredigion are blessed with two of the best food markets—well, just outside Ceredigion—in Llandoch and in Aberystwyth as well. We can pick the best Welsh produce, almost every week, but it's not available for everyone, and, as we move along the food chain, the value that we build into that food chain is absolutely essential for the future of the Welsh economy as we leave the European Union. I want to see our farmers make the best, and have the best, advantage from this, and part of that must be about maintaining standards and quality and having a recognisable brand that everyone else also knows is that standard and quality.

I hear what the Minister had to say, and I welcome her— . Two supersubs are doing this Bill today, due to other circumstances. When she says there are powers in the Bill, I recognise there are powers in the Bill, but I think a statement from the Assembly on a vote around these issues would be, perhaps, symbolic, but nevertheless important. It would send a very positive message. It would also send a message to DEFRA, who have yet to concede even that this Assembly is the place that decides these matters and actually wants to try and control how food from Wales is branded in the future, has talked about all kinds of food branding schemes. I've got no problem with food from the UK being recognised as food from the UK—don't get me wrong—but food from Wales, which has these particular statuses, has to have that unique branding. It can't simply be subsumed in an overall export market that simply says, 'This is food from the UK'. That's not good enough. That is not good enough. And as we don't have the commitment from the Westminster end yet, and as I recognise the powers are there, but they're powers vested in Ministers, I would like this additional duty placed on Ministers, and I think it's worth pressing the Assembly to have its say on that matter.

13:15

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 7? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais electronig, felly. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 25, un yn ymatal, 28 yn erbyn. Felly, gwrthodwyd gwelliant 7.

The question is that amendment 7 be agreed to. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We’ll move to an electronic vote, therefore. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 25, one abstention, 28 against. Therefore, amendment 7 was rejected.

Gwelliant 7: O blaid: 25, Yn erbyn: 28, Ymatal: 1

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 7: For: 25, Against: 28, Abstain: 1

Amendment has been rejected

Gwelliant 2. [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symud y gwelliant.

Amendment 2. [Objection.] Move the amendment.

Move amendment 2.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 2 (Mark Drakeford).

Amendment 2 (Mark Drakeford) moved.

Gwrthwynebu. Symudwn i bleidlais electronig. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 40, 12 yn ymatal, dau yn erbyn. Derbyniwyd y gwelliant.

Objection. We’ll move to an electronic vote. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 40, 12 abstentions, two against. The amendment was agreed to.

Gwelliant 2: O blaid: 40, Yn erbyn: 2, Ymatal: 12

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 2: For: 40, Against: 2, Abstain: 12

Amendment has been agreed

Gwelliant 3, arweinydd y tŷ.

Amendment 3, leader of the house.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 3 (Mark Drakeford).

Amendment 3 (Mark Drakeford) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 3? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais electronig. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 41, 12 yn ymatal, un yn erbyn. Derbyniwyd y gwelliant.

The question is that amendment 3 be agreed to. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We'll move to an electronic vote. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 41, 12 abstentions, one against. The amendment is agreed.

Gwelliant 3: O blaid: 41, Yn erbyn: 1, Ymatal: 12

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 3: For: 41, Against: 1, Abstain: 12

Amendment has been agreed

Arweinydd y tŷ, gwelliant 4.

Leader of the house, amendment 4.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 4 (Mark Drakeford).

Amendment 4 (Mark Drakeford) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 4? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symud i bleidlais electronig. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 41, 12 yn ymatal, un yn erbyn. Derbyniwyd gwelliant 4.

The question is that amendment 4 be agreed to. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We move to an electronic vote. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 41, 12 abstentions, one against. Amendment 4 is agreed.

Gwelliant 4: O blaid: 41, Yn erbyn: 1, Ymatal: 12

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 4: For: 41, Against: 1, Abstain: 12

Amendment has been agreed

Grŵp 3: Adran 11—Pŵer i Wneud Darpariaeth sy’n Cyfateb i Gyfraith yr UE ar ôl y Diwrnod Ymadael (Gwelliannau 8, 12, 14)
Group 3: Section 11—Power to Make Provision Corresponding to EU Law after Exit Day (Amendments 8, 12, 14)

Y grŵp nesaf o welliannau yw grŵp 3, sy'n ymwneud ag adran 11—y pŵer i wneud darpariaeth sy’n cyfateb i gyfraith yr Undeb Ewropeaidd ar ôl y diwrnod ymadael. Gwelliant 8 yw'r prif welliant yn y grŵp yma, ac rydw i'n galw ar Simon Thomas i gynnig y prif welliant ac i siarad am y gwelliant yma a'r gwelliannau eraill yn y grŵp. Simon Thomas.

The next group of amendments is group 3, pertaining to section 11—the powers to make provision corresponding to European Union law after exit day. Amendment 8 is the lead amendment in this group, and I call upon Simon Thomas to move the lead amendment, and to speak to this amendment and the other amendments in the group. Simon Thomas.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 8 (Simon Thomas).

Amendment 8 (Simon Thomas) moved.

Diolch, Llywydd. Rwy'n cynnig gwelliant 8 a'r ddau welliant arall yn y grŵp, sydd yn welliannau dilynol a chanlyniadol i'r gwelliant hwnnw.

Cyd-destun y gwelliant yma, wrth gwrs, yw bod y Bil yma yn rhoi pwerau sylweddol, dwfn a helaeth i Weinidogion Cymru. Mae'n eu galluogi nhw i newid cyfraith Cymru, newid cyfraith cynradd ac eilradd, ac y mae'n eu galluogi nhw i wneud hynny, ar hyn o bryd, yn ddi-ben-draw ac yn barhaol.

Nawr, mae pob un ohonom ni, rydw i'n meddwl—wel, rwy'n credu bod y rhan fwyaf ohonom ni, beth bynnag—yn cydnabod bod angen pwerau o'r fath yma, sydd ond yn cael eu dyrannu mewn cyfnodau prin iawn oherwydd y sefyllfa arbennig sy'n deillio o adael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd. Nid oes neb yma, rydw i ddim yn meddwl, yn moyn i sefyllfa godi lle y mae yna fwlch deddfwriaethol yn digwydd, lle nad oes modd, er enghraifft, gweithredu ar ran clefyd anifeiliaid, neu weithredu o ran rhywbeth amgylcheddol neu weithredu o ran rhyw fath o amddiffyniad cymdeithasol, yn syml iawn oherwydd nad oes gan Weinidogion Cymru y pwerau i'w wneud e ar y diwrnod. Felly, nid yw'n ymarferol i ddisgwyl i Weinidogion, yn y cyd-destun yma, i ddod yn ôl drachefn a thrachefn i'r Senedd, yn chwilio am awdurdodaeth ar gyfer defnyddio'r grymoedd hynny. Ond nid yw e chwaith yn dderbyniol i unrhyw Senedd roi hawliau di-ben-draw i Weinidogion i ddefnyddio'r pwerau enfawr a helaeth yma, fel arfer yn cael eu cydnabod fel grymoedd Harri VIII, yn y cyd-destun Cymreig.

Felly, beth y mae'r gwelliant yma a'r gwelliannau eraill yn ei wneud yw dodi cymal machlud yn y Bil. Fe wnes i awgrymu hyn gyntaf tua bythefnos yn ôl pan oedd yr Ysgrifennydd Cyllid, ar y pryd, yn cyflwyno rhaglen ar gyfer y Bil—yr amserlen. Fe wnaeth Leanne Wood sôn am gymal machlud wrth ymateb i egwyddorion cyffredinol y Bil. Fe wnaeth adroddiad y Pwyllgor Materion Cyfansoddiadol a Deddfwriaethol hefyd awgrymu, yn argymhelliad 5 yn adroddiad y pwyllgor hwnnw, y byddai fe'n briodol ystyried rhoi amserlen â therfyn ar rymoedd Gweinidogion Cymru. Felly, mae'r gwelliant yma yn gwneud yn siŵr, ar ôl pum diwrnod ar ôl diwrnod gadael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd, y bydd y grymoedd hyn yn syrthio. Byddan nhw'n dod i ben. Byddai'n rhaid i Weinidogion Cymru ddod yn ôl i'r Cynulliad os ydyn nhw am ail-rymuso eu hunain ynglŷn â'r pwerau hyn. Byddai'n rhaid i'r Cynulliad gymeradwyo hynny, ac, wrth gwrs, erbyn hynny, byddai gan y Cynulliad amser i weld a fyddai'n briodol, o hyd, roi'r fath rymoedd i'r Llywodraeth.

Felly, yn y cyd-destun sydd ohoni, mae rhoi cymaint o rymoedd i'r Gweinidogion yn dderbyniol o ran ymarferoldeb ac o ran dichonoldeb yr hawl i fynd i'r afael â'r ddeddfwriaeth. Ond nid yw'n ddigon, ym marn Plaid Cymru, fod hyn yn ddi-ben-draw a heb derfyn amser. Felly, rwy'n gobeithio y bydd y Senedd gyfan yn gallu cymeradwyo'r cymal machlud yma a gwneud i'r pwerau ddod i ben ar ôl pum mlynedd.  

Thank you, Llywydd. I move amendment 8 and the other two amendments in the group, which are consequential to amendment 8.

Now, the context of this amendment, of course, is that this Bill provides substantial and far-reaching powers to Welsh Ministers. It enables them to change Welsh law, to change primary and secondary legislation, and it enables them to do that without limit and continuously.

Now, each and every one of us—or most of us, at least—would recognise that such powers are required, which would only be provided in exceptional circumstances such as leaving the European Union. Now, I don’t think anyone here wants a situation to arise where there is a legislative gap, where it wouldn’t be possible to take action in terms of animal diseases or environmental issues or to undertake some sort of social protection simply because Welsh Ministers wouldn’t have the powers to do it on any particular day. Therefore, it’s not practicable to expect Ministers in this context to return to the Assembly time and again seeking authorisation to use those powers, but neither is it acceptable for any Parliament to give unlimited powers to Ministers to use these far-reaching powers, which are usually referred to as Henry VIII powers in the Welsh context.

So, what this amendment and the consequential amendments do is to insert a sunset clause into the Bill. I suggested this first of all some fortnight ago when the Cabinet Secretary for Finance introduced the timetable for the Bill. Leanne Wood mentioned a sunset clause in responding to the general principles of the Bill. The report of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee also suggested, in recommendation 5 of that committee's report, that it would be appropriate to consider inserting a timetable for the powers of Welsh Ministers. This amendment ensures that, after five days following exit day, these powers will lapse. Therefore, Welsh Ministers would have to return to the Assembly if they wanted to re-empower themselves in terms of these powers. The Assembly would have to approve that, and, by that point, of course, the Assembly would have time to see whether it would be still appropriate to provide such powers to the Government.

So, in the current context, giving such power to Ministers is acceptable in terms of practicalities and the feasibility of tackling issues surrounding legislation. But it isn't sufficient, in Plaid Cymru's view, that this should be without limit and without a time limit. So, I hope that the whole Parliament will be able to approve this sunset clause and ensure that the powers will lapse after five years.

13:20

Galwaf ar arweinydd y tŷ, Julie James.

I call on the leader of the house, Julie James.

Diolch, Llywydd. Yes, recommendation 5 of the report published by the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee was that amendments should be brought forward to provide for a sunset clause in respect of the power provided to the Welsh Ministers by section 11 of the Bill. Amendment 8 broadly replicates recommendation 5, except that the report on the continuing necessity of the power would be prepared by the Welsh Government rather than a committee of the Assembly. I note that there would be nothing to prevent an Assembly committee from undertaking its own review and publishing its own report on the power in section 11, and I further note that granting a power for an Assembly committee to conduct such a review could inadvertently raise questions about the broad scrutiny powers that committees currently enjoy.

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance indicated in his response to the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee that he would work with Assembly Members to bring forward an appropriate amendment to section 11, and I'm content to support amendment 8, brought forward by Simon Thomas. I note that amendment 12 requires that the enhanced procedure applies to regulations that would extend the life of the power, rather than the affirmative procedure that was recommended by the committee. By adopting the enhanced procedure, it would give the Assembly and its committees time to consider the report laid by the Welsh Ministers as part of the scrutiny of the regulations before deciding whether to agree to extend the life of the power in section 11. I therefore also support these amendments.

Under the enhanced procedure, the Assembly may decide to approve the regulations without the need to follow the procedures laid out in the enhanced procedure—in effect meaning that the affirmative procedure applies. However, amendment 14 provides that this is not the case for regulations that extend the life of the power in section 11. The full requirements of the enhanced procedure, including the duties to have regard to any committee reports or resolutions of the Assembly, will always apply to regulations made under the power contained in amendment 8. We are content to support them.

Simon Thomas i ymateb i'r ddadl.

Simon Thomas to reply to the debate.

Diolch, Llywydd. I'm very pleased that the Government has indicated, formally on the floor of the Parliament, that you will now support these amendments. As you have laid out, quite correctly, I don't think it's necessary to put a reference to a committee of the Assembly on the face of the Bill because a committee of the Assembly can do anything it wants at any time anyway. But, more importantly, the superaffirmative, if you like, will ensure that there is a process of discussion that, I've no doubt, committees of the Assembly will want to become involved in. What's important about passing this Bill, if we do do that, is that we protect our rights, as this current Assembly, but also the future rights of the next Parliament that's elected, and their rights as well, to ensure that Government Ministers are not using powers irresponsibly or irrationally or in a way that wasn't foreseen at this stage. I think this is a suitable amendment—and the consequential amendments—to do that, and I'm grateful for the support of the Government.

Os gwrthodir gwelliant 8, bydd gwelliannau 12 ac 14 yn methu. Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 8? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? Felly, derbynnir gwelliant 8 yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34(i). 

If amendment 8 is not agreed, amendments 12 and 14 fall. The question that amendment 8 be agreed to. Does any Member object? So, amendment 8 is agreed to in accordance with Standing Order 17.34(i).

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34.

Amendment agreed in accordance with Standing Order 17.34.

Grŵp 4: Adrannau 13 ac 14—Cydsyniad Gweinidogion Cymru (Gwelliant 9)
Group 4: Sections 13 and 14—Welsh Ministers’ Consents (Amendment 9)

Y grŵp nesaf o welliannau yw grŵp 4, sy'n ymwneud ag adrannau 13 ac 14 ar gydsyniad Gweinidogion Cymru. Gwelliant 9 yw'r prif welliant a'r unig welliant yn y grŵp, ac rwy'n galw ar Simon Thomas i gynnig y gwelliant ac i siarad am y gwelliant.

The next group of amendments is group 4, sections 13 and 14, on Welsh Ministers' consents. Amendment 9 is the lead amendment and the sole amendment in the group, and I call on Simon Thomas to move the amendment and to speak to it.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 9 (Simon Thomas).

Amendment 9 (Simon Thomas) moved.

Diolch yn fawr, Llywydd. Mae'r gwelliant yma yn ymwneud â'r hawl sydd gan Weinidogion Cymru i roi eu cydsyniad nhw i Weinidogion y Deyrnas Gyfunol wneud cyfraith, newid cyfraith, diwygio cyfraith yn y meysydd datganoledig a'r gyfraith eilradd, wrth gwrs—y gyfraith wedi'i dal gan Weinidogion. Nawr, eto, rŷm ni nôl at yr un ddadl yma. Mae yn briodol, oherwydd y sefyllfa rŷm ni ynddi, oherwydd ein bod ni'n paratoi i adael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd—. Fel y dywedais yn y grŵp diwethaf o welliannau, fe fydd adeg yn codi pan fydd yn rhaid i Weinidogion Cymru wneud hynny er mwyn hwylustod y gyfraith, er mwyn sicrhau nad oes bwlch yn codi, ac er mwyn sicrhau bod y gyfraith yn gweithio yn iawn. Ond, fel arfer, fyddai’r lle yma, y Cynulliad hwn, ddim yn derbyn nad ydym ni’n rheoli’r ffordd y mae cydsyniad yn cael ei roi gan Weinidogion. Mae gyda ni broses, wrth gwrs, o gynigion cydsyniad deddfwriaethol ar gyfer deddfwriaeth gynradd. Mae gyda ni broses, drwy’r Pwyllgor Materion Cyfansoddiadol a Deddfwriaethol, i gadw llygad ar beth mae’r Gweinidogion yn ei wneud am is-ddeddfwriaeth. Ac felly beth mae’r gwelliant yn ei wneud fan hyn yw rhoi dyletswydd ar Lywodraeth Cymru i osod adroddiad gerbron y Cynulliad heb fod yn fwy na phythefnos ar ôl iddyn nhw ddefnyddio’r grymoedd yma. Ac mae hynny’n seiliedig, os caf i ddweud, ar Reolau Sefydlog presennol y Cynulliad. Felly, ar hyn o bryd, rŷm ni’n disgwyl i Weinidogion wneud hyn.

Nawr, rydw i’n aros i weld beth sydd gan y Gweinidog i’w ddweud am y materion yma. Mae’n bosib bod y Llywodraeth yn meddwl bod pythefnos yn ormod o beth, efallai yn rhy aml. Efallai fod y Llywodraeth yn teimlo y bydden nhw’n gorfod defnyddio’r grym yma yn aml iawn, ac felly y byddai’n feichus iawn adrodd bob hyn a hyn a phob tro. Efallai y byddai’n well bod yna adrodd yn ôl yn cael ei wneud yn fwy synhwyrol. Rydw i’n edrych ymlaen at glywed beth sydd gan y Gweinidog i’w ddweud am hynny. Ond rydw i yn meddwl ei bod hi’n bwysig bod y Cynulliad yn cael clywed yn weddol aml sut mae’r Llywodraeth a’r Gweinidogion wedi bod yn defnyddio’r grymoedd hyn, pa feysydd sydd wedi cael eu newid neu eu diwygio, so yr ŷm ni’n deall beth sydd wedi digwydd. Ac, wrth gwrs, bob tro rŷm ni’n gwneud hynny, nid adrodd yn ôl i ni y mae’r Llywodraeth, ond adrodd yn ôl i bobl Cymru—trwom ni, ie, ond i bobl Cymru, i bobl ddeall a sylweddoli sut mae gadael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd wedi newid y gyfraith sydd yn ymwneud â nhw, wedi newid y prosesau, a sut maen nhw’n gallu ymateb i hynny.

Felly, nid, os caf i ddweud, welliant biwrocrataidd yw hwn, ond gwelliant democrataidd sy’n agor y drws ar ddefnyddio pwerau gan Weinidogion Cymru.

Thank you, Llywydd. This amendment relates to the right that Welsh Ministers will have to give their consent to UK Government Ministers to make law, to change law, to amend the law in devolved areas and the subordinate legislation, of course—the powers held by Ministers. Again, we return to the same argument. It is appropriate, given the situation that we are in, given that we are preparing to exit the European Union—. As I said in discussing the last group of amendments, a time will arise when Welsh Ministers will have to do that in order to facilitate the law, to ensure that there is no gap in the law, and to ensure that the law works effectively. But, as a rule, this place, this Assembly, wouldn’t accept a situation where we wouldn’t control the way that consent is given by Ministers. We have a process, of course, of legislative consent motions for primary legislation. We have a process through the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee to keep a close eye on what Ministers are doing in terms of subordinate legislation. So, what this amendment does is to place a duty on the Welsh Government to report to the Assembly no more than a fortnight after they have used these powers, and this is based, if I may say, on the Assembly’s current Standing Orders. So, at the moment, we would expect Ministers to do this.

Now, I will await the Minister’s comments on these issues. It’s possible that the Government may think that two weeks is too onerous, is too often. They may feel that they would have to use these powers very often, and it would be burdensome to report every time. It may be better that there could be reporting back to a more sensible timetable, and I look forward to hearing what the Minister has to say in that regard. But I do think it’s important that the Assembly should be updated relatively often on how the Government and Ministers have been using these powers, what areas have been changed or amended so that we can understand what has happened. And, of course, every time we do that, the Government isn’t reporting back to us but reporting to the people of Wales—through us, yes, but to the people of Wales, so that people can understand and comprehend how leaving the European Union has changed the law and changed processes, and how they can respond to that.

So, if I may say so, this is not a bureaucratic amendment, but a democratic amendment, which opens the door to the use of powers by Welsh Ministers.

13:25

Galwaf ar arweinydd y tŷ, Julie James. 

I call on the leader of the house, Julie James.

Diolch, Llywydd. I've given careful consideration to amendment 9 and its interaction with sections 13 and 14, and also reflected on the report published by the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee, particularly recommendation 6 contained in that report. As Simon Thomas has said, the purpose of sections 13 and 14 is to create a default rule so that, unless the UK Parliament decides otherwise, the UK Government would need to obtain consent in relation to the making, approving or confirming of secondary legislation within the scope of EU law in devolved areas. That is inherently an important safeguard for maintaining the integrity of the rules that exist in devolved areas. These sections would achieve the same objectives as the proposed amendments to the EU withdrawal Bill that we jointly published with the Scottish Government that would require the UK Government to seek the Welsh Ministers' consent when exercising powers under that Bill in relation to devolved matters.

Under sections 13 and 14, it is the Welsh Ministers, rather than the Assembly, that give consent. This reflects the fact that, generally, it is appropriate that the consent process for UK secondary legislation should be conducted between Governments rather than legislatures. However, I set out in response to the report issued by the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee that sections 13 and 14 establish a position that is without prejudice to the existing statutory instrument consent motion process provided for in Standing Order 30A, as Simon pointed out. So, where the UK legislation amends primary legislation within devolved competence in relation to any subordinate legislation, not just that within the scope of EU law, the Assembly's current role is preserved.

Amendment 9 does not alter the essential nature of the consent requirements, that is, who provides the consent and in what circumstances. It does, however, provide a duty for the Welsh Ministers to report to the National Assembly where they've provided consent under their powers in sections 13 and 14. This seems to us to be a reasonable and useful proposal and we have no objection to it in principle. However, as Simon Thomas rightly said, the requirement to do this within two weeks of each occasion on which consent might be given would potentially result in a very large number of reports being made. For example, if the UK Parliament does not legislate to the contrary, sections 13 and 14 would apply to the powers contained in the EU withdrawal Bill. However, this Bill is designed to coexist with the EU withdrawal Bill and, therefore, where it is in the best interests of Wales, minor and technical deficiencies in devolved legislation could be addressed in regulations made by the UK under the EU withdrawal Bill for the entirety of the UK. This could result in large numbers of regulations being consented to on what are likely to be very minor and technical issues. As a result, amendment 9, as drafted, would result in an unjustifiable administrative burden, and I cannot support it.

I would, however, be very willing to work with Simon Thomas to bring forward a revised amendment at Stage 3 that requires a report to be laid before the Assembly on a periodic basis, covering all consents given in a specified period and the detail of those consents, as we have no objection to the principle itself. 

13:30

Simon Thomas i ymateb i'r ddadl. 

Simon Thomas to reply to the debate. 

Thank you, Presiding Officer. I welcome, I think, the acceptance in principle that the Minister just gave to us. I think it is important that we acknowledge that a lot of this legislation that arrives from the European Union is done jointly on an England-and-Wales basis. Sometimes that's a source of frustration to some of us, particularly when it isn't done in the Welsh language and is only done in English. But that's another argument for the Counsel General's statement later on. But we do come, I think, to some idea of clarity around these. Yes, a lot of them will be technical, but even in technical changes, there are interest groups or people who are affected by technical changes. They need to understand what's happened and how it's been exercised. I welcome, therefore, that there is a willingness to work on perhaps an alternative amendment that we can bring forward tomorrow at Stage 3 that the Government might want to support, or believe it could support. If two weeks is too often, then to go to the other end—an annual report, for example, in my mind, would be too infrequently. We won't be able to get the right balance of understanding what the Government is making. But subject to, I think, the consent of the committee of the house, in that regard, I would not want to vote on this amendment, if the amendment can be withdrawn subject to perhaps a further amendment coming forward tomorrow. 

A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad i'r bleidlais yma beidio â chael ei chynnal, felly? Nac oes. Felly, ni wnawn ni ddim cymryd pleidlais ar welliant 9. 

Is there any objecton for this vote not to be taken? No. Therefore, we will not vote on amendment 9.

Tynnwyd gwelliant 9 yn ôl gyda chaniatâd y pwyllgor.

Amendment 9 withdrawn by leave of the committee.

Grŵp 5: Egwyddorion Amgylcheddol (Gwelliannau 10, 15)
Group 5: Environmental principles (Amendments 10, 15)

Y grŵp nesaf o welliannau yw grŵp 5, sy'n ymwneud ag egwyddorion amgylcheddol. Gwelliant 10 yw'r prif welliant yn y grŵp yma, ac rwy'n galw ar Simon Thomas i gynnig y prif welliant ac i siarad am y gwelliant yma a'r gwelliannau eraill yn y grŵp.

The next group of amendments is group 5 pertaining to environmental principles. Amendment 10 is the lead amendment in this group, and I call on Simon Thomas to move and speak to the lead amendment and the other amendments in the group. 

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 10 (Simon Thomas).

Amendment 10 (Simon Thomas) moved.

Diolch, Llywydd. This amendment and the related amendments I think are very important and they are missing from the face of the Bill as it's currently constructed. What the amendments seek to do is to retain and enshrine some of the most important environmental principles that have been established under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union in Welsh law. These are principles that many of our citizens rely upon to campaign on, to do the best for their own environment, to take us to court, sometimes—take Governments to court. Clean air, for example, is an example that we've had only recently. But they're important principles of environmental justice that our citizens are exercising daily. Some of these principles have become so familiar to us we don't realise where they came from. The precautionary principle is rooted in EU law, but we talk about it all the time. When we make other laws here, we talk about the precautionary principle. The polluter-pays principle is reflected widely in UK and Welsh legislation, and nobody would really argue with that principle now, but it was, originally, an EU principle. 

Having these principles in our legislation, and in the treaties that establish the current EU, mean that they can be used by courts. They are used by businesses. Businesses will complain to me, and I'm sure they complain to other Assembly Members, about, for example, the precautionary principle. But when you get down to it, and you talk to them in detail, they realise that these principles provide an even playing field, a level playing field, so when they're doing business with half a billion people in the European Union, everyone is doing the same business, under the same regulations, in the same way. So, although you do get complaints from time to time, not many people want to take away completely principles that underpin how they do business with each other, how the environment is protected, and how Government makes decisions. So, how, fundamentally, Ministers make their decisions is also rooted in these principles. So, when they act unreasonably, as I'm sure this Government would never do, but does on occasion happen, you can take them to court, and you can say that they haven't followed the principles, and you can win your court case, or, as this Government did do very recently on air pollution, concede the case in advance and agree a set procedure to deal with the complaint that's been brought. 

So, these principles are absolutely vital to the way we hold Governments to account, the way we exercise our businesses, the way we go about our daily lives. The public should be able to rely on them, the courts should be able to apply them, and public bodies should be able to follow them. But they're not on the face of the Bill. Now, we may hear an argument from the Minister, I'm sure, that they don't need to be stated on the face of the Bill because they're part of it anyway. This is a Bill about retaining law derived from the European Union. Therefore, you don't need to restate everything on the face of the Bill because it's got it in the title. It does exactly what it says on the tin. But there is this to consider: the current Bill before us, which we go to do Stage 3 on tomorrow, is already—. The Scottish version is before Stage 3 in the Scottish Parliament, I think, today. But certainly the Scottish Government have confirmed that they will now include these environmental principles on the face of their Bill. It's crucial I think that the Welsh Government does likewise, and I think it sends a very strong message to our citizens, and to those who care about the environment, but also those who care about environmental justice, equality between businesses, and good law making by Ministers, that we see the current practices protected as we leave the European Union, and if there is to be any change to these principles, that's a conscious change, exercised by the sovereign parliaments of the United Kingdom, not something that arises by default because we have not been clear enough in this Bill about the principles that we want to reserve.

13:35

I thank Simon Thomas for placing this amendment, because I think it highlights some of the potential risks if we're not deliberate in supporting the environmental principles that we've enjoyed through the EU. Yes, many of these principles are enshrined in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and in the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, but I think it is also important that we restate, as the Scottish Parliament is doing, that the precautionary principle applies in everything we do, that environmental damage needs to be rectified at source, and that the polluter pays. And, as Simon Thomas pointed out, if citizens hadn't had the right, through EU law, to challenge Government's failure to act on air pollution, then we wouldn't have had this issue highlighted, and it wouldn't have been put to the top of the Government's agenda as a result. So, I hope that, at Stage 3, the Government might be able to come up with a form of words that would enshrine these very important environmental principles, and restate them, so that the polluters aren't looking for loopholes in order to shove a cart and horses through them.

Arweinydd y tŷ, Julie James.

The leader of the house, Julie James.

Diolch, Llywydd. Well, as Simon Thomas has rightly said, the purpose of the Law Derived from the European Union (Wales) Bill is to ensure legal continuity in relation to EU derived law following the UK's withdrawal from the European Union. This will include continuity in relation to many of the elements of EU derived law that relate to the environment and environmental protection. As a Government, we have been clear and consistent in our message that Brexit must not result in a dilution of the rights that currently flow from our membership of the EU, or of the standards that apply across member states, including environmental standards. This approach is in line with our recent legislative commitments in relation to the environment, where we incorporated key principles in both the well-being of future generations Act and the environment Act, which form part of the important overarching framework for environmental protection in Wales. We've placed the environment, and, more broadly, sustainable development, at the heart of our Government here in Wales. As Lesley Griffiths, the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, has made very clear, we as a Government are committed to maintaining and enhancing environmental standards, and we will continue to build upon the positive outcomes we have achieved to date.

In terms of maintaining environmental standards, the LDEU Bill provides powers for the Welsh Ministers to ensure that the current environmental protections contained in EU law are preserved. This includes the powers to replicate existing regulatory functions currently being exercised by EU institutions such as the European Commission, and in doing so, we would be under a duty to seek to continue the rights, obligations, remedies and procedures that are currently available under EU law. However, the principles set out in amendment 10 do not collectively have a single legal status or effect. Therefore, their treatment under the LDEU Bill varies, depending upon the matter at issue. For example, the precautionary principle is, as a general principle of EU law, given effect by section 7 of the Bill. The Bill requires that all EU derived law must be interpreted in accordance with this and the other general principles of EU law. By contrast, other principles, such as the polluter-pays principle, though recognised in the treaties, is not a general principle of EU law. However, the environmental liability directive creates a framework based on the polluter-pays principle to prevent and remedy environmental damage. In Wales, this directive is implemented by the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (Wales) Regulations 2009, which would fall within the scope of section 5 of the Bill. The Bill therefore provides the powers to the Welsh Ministers to continue the polluter-pays principle.

Another issue that the amendments raise is that, to some extent, they contain an element of seeking to enhance and improve the protections afforded to the environment. However, this Bill is about continuity; it is not the place for creating a new legal framework for environmental protection in Wales. We are committed to enhancing environmental protections. I've already referred to the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs's commitment to enhancing environmental standards and to building upon our achievements to date. Work is ongoing to identify opportunities for improvements that are in the best interests of Wales as we leave the European Union. To inform this work, we are fully engaging with stakeholders, including with the energy, planning and rural affairs EU exit round-table, to gain their views. We've also been actively engaging with the UK Government and the other devolved administrations to consider all potential options as we look to ensure that we deliver the best solution for Wales. The conclusions of that work are not for this Bill and not for today.

To summarise, insofar as environmental principles are currently written into or apply to existing EU derived law, the Bill will enable us to maintain these. From our track record it is evident that the Welsh Government is committed to maintaining and enhancing environmental protections, and Brexit will not change this. We are therefore currently working with stakeholders to identify how best to ensure that we not only maintain the current environmental protections afforded under EU law, but also look to enhance and improve the steps we take to ensure the integrity of the environment for future generations. Therefore, although we as a Government fully support the sentiment behind these amendments, I do urge Members to reject amendments 10 and 15 as this Bill must solely be focused on continuity. 

13:40

Simon Thomas i ymateb i'r ddadl. 

Simon Thomas to reply to the debate. 

I listened with great care to what the Minister said and I recognise the dilemma that she set out, in that this is a continuity Bill and we cannot take action to further enhance, if you like. I know it very well because I did try to make further amendments to the Bill around the governance gap that has been identified—indeed, identified by the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee in its own report. The governance gap is real, and it's there for our citizens, but it's quite difficult to squeeze into the Bill at the moment. But who knows? By tomorrow, we might be able to do it. We can have a debate about that at that stage. But I think the principle thing is—. It's not designed to try and do that. That's presumably why it has been accepted by the Table Office. It's designed to try and restate these core principles. I'll just restate what Lord Deben has said—I think that's John Selwyn Gummer as he is now, isn't it? Yes. He explained in the Lords committee on the EU withdrawal Bill—he said the following:

'All environmental law in the European Union has been intimately connected with the principles upon which it is based. Indeed, you cannot understand the law unless you understand the principles.'

I think that's quite a good idea to get hold of, because what the Government's response has been is to concentrate on the law and not concentrate on the principles. What I'm trying to do is to get the argument going the other way round, and I hope therefore that, though I would certainly seek the support of the Assembly on these principles today, if we are unable to get that support, we do have an interesting suggestion from Jenny Rathbone that the Government itself thinks by tomorrow how it might be able to better reflect these principles on the face of its own Bill. So, it doesn't just rely on this law as being taken into account by these regulations and all the rest of it, but has a statement in the Bill that just shows what the Government is intending to preserve and retain in regard to citizens' rights and environmental justice as we leave the European Union. I think an over-reliance on procedures and regulations—. Although I understand it from a legal point of view, when we make law, we make political law as well, and we have a law here, the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, that virtually doesn't do anything, but is a statement of principle. It's 100 per cent principle and very little else, and when you make law you have to have the right combination of principle and practical effect, and I think we're over-reliant on practical effect here, and not saying enough about the principle. 

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 10? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais electronig. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 21, dau yn ymatal, 33 yn erbyn. Felly, gwrthodwyd gwelliant 10.

The question is that amendment 10 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We will move to an electronic vote. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 21, two abstentions, 33 against. Therefore, amendment 10 is not agreed. 

Gwelliant 10: O blaid: 21, Yn erbyn: 33, Ymatal: 2

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 10: For: 21, Against: 33, Abstain: 2

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 11 (Simon Thomas).

Amendment 11 (Simon Thomas) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 11? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais electronig. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 26, dau yn ymatal, 28 yn erbyn. Felly, gwrthodwyd gwelliant 11. 

The question is that amendment 11 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We move to an electronic vote. In favour 26, two abstentions, 28 against. Therefore, amendment 11 is not agreed. 

Gwelliant 11: O blaid: 26, Yn erbyn: 28, Ymatal: 2

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 11: For: 26, Against: 28, Abstain: 2

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 12 (Simon Thomas).

Amendment 12 (Simon Thomas) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 12? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? Derbynnir gwelliant 12. 

The question is that amendment 12 be agreed. Does any Member object? Amendment 12 is agreed.

13:45

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34.

Amendment agreed in accordance with Standing Order 17.34.

Grŵp 6: Gweithdrefnau (Gwelliannau 5, 13, 6)
Group 6: Procedures (Amendments 5, 13, 6)

Y grŵp nesaf, felly, yw grŵp 6, y grŵp olaf o welliannau, ac maen nhw'n ymwneud â gweithdrefnau. Rydw i'n galw ar arweinydd y tŷ i gynnig gwelliant 5, sef y prif welliant yn y grŵp, ac i siarad am y gwelliannau eraill yn y grŵp. Arweinydd y tŷ, Julie James.

The next group is group 6, the final group of amendments, and they appertain to procedures. I call on the leader of the house to move amendment 5, namely the lead amendment in the group, and to speak to the other amendments in the group. Leader of the house, Julie James.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 5 (Mark Drakeford).

Amendment 5 (Mark Drakeford) moved.

Diolch, Llywydd. The Government has brought forward amendments 5 and 6 in response to recommendations 7 and 8 of the report on the LDEU Bill produced by the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee. Recommendation 7 calls for an amendment to the Bill that would require explanatory memoranda, accompanying regulations made to it, to set out, when relevant, why the affirmative procedure rather than the enhanced procedure should apply. However, under the enhanced procedure set out in the LDEU Bill, the decision on whether the affirmative procedure is to apply or whether the further steps required as part of the enhanced procedure are to apply is for the Assembly, not for Welsh Ministers. In light of this, amendment 5 requires the Welsh Ministers to lay a statement alongside draft regulations that are subject to the enhanced procedure. The duty will require the Welsh Ministers to state whether they consider that the affirmative procedure or enhanced procedure should apply and their reasons why. The statement could then be taken into account by the Assembly in making its decision on which procedure is to apply. 

Recommendation 8 of the CLAC report is similar to recommendation 7 but applies in the context of the urgent procedure. Amendment 6 is tabled in direct response to this and requires the Welsh Ministers to lay a statement alongside draft regulations that are to be subject to the urgent procedure. The statement must outline the circumstances that have led to the urgency and the reasons why the Welsh Ministers consider the urgent procedure should apply. 

However, both recommendations 7 and 8 of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee's report go further in setting out the information that should be contained in explanatory memoranda. I have considered this carefully and am unable to accept that a requirement for this information should be provided for on the face of the Bill. There are two reasons for my opposition to this. Firstly, there has been no history of issues in terms of the quality or scope of explanatory memoranda accompanying subordinate legislation laid before the Assembly. Indeed, the matters cited by CLAC as recommended requirements are matters that are generally contained in explanatory memoranda that accompany all statutory instruments made by the Welsh Ministers. Secondly, taking such a prescriptive approach could inadvertently constrain the ability of Assembly committees to scrutinise explanatory memoranda covering any other matters not listed in this Bill. Committees of the Assembly can scrutinise legislation on whatever issues they consider appropriate, and where they deem it necessary to seek more information from the Welsh Government on any issues arising from their consideration of subordinate legislation. I would not wish for the provision in this Bill to predetermine the information committees must consider.

I note that Simon Thomas's amendment 13 requires the Welsh Ministers to lay a statement before the Assembly explaining why provision is needed if any draft regulations that they lay modify primary legislation. This seems to be an appropriate and proportionate requirement where primary legislation is being modified. 

I therefore ask Members to support amendments 5 and 6 as a positive and practical response to recommendations 7 and 8 in the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee's report, and to support Simon Thomas's amendment 13. Diolch.

Rwy'n falch bod y Gweinidog newydd gadarnhau ei bod hi hefyd yn cefnogi'r gwelliant sydd yn fy enw i, Rhif 13. Pwrpas y gwelliant yma, fel sydd newydd gael ei grybwyll, yw gwneud yn siŵr, os yw Gweinidogion Cymru yn defnyddio eu grymoedd i wneud rheoliadau sydd yn newid deddfwriaeth gynradd—prif ddeddfwriaeth, felly—fod yna ddatganiad yn cael ei wneud yn esbonio pam fod hynny wedi'i wneud gerbron y Cynulliad. Rwy'n meddwl mai dyna'r lleiaf, a dweud y gwir, y gallwch chi ddisgwyl i'r Llywodraeth ei wneud. Rwy'n derbyn rhai o'r pwyntiau cyffredinol eraill ynglŷn â'r mân ddeddfwriaeth, os liciwch chi, roedd y Gweinidog yn eu gwneud, ond byddwn i'n annog, hefyd, y Cynulliad i wneud yn siŵr, os ydym ni'n rhoi'r grymoedd yma i Lywodraeth Cymru, eu bod hwythau'n adrodd yn briodol nôl i ni pan maen nhw'n defnyddio'r grymoedd yna.

I'm pleased that the Minister has confirmed that she too supports the amendment in my name, which is amendment 13. The purpose of this amendment, as has just been mentioned, is to ensure that if Welsh Ministers use their powers to make regulations that changes primary legislation, a statement to the Assembly should be made explaining why that was done before. I think that's the least that one should expect the Government to do. I accept some of the other general points made on the minor legislation that the Minister mentioned, but I would also encourage the Assembly to ensure that if we are to hand these powers to the Welsh Government, they report back appropriately to us when they use those powers.

Arweinydd y tŷ i ymateb i'r ddadl.

Leader of the house to reply to the debate.

Diolch, Llywydd. I do hope that Members will see amendments 5 and 6 as a considered and constructive response by the Welsh Government to the committee report, and I would urge Members to support those recommendations, along with amendment 13, for the reasons that Simon Thomas has stated.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 5? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? Derbynnir gwelliant 5.

The question is that amendment 5 be agreed. Does any Member object? Amendment 5 is agreed.

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34.

Amendment agreed in accordance with Standing Order 17.34.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 13 (Simon Thomas).

Amendment 13 (Simon Thomas) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 13? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? Derbyniwyd gwelliant 13.

The question is that amendment 13 be agreed to. Does any Member object? Amendment 13 is agreed.

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34.

Amendment agreed in accordance with Standing Order 17.34.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 14 (Simon Thomas).

Amendment 14 (Simon Thomas) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 14? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? Derbynnir gwelliant 14.

The question is that amendment 14 be agreed. Does any Member object? Amendment 14 is agreed.

13:50

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34.

Amendment agreed in accordance with Standing Order 17.34.

Arweinydd y tŷ, gwelliant 6.

Leader of the house, amendment 6.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 6 (Mark Drakeford).

Amendment 6 (Mark Drakeford) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 6? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? Derbynnir gwelliant 6.

The question is that amendment 6 be agreed to. Does any Member object? Amendment 6 is agreed. 

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34.

Amendment agreed in accordance with Standing Order 17.34.

Nid yw’n cael ei gynnig. Felly, nid oes pleidlais arno. 

Not moved. Therefore, there is no vote on amendment 15. 

Ni chynigiwyd gwelliant 15 (Simon Thomas). 

Amendment 15 (Simon Thomas) not moved.

A dyma ni'n dod at ddiwedd ystyriaeth Cyfnod 2 o'r Bil Cyfraith sy’n Deillio o’r Undeb Ewropeaidd (Cymru). Rwy’n datgan bod pob adran o’r Bil a phob Atodlen wedi’u derbyn.

And we therefore reach the end of our Stage 2 consideration of the Law Derived from the European Union (Wales) Bill. I declare that all sections and Schedules of the Bill are deemed agreed. 

Barnwyd y cytunwyd ar bob adran o’r Bil.

All sections of the Bill deemed agreed.

Daw hynny, felly, â Chyfnod 2 y Pwyllgor o'r Cynulliad Cyfan i ben. 

Mae Cyfnod 3 yn dechrau ar unwaith, ac atgoffir yr Aelodau mai'r terfyn amser ar gyfer cyflwyno gwelliannau yw 10 o'r gloch heno. Bydd y gwelliannau yn cael eu hystyried yn y Cyfarfod Llawn brynhawn yfory. 

Felly, dyna ddiwedd ar y pwyllgor, a bydd y Cyfarfod Llawn o'r Cynulliad yma yn cychwyn mewn chwarter awr. Fe genir y gloch bum munud cyn cychwyn y cyfarfod hynny. Diolch yn fawr.

That concludes Stage 2 proceedings of the Committee of the Whole Assembly.

Stage 3 begins immediately, and Members are reminded that the deadline for tabling amendments is 10 o'clock this evening. The amendments will be considered in Plenary tomorrow afternoon.

So, that concludes the committee, and the Plenary of this Assembly will begin in a quarter of a hour, and the bell will be rung five minutes before the start of that meeting. Thank you.

Daeth y cyfarfod i ben am 13:51.

The meeting ended at 13:51.

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