On Tuesday the Welsh Government will set out its Legislative Programme for the next 12 months. The Programme will set out the list of bills or new laws the Welsh Government intends to lay before the Assembly for consideration. It sets out the Government’s priorities for legislation and demonstrates how it intends to deliver on its Programme for Government commitments.
The Welsh Government last set out it legislative plans (PDF 136KB)on 28 June 2016. That statement contained proposals for six bills, two on devolved taxes, trade unions, public health, additional learning needs and abolition of the Right to Buy. These bills have or are currently making their way through the Assembly’s Legislative process.
It is expected that the Legislative Programme announced by the Government on Tuesday is likely to be affected by the need to introduce legislation related to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. This could include the need for the Welsh Government to work on UK primary legislation such as the agriculture and fisheries bills announced in the Queen’s Speech, the need for Welsh Government to introduce its own Brexit related primary legislation to the Assembly and the need to pass subordinate legislation to make the body of EU law that will be transferred into UK law by a Repeal Bill or Continuation Bill workable on the day the UK leaves the EU.
In evidence to the External Affairs Committee on the UK Government’s White Paper, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government, Mark Drakeford AM, told the Committee:
I think what we envisage is that we will have to reprioritise the resources that we have, rather than assuming that we will just need more. We’re going to have to redirect some resources from elsewhere to be able to deal with this job of work, because this job of work has to be done, and it has to be done relatively urgently, and it may well have some knock-on effects for the Government’s legislative programme.
Things that we’ve got planned, we may have to adjust in order to be able to release resources to cope with this. Just as, it may well be—as I’m sure you’ll have heard—that the Assembly itself will have to think about how its time may have to be renegotiated in order to be able to carry out the scrutiny functions that the Assembly will have.
You can find further information on the possible implications of a Repeal Bill in our blog posts on the UK Government’s White Paper on Legislating for Brexit and on the Assembly’s External Affairs Committee report on the White Paper.
Article by Nia Moss, National Assembly for Wales Research Service.
This post is also available as a print-friendly PDF: The Welsh Government’s proposals for new laws (PDF, 123KB)