Draft Wales Bill

The draft Bill is an enabling Bill which changes the basis on which the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales and the powers of Welsh Ministers are defined in the Government of Wales Act 2006, moving from a conferred powers model to a reserved powers model.

The reserved powers model set out in the draft Bill will provide a clearer separation of powers between what is devolved and what is reserved, enabling the Assembly to legislate on any subject except those specifically reserved to the UK Parliament.

The draft Bill also devolves a number of additional subject areas to the Assembly or Welsh
Ministers on which there is political consensus. These include:

     a. A declaration that the Assembly and the Welsh Ministers are considered permanent
parts of the UK's constitutional arrangements, and that the UK Parliament will not
normally legislate in devolved areas without the consent of the Assembly, whilst
retaining the sovereignty to do so.
     b. Devolving responsibility to the Assembly to run its own affairs, including deciding its
     c. Devolving responsibility to the Assembly for ports policy, speed limits, bus
registration, taxi regulation, local government elections, sewerage and energy
consenting up to 350MW (see below for additional detail);
     d. Devolving responsibility to Welsh Ministers for marine licensing and conservation in
the Welsh offshore region; to appoint a member of the OFCOM board and extending
responsibility for building regulations to include excepted energy buildings;
     e. Devolving power over all elements of Assembly elections ; and
     f. Devolving powers over the licensing of onshore oil and gas extraction.

Author: The Secretary of State for Wales

Published:  20/10/15

This item updates DCP section 3

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