The proposed amendment of Schedule 7 to the Government of Wales Act 2006 - Welsh Affairs Committee Contents

5  Conclusion

46. If there is an affirmative vote in the referendum next March, which triggers the devolution of primary legislative competence to the National Assembly for Wales, this will be a significant change from the existing devolution settlement. Schedule 7 to the Government of Wales Act 2006 will be at the heart of that settlement.

47. In the light of the assurances we have received from the Secretary of State, we can recommend that the House approve the Order in readiness for a vote in a referendum on the National Assembly's legislative powers. This should not be interpreted as a judgment by the Committee on the merits or otherwise of a "Yes" vote.

48. If Members were to approve the Order, the House should be fully aware that it is potentially significantly enlarging the legislative competence of the National Assembly should there be a "Yes" vote in the referendum. Should the outcome of the referendum be affirmative, legislative competence should be conferred as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

49. It is unlikely that Schedule 7, as amended by the draft Order, will not need further revision at some point, if the Schedule should come into effect as the basis of the Assembly's legislative powers. Further amendments to it will be likely to be needed to reflect the continuing development of the devolution settlement, and may yet prove necessary to address the issues identified in this report.

50. We note and welcome the Secretary of State's commitment to engage in early consultation about any further proposals to amend Schedule 7, with Parliament and with this Committee in particular. For our part, we intend to continue our role of maintaining oversight of the operation and development of the settlement, on behalf of the House of Commons.

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