Select Committee on Constitution Second Report


110. Although there has only been limited discussion of non-executive relations in this report so far, such broader issues have been part of the inquiry's concerns from the outset (hence its title: inter-institutional relations) and a significant focus of its inquiry. We are aware that, while intergovernmental relations have been the subject of considerable academic interest since 1997, much less attention has been paid to the relations of the UK Parliament and the devolved Parliament and assemblies. Our consideration of these matters has been assisted not just by having had written evidence from the Leaders of both Houses and the Clerk of the Commons at Westminster, but also oral evidence from the Presiding Officers or Speakers of each of the devolved assemblies and legislatures and the Chairmen of the Commons Select Committees on Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Affairs. On the specific subject of inter-parliamentary relations, we have been assisted by a paper submitted by Mr Barry Winetrobe.[91]


111. We have been surprised by the limited extent of arrangements for the scrutiny of intergovernmental relations, not just at Westminster, but also in the devolved assemblies and legislatures. We would have expected this to be an area of some interest to the devolved bodies, given their concerns with ensuring that government is carried on in a more open fashion. However, we have found that scrutiny in each body is limited, and that it arises largely in one of two settings. One is scrutiny of the devolved administration's policy and activities in particular functional areas, such as agriculture. The other is questions to the devolved administration's Minister responsible for intergovernmental relations generally (usually the First Minister), which often means that the intergovernmental aspect is a peg on which opposition parties hang broader criticisms of the parties in office.[92]

112. Part of the reason for the limited amount of scrutiny taking place in the devolved assemblies and legislatures is that, although each body does a great deal of its work through committees, in Scotland and Wales no committee includes intergovernmental relations as such in its remit. While the Northern Ireland Assembly has a Committee of the Centre to examine the work of the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister, its remit does not extend to most aspects of intergovernmental relations.[93] Scrutiny therefore takes place in most cases in the context of broader inquiries into particular issues or areas of policy which involve interaction between the devolved administration and the UK Government.[94] This means that scrutiny of intergovernmental affairs is not carried out in a sustained or systematic manner. This has parallels elsewhere.[95]

113. Within Westminster the situation is somewhat different. The Commons Select Committees on Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Affairs remain in being and include among their remits the role of the appropriate Secretary of State and his or her office. The chairmen of the select committees reported that they had received considerable co-operation from Ministers in the devolved administrations and the devolved assemblies and legislatures when inquiries they were undertaking involved both devolved matters and those retained at UK level.[96] Given the important roles these Ministers and offices still play in intergovernmental relations (as discussed in Chapter Two), this means that scrutiny at Westminster of how intergovernmental affairs are dealt with is more systematic. The committees are also concerned with the effect of UK government policies in the relevant devolved area, and this means that their focus on intergovernmental matters is broader than it might be. The chief shortcoming with this approach is that it is fragmented - the Scottish Affairs Committee is interested in relations between the UK Government and Scotland, but not with broader issues arising from Welsh-UK relations having an effect on Scotland. Thus we were told that the Welsh Affairs Select Committee intends to consider how UK legislation affecting Wales is made, but no similar inquiry into UK legislation for Scotland appears to be envisaged by the Scottish Affairs Select Committee.[97] The way each Committee approaches its own work understandably gives priority to issues relating to the appropriate area. Consequently, no Commons Committee appears, at present, to take a general overview of intergovernmental relations.

114. Grand Committees also fail to take on such a role. There are Grand Committees for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Scottish Grand Committee comprises all 72 MPs returned for Scottish constituencies. The Welsh Grand Committee comprises all MPs returned for Welsh seats plus five other members of the House nominated by the Committee of Selection. The Northern Ireland Grand Committee comprises all MPs returned from Northern Ireland plus 25 other members of the House nominated by the Committee of Selection. Each Committee can consider certain matters referred to it and can engage in discussion and put questions to ministers. Bills affecting the area covered by a Committee may be referred to the Committee for a debate on the principle of the measure. However, following devolution and the introduction of debates in Westminster Hall, the Procedure Committee of the House of Commons recommended that Grand Committees be suspended for the period of the Westminster Hall experiment. The Government decided that it was too soon to take such a step. The Committees thus remain in existence but they do not figure as significant bodies in discussing issues affecting the devolved areas of the United Kingdom and, by their nature, cannot assume a role examining multi-lateral inter-institutional relations in the UK.

115. In the House of Lords, the only committee which has a remit in this area is our own. The House has no committees for the devolved areas. Our interest in this matter is demonstrated by our undertaking the present inquiry.

116. We consider that this is an area that requires more systematic and regular scrutiny than at present. Such scrutiny need not be constant, and there may be occasions for urgent or ad hoc inquiries into particular issues.

117. We recommend that a review of intergovernmental relations, looking both at the UK's institutional arrangements for intergovernmental relations and the UK Government's conduct of such relations, be conducted at least once during every Parliament - or at least once every five years. We consider that this would be best undertaken by a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament.

118. It is not for us to criticise how the devolved legislatures and assemblies go about their business. However, we are surprised that a matter of such importance does not attract greater or more rigorous scrutiny. We therefore suggest that the devolved legislatures and assemblies might wish to consider introducing more systematic ways of scrutinising what their administrations do.


119. We heard a good deal of evidence about the ways in which Westminster legislates for functions in Wales. We note that this is the subject of a forthcoming inquiry by the House of Commons Select Committee on Welsh Affairs, and will limit ourselves in our comments to the constitutional issues arising from the detailed evidence we received.

120. The arrangements for Welsh devolution mean that the National Assembly continues to rely heavily on Westminster. The National Assembly derives its powers either from functions under existing Westminster statutes transferred to it under Transfer of Functions Orders made under section 22 of the Government of Wales Act 1998, or by powers conferred on the National Assembly under subsequent Westminster Acts. As a consequence, legislation made at Westminster has a major effect on what the National Assembly can do and how it can do it. These arrangements were described to us as unsatisfactory at the outset, and the evidence we heard suggests that their working has been more cumbersome than was envisaged by the Assembly's designers.[98] We were therefore concerned by the evidence of Professor Patchett, suggesting as it does that there are serious weaknesses in a host of areas including:

(a) the selection of bills affecting Wales which will be considered at Westminster;

(b) the policy options dealt with in those bills;

(c) the structure of the legislative scheme followed in such a bill; and

(d) amendments made to bills by the Government while they are before Parliament.[99]

121. Further problems appear to arise with the patchwork pattern formed by the National Assembly's powers and the difficulties that arise if one wishes to identify what the Assembly may do.[100] These are themselves aggravated by the wide variations in the powers new Westminster legislation confers on the National Assembly.[101] We note Professor Patchett's comparison of the situation to "a jigsaw of constantly changing pieces, none of which has straight edges", a view with which we agree in the light of other evidence we have heard.[102]

122. This problem is compounded by the very limited access the National Assembly has to Parliamentary time for Wales-only legislation. While this was described to us by the First Minister as constituting a 500% improvement on the situation before devolution, it clearly is still very problematic.[103] While we understand the political circumstances that have led to Wales-only legislation being split, so that parts appear in a bill dealing with a variety of other matters for both England and Wales in one session while others appear in a Wales-only bill the following session, we do not find this to be a commendable or sensible practice.[104] It has led to further confusion in the National Assembly's functions, since the relevant powers are scattered over two pieces of legislation not one. It also makes it much harder for legislators at Westminster to understand what the effect is of bills before Parliament, because they only tell part of the story - and part of that story may have yet to be decided.

123. We are particularly concerned by the unstructured way in which the process of liaison over legislation operates. Liaison is unsystematic, almost random, highly opaque, and hard for lay people, Westminster legislators or Assembly Members to follow. It also affords only limited opportunities for the National Assembly's views to be heard in connection with bills affecting the Assembly. Moreover, such opportunities as exist to influence legislation are exercised behind the scenes and are only available to Ministers and the Welsh Assembly Government, not the Assembly as a whole. It appears to us that Wales figures in such arrangements largely as an afterthought appended to a process driven by the UK Government's concerns and priorities rather than those of Wales in general or the National Assembly.[105] This might be mitigated if there were effective mechanisms for Welsh views to be considered by the involvement of Welsh MPs, but these do not exist either. Neither the Welsh Affairs Select Committee nor the Welsh Grand Committee in the Commons plays a direct role in considering legislation affecting matters devolved to the National Assembly. Such bodies could not act as surrogates for the Assembly but could serve to provide a channel for Welsh concerns to be heard directly in the legislative process.

124. It appears to us that a number of steps could be taken to improve Westminster legislation affecting the National Assembly. We therefore recommend:

(a) that greater consistency be introduced into the process by which Westminster legislates for Wales. It seems to us that the Principles adopted by the Assembly Review of Procedure, following recommendations made by Professor Richard Rawlings (see Box 5) establish a very useful starting point for bringing a greater measure of consistency to legislation;

(b) that the Explanatory Memorandum for any bill affecting the functions of the National Assembly (or not affecting the Assembly's functions directly, but affecting areas of policy in which the Assembly has responsibilities in Wales) include a section explaining briefly how the bill affects the Assembly and its functions. Such a section should also explain how the bill complies with the Principles adopted by the Assembly Review of Procedure;

(c) that further steps be taken within Parliament to improve the consideration of legislation specifically applying in Wales, whether as a distinct Wales-bill or Wales-only parts of bills applying in England and Wales. One way to do this would be for the Welsh Affairs Select Committee to carry out inquiries into such bills, for which it might wish to take evidence in Wales from affected interests including the various parties represented in the National Assembly. Another would be to make greater use of the Welsh Grand Committee, possibly for the Committee stage of bills;[106] and

(d) that further thought be given to how Members of the National Assembly can be afforded the opportunity to consider Westminster legislation that will affect the Assembly and its functions. Such an opportunity needs to take account not only of the needs of the UK Government and MPs and Peers at Westminster, but also the different ways of working and timescales applying to the National Assembly. The trend toward publishing bills in draft is especially welcome and will, we believe, be especially helpful in this context.
Box 5

Principles to be Adopted in Government Bills Affecting the National Assembly for Wales

1. The Assembly should acquire any and all new powers in a Bill where these relate to its existing responsibilities.

2. Bills should only give a UK Minister powers which cover Wales if it is intended that the policy concerned is to be conducted on a single England and Wales/GB/UK basis.

3. Bills should not confer functions specifically on the Secretary of State for Wales. Where functions need to be exercised separately in Wales, they should be conferred on the Assembly.

4. A Bill should not reduce the Assembly's functions by giving concurrent functions to a UK Minister, imposing a requirement on the Assembly to act jointly or with UK Government/Parliamentary consent, or dealing with matters which were previously the subject of Assembly subordinate legislation.

5. Where a Bill gives the Assembly new functions, this should be in broad enough terms to allow the Assembly to develop its own policies flexibly. This may mean, where appropriate, giving the Assembly "enabling" subordinate legislative powers, different from those given to a Minister for exercise in England, and/or which proceed by reference to the subject-matter of the Bill.

6. It should be permissible for a Bill to give the Assembly so-called "Henry VIII" powers (i.e. powers to amend primary legislation by subordinate legislation, or apply it differently) for defined purposes, the test being whether the particular powers are justified for the purpose of the effective implementation of the relevant policy. Where such powers are to be vested in a UK Minister for exercise in England, they should be vested in the Assembly for exercise in Wales.

7. Assembly to have power to bring into force (or "commence") all Bills or parts of Bills which relate to its responsibilities. Where the Minister is to have commencement powers in respect of England the Assembly should have the same powers in respect of Wales.

(Assembly Review of Procedure Final Report, Annex v; submitted to us in the Annex to the Memorandum by Lord Elis-Thomas AM; evidence volume pp. 255-56.)

125. The problems arising over Westminster legislation cause us to doubt whether the form executive devolution has taken in Wales is sustainable in the long term. The difficulties set out above are one reason. Underlying that, however, is the reliance of the Welsh arrangements on mutually sympathetic administrations in London and Cardiff. We find it hard to see how such arrangements could work satisfactorily if there were major political differences between the two governments. We heard a good deal of evidence suggesting that the conferring on the National Assembly (or a successor body) of primary legislative powers comparable to those in Scotland would resolve many of the difficulties discussed above. That is a matter presently being considered by a Commission established by the National Assembly under the chairmanship of Lord Richard.[107] It is beyond the scope of our present inquiry to consider that matter further, but we note that this issue is likely to return to the agenda in due course.


126. We also heard much evidence about the way Westminster continues to legislate for devolved matters in Scotland. As we have noted, the principles governing this were first stated by Lord Sewel in the Lords Second Reading debate on the Scotland Bill, and are now set out in the Memorandum of Understanding. Agreement to Westminster legislating for Scotland is given, as described above (Box 3), in Sewel motions.

127. Professor Page's evidence to us emphasised that Westminster legislation on devolved matters was expected to be rare, but has in fact turned out to be common.[108] To the end of June 2002, there had been 34 Sewel motions.[109] Some bills have been the subject of more than one Sewel motion, while other motions have been passed for bills which have failed to complete their passage at Westminster.[110] Professor Page's explanation for the frequency of legislation emphasised pulls toward uniformity across the UK despite the existence of a Scottish Parliament. These arose from a variety of factors, including electoral expectations, the administration of policies by UK bodies, avoiding 'regulatory arbitrage', applying EU or international law, or simply seeing no good reason why the law should differ between Scotland and other parts of the UK.[111] Professor Page also highlighted reasons why such legislation may be attractive to the Scottish Executive, including the reliance on the UK Government to initiate reforms, avoiding disruption to the Executive's legislative programme for the Scottish Parliament, and avoiding any risk of legal uncertainty about the validity of Scottish legislation.[112]

128. From the point of view of the Executive, we note that the convention offers significant benefits - in particular, enabling legislation to apply to Scotland without having to find legislative time for it.[113]

129. A number of aspects of the operation of the Sewel convention cause us concern. One of these is the nature of the consent the Scottish Parliament gives when it assents to a Sewel motion put before it. It appears to us that this is very often in the nature of a blanket permission - a 'blank cheque' - for the Westminster legislation. If the matter were the subject of legislation before the Scottish Parliament, the Parliament would have several opportunities to consider the bill and propose amendments. When the matter is dealt with at Westminster, the Scottish Parliament receives only the one opportunity to consider the matter. It cannot propose amendments or, it appears, make its consent conditional on desired changes being made to the UK bill. It also gets no opportunity to consider the UK bill again, even if that has been the subject of extensive amendments. (The only circumstances in which the bill will return to the Parliament is if further amendments are made extending to Scotland provisions which did not apply there earlier, as with the Adoption and Children Bill.[114]) From the point of view of the Scottish Parliament there appears to us to be a loss of control over legislation affecting devolved matters when that is made at Westminster, compared with the mechanisms that apply in the Scottish Parliament. The idea that amendments affecting devolved matters should be subject to a 'scrutiny reserve' in a way similar to EU measures, and so require further approval by the Scottish Parliament was put to us by Professor Page, and is one that interests us.[115]

130. Second, we find it strange that an issue which is fundamentally about co-operation between legislatures has turned in practice into co-operation between executives. The convention itself states that it is for the UK Government to determine whether an approach should be made to the Scottish Executive, and for the Executive to signal whether that consent has been given. That appears to us to be inappropriate.

131. While the UK Government may have a view about whether a Bill affects devolved matters or not, and what action should be taken as a result, we recommend that such communication should be between the UK Parliament and Scottish Parliament, not mediated by the executives at each end.

132. Making such communication a parliamentary and not a government matter would involve considerable changes. Whether those changes should be made and what they should be are of course matters for the Scottish Parliament as well as the UK Parliament to determine. The Committee consider that these would include ensuring that the UK Parliament had access to advice so that it could determine whether a bill affected devolved matters or not. They would also include the establishment of a formal arrangement between the UK Parliament and Scottish Parliament to deal with procedural issues arising from such consent, and enabling the Scottish Parliament more routinely to express its views on amendments made during a bill's passage at Westminster. Such changes would of course also require the Scottish Parliament to make changes to its procedures as well, and improving procedures will require a shared will for the two parliaments to take control of this matter. However, in the interests of promoting a proper separation between the executive and the legislative functions, we think that should be undertaken.

133. Third, we note that the Sewel motion mechanism does not appear to operate in the Northern Ireland Assembly. There are have been only two votes on Westminster legislation affecting devolved matters. There is no formal exchange of information about Westminster legislation with the Northern Ireland Executive, and a flow of information that rests on the fact that the Speaker of the Assembly is a member of this House and receives Hansard as a matter of course.[116]

134. While it is of course a matter for the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive to deal with themselves, we consider it would be advantageous to the UK Parliament as well as the Assembly for there to be a proper procedure to deal with Sewel motions where a Westminster bill affects devolved matters in Northern Ireland.


135. In attempting to understand what links exist between the UK Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly, we have been greatly assisted by a paper written for us by Mr Barry Winetrobe.[117] It is clear to us from that paper, and the evidence we heard on the subject, that this aspect of devolution is one that has been relatively neglected hitherto.

136. However, we are pleased to note the assistance provided to the devolved assemblies and legislatures by Westminster in their early days, particularly on the technical level and in seconding staff to help to establish the new institutions.[118]

137. We find the neglect of inter-parliamentary relations regrettable. It appears to us that there are lessons that Westminster may learn from practices in the devolved assemblies and legislatures (some of which are noted below). Further contact between the various bodies will help ensure that each is aware of novel practices which might beneficially be adopted by other institutions.

138. We note that one of the forums used for inter-parliamentary discussions is the British-Irish Inter-parliamentary Body, but that this has caused some concerns on the part of the Republic of Ireland as it involves both legislatures of both sovereign and non-sovereign entities.[119] We note this problem, as well as the limited involvement of Northern Ireland Unionists in that body. In any case, we do not consider that such a body is necessarily the proper forum for meetings of parliamentarians from bodies within the United Kingdom. We think it would be advantageous for there to be meetings of members of both Houses at Westminster together with Members of the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly on a periodic basis, without using an existing but not entirely appropriate body for the purpose.

139. We should emphasise our support for the convention by which questions at Westminster about devolved matters are treated as out of order. For Westminster to do otherwise would be to undermine the spirit of devolution, and the authority of the devolved assembly or legislature to scrutinise the actions of the executive accountable to that body.

140. However, there are areas where it appears to us that it would be advantageous for Westminster and one or more devolved assembly or legislature to be able to hold a joint inquiry into particular matters which span both the functions of the devolved body and those reserved to the UK level. The Leader of the House of Commons pointed out that such a hearing would need to be constituted as an informal not a formal hearing, and that problems of privilege would arise in connection with it.[120] Whether for these reasons or others, we note that so far no such joint hearing has taken place at all, although there have been instances where UK Ministers have appeared before committees of devolved assemblies and legislatures and devolved administration Ministers have appeared before Westminster committees.

141. We think that such joint inquiries could usefully be carried out on occasion, and look forward to seeing that happen.

142. In addition to other concerns, we note the value attached by all three Presiding Officers or Speakers of the devolved assemblies and legislatures to membership of the House of Lords. This is clearly valued highly by them, as a connection to a broader range of parliamentary expertise, as a source of information about parliamentary matters, and as a setting in which to meet each other informally.[121] They were also at pains to note that they would not speak at Westminster on matters which were within the scope of the body over which they presided and which might therefore be a source of controversy there.[122] We also note that two of the present holders of those offices (Lord Steel of Aikwood and Lord Alderdice) are to stand down from their respective bodies at the elections scheduled for May 2003.

143. The value the present presiding officers attach to such links suggests to us that it would be advantageous to the presiding officers and the devolved bodies if, in future, the holder of the posts were to be members of the House of Lords or, if not, at least for some alternative arrangements to be made to enable them to share their concerns and experience not only among themselves but also with parliamentarians at Westminster.


144. As part of our inquiry, we were interested to see if lessons could be learned at Westminster from the experiences of the devolved assemblies and legislatures. There are several distinct features of procedures and structures, but two struck us as having particular salience. The first, particularly used in Scotland, is that of pre-legislative scrutiny. This practice is familiar in Westminster and is increasingly used. The difference is that, in Scotland, it is an established and integral part of legislation. At Stage 1, each bill is committed to one of the Parliament's Committees for consideration, before the matter proceeds to the floor of the Parliament itself. We consider that this might be a useful way of ensuring that the principle and approach of all bills is carefully considered before the bill starts its more formal progress. Apart from anything else, this means that problems in bills can be rectified before all involved are committed to partisan positions.

145. We welcome the greater use of pre-legislative scrutiny at Westminster and recommend, in this context, that the approach to legislation adopted in the Scottish Parliament be the subject of further consideration.

146. The second feature, found in all three assemblies and legislatures, is the business committee. This meets regularly (once or twice a week) while the body is in session to discuss forthcoming business and arrange the timetable. It is usually chaired by the presiding officer or his deputy, and includes the Minister for Parliament or Assembly Business (in Scotland and Wales respectively), and the business managers (whips) of the other party groups, with the clerk and other officials in attendance. The business Committee is therefore both more formal and more open than the "usual channels" as they operate at Westminster. The Committee helps to develop a consensus about the conduct of business in the chamber, and ensures that the timetable for business is more clearly determined in advance. Again, it is a procedure that is to be found in other legislatures in Western Europe and has been variously proposed for adoption in Westminster.[123] It seems to us that the use of business committees has a great deal to commend it, injecting a greater degree of transparency than exists in the current arrangements at Westminster and transferring some degree of control from the executive to the legislature. Their use does not prevent a government from getting its business, but it does ensure greater openness and time for the proper scrutiny of government.

147. We recommend that the use of business committees at Westminster be considered further in the light of the experience of the devolved bodies.

148. Another feature of the devolved parliaments and assemblies is the extent to which they are open to the media and the public. The Welsh Assembly has also introduced excellent bi-lingual arrangements. Again, these features are not unique to them. Westminster is also moving in the direction of being more open to the media and members of the public. Both Houses have dedicated information officers. The media have greater freedom now in the Palace of Westminster and there are already changes, such as a dedicated Visitors' Centre, designed to enable the public to see what Parliament does. We note, though, that the resources of both Houses for the dissemination of information - in effect, for public relations - pale beside those enjoyed by the Scottish Parliament.

91   See Appendix 5 to this report. Back

92   See the Memorandum submitted by Lord Steel of Aikwood (Sir David Steel MSP, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament), evidence volume p. 195, para. 3; the Memorandum submitted by Lord Elis-Thomas AM (Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales), evidence volume p. 252, para. 6, or the evidence of Lord Alderdice MLA (Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly), 10 June 2002, Q. 1239. See also evidence of Lord Elis-Thomas AM, 27 May 2002, QQ 916-18.  Back

93   Memorandum submitted by the Committee of the Centre, Northern Ireland Assembly, paras 1.3 and 2.1; evidence volume, p. 432.  Back

94   See for example the memorandum submitted by the Committee for Social Development, Northern Ireland Assembly; evidence volume, pp. 434-36.  Back

95   See memorandum submitted by Mr G. Horgan, evidence volume pp. 416-19, paras 18-22.  Back

96   Evidence of Mrs I. Adams JP MP, Mr M. Jones MP and Mr M. Mates MP, 3 July 2002, Q. 1358. See also the memorandum submitted by Mrs Adams, paras 1-6 (evidence volume, p. 373) and that submitted by Mr Mates, paras 18-19 (Evidence volume, p. 376).  Back

97   Evidence of Mr M. Jones MP, 3 July 2002, Q. 1358.  Back

98   Evidence of Mr J. Osmond, 27 May 2002, Q. 789, and Dr J. Marek, 27 May 2002, Q. 920. Back

99   See Memorandum by Professor K. Patchett, evidence volume, pp. 285-92; evidence of Professor Patchett, 28 May 2002, QQ 1054-85; supplementary memorandum by Professor Patchett, evidence volume, pp. 299-305.  Back

100   See the memoranda submitted by Professor Patchett cited above and his oral evidence, especially QQ 1065 and 1084. Back

101   See evidence of Professor Patchett, 28 May 2002, especially QQ 1054-56 and Q. 1079; evidence of Lord Elis-Thomas, 27 May 2002, Q. 919.  Back

102   Evidence of Professor Patchett, 28 May 2002, Q. 1055. See also evidence of Professor R. Hazell, 10 July 2002, QQ 1409-11.  Back

103   Evidence of the Rt Hon. Rhodri Morgan AM, 27 May 2002, Q. 824.  Back

104   We were told that this has occurred in relation to the Children's Commissioner for Wales and to the restructuring of the NHS in Wales; evidence of Mr J. Osmond, 27 May 2002, QQ 791-92 evidence of Rt Hon R. Morgan AM, 27 May 2002, QQ 824-25, QQ 839-50.  Back

105   Dr John Marek AM, Deputy Presiding Officer of the National Assembly, suggested this was also a problem with secondary legislation: 27 May 2002, Q. 929.  Back

106   We appreciate that there would need to be some consideration given to the political composition of the Grand Committee if such a function were to be vested in it. Back

107   See Commission on the Powers and Electoral Arrangements of the National Assembly for Wales, The Powers of the National Assembly for Wales: Issues and questions for consultation, November 2002. The Commission is charged with producing an independent report by the end of 2003. Back

108   See Memorandum by Professor Alan Page, para 3, evidence volume, p. 184.  Back

109   Supplementary memorandum by the Scottish Executive; evidence volume, p. 138.  Back

110   The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and the Adoption and Children Bill and Police Reform Bill presently before Parliament have had more than one Sewel motion. In the 2000-01 session, the Adoption and Children Bill failed, as did the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Bill. See Supplementary memorandum by the Scottish Executive, evidence volume, p. 138.  Back

111   Memorandum by Professor Page, paras 4-8; evidence volume, p. 184.  Back

112   Memorandum by Professor Page, paras 10-13; evidence volume, p. 185. Back

113   See evidence of Ms P. Ferguson, 15 May 2002, para. 351.  Back

114   Evidence of Ms P. Ferguson MSP, 15 May 2002, Q. 353.  Back

115   Evidence of Professor A. Page, 17 May 2002, Q. 696.  Back

116   Evidence of Lord Alderdice MLA, 10 June 2002, Q. 1253.  Back

117   B.K. Winetrobe Inter-parliamentary Relations in a Devolved UK: an initial overview. Back

118   See Memorandum by Sir William McKay KCB, evidence volume pp. 412-16; see also evidence of Lord Steel of Aikwood MSP and Mr Paul Grice, 17 May 2002, QQ 748-50, evidence of Mr Paul Silk, 27 May 2002, QQ 940-42; and evidence of Lord Alderdice MLA, 10 June 2002, QQ 1234-35;  Back

119   Evidence of Lord Alderdice MLA 10 June 2002, QQ 1244-45.  Back

120   Memorandum by the Rt Hon. R. Cook MP, evidence volume pp. 407-12, paragraphs 11-21. See also report of House of Commons Procedure Committee session 1998-99, Fourth report The Procedural Consequences of Devolution, paragraphs 41-45.  Back

121   Joint supplementary memorandum by the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales; evidence volume, p. 356.  Back

122   Evidence of Lord Steel of Aikwood MSP, 17 May 2002, QQ 772-74; evidence of Lord Elis-Thomas AM, 27 May 2002, QQ 933-35; evidence of Lord Alderdice, 10 June 2002, QQ 1236-37.  Back

123   We also note with interest that the success of the Business Committee in the Northern Ireland Assembly has attracted interest from other countries, especially Canada. See R. Wilford and R. Wilson, A Democratic Design? The political style of the Northern Ireland Assembly, London: The Constitution Unit, 2001, p. 59. Back

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