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Referendum 2011

National Assembly for Wales: Further powers – the referendum result explained Yes to further powers

Following a referendum on the National Assembly for Wales’s legislative powers held on 03 March 2011, the people of Wales voted in favour of granting the National Assembly for Wales further powers for making laws in Wales.

What the result means

Following a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum, the National Assembly for Wales will now be able to pass laws on all subjects in the 20 devolved areas without first needing the agreement of the UK Parliament. The result of the referendum does not mean that the Assembly can make laws in more areas than before.

There will no longer be a need for negotiation between the governments of the UK and Wales over what law-making powers should or should not be devolved to the Assembly. The ‘yes’ vote also removes the involvement of Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords in scrutinising proposals to give the Assembly the power to make laws. Instead, the responsibility rests on the Welsh Government and the Members of the National Assembly to decide how to use the Assembly’s law-making powers.

Assembly laws will no longer be called Assembly Measures. Proposed laws will now be called Bills, and enacted laws will be called Acts. The Measures made since 2007 will continue to be called Assembly Measures and will continue to have the same legal effect. What will change is that it will not be possible to make any more Measures and new laws made by the Assembly will be called Acts.

Legislative Competence Orders will no longer be necessary, as these were requests to the UK Parliament to allow the Assembly to make laws in new subjects within the 20 devolved areas.

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