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Brexit could provide the catalyst to finally create a Committee for the UK’s Parliaments and Assemblies – Llywydd, Elin Jones AM

03/07/2017

​UK parliaments should come together and discuss how they could work more closely in light of Brexit, the Llywydd for the National Assembly for Wales, Elin Jones AM, has said. 

Speaking to the National Assembly for Wales’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee as part of its Stronger Voice for Wales inquiry, the Llywydd also said that the process which allows the Assembly’s view to be taken into account where the UK Parliament looks to legislate on devolved issues must be strengthened.

Elin Jones AM said:

“Over many years there have been a number of commissions and inquiries which have concluded that there needs to be a more formal process for providing a forum for discussion between the parliaments of the UK.  The creation of a formal forum for all four UK legislatures to meet was recommended by the House of Commons Justice Committee in 2009, by the Calman Commission in the same year, and by the Strathclyde and Silk commissions in 2014. The need for greater inter-parliamentary cooperation was also highlighted in the Scottish Parliament’s Devolution Committee report and the House of Lords Constitution Committee’s report in 2015.

Britain’s exit from the European Union should be seen as an opportunity to make this happen and, with the support of Assembly Members, I would be happy to try to facilitate discussions between the legislative bodies in order to bring about progress. 

“It is time for the parliaments to come together to discuss how we can work more closely. If Brexit leads to governments working together to make decisions for the UK, then it is vital that these decision-making processes are transparent to allow for effective scrutiny. 

“The legislative consent procedures, through which devolved parliaments agree that Westminster may legislate on devolved issues, should be strengthened to reflect their significance in shaping Brexit related legislation. The Assembly must be given adequate time to scrutinise proposals thoroughly and its decisions on consent must be respected”.

 

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