Skip to site navigation

Press Release: Welsh Devolution: Silk Report Part 2 Welcomed as “Clear Consensus Which Catches Up With Reality”

4 March 2014

The latest Silk proposals are an attempt to make sure that the division of powers between Welsh and UK institution catches up with reality. They represent a clear consensus across the Welsh political parties about what should happen next.

The carefully considered and cautious recommendations have eschewed a number of more radical calls – for the establishment of a separate Welsh legal jurisdiction, and for the devolution of all aspects of the civil or criminal courts, and the civil or criminal law, or of welfare.

The key recommendations are:

  • Devolution of policing to the National Assembly
  • Devolution of responsibility for youth justice, but not the courts or the legal system generally
  • Devolution of planning powers to approve energy projects of up to 350 megawatts, of powers relating to sewerage and the regulation of some aspects of water supply within Wales, and for there to be a Welsh Crown Estate Commissioner.
  • Some further devolution of powers in relation to rail franchising, bus and taxi regulation, and speed limits and drink-driving
  • Appointment of a Welsh member of the BBC Trust (something already in place for Scotland), and control for the Assembly over public funding for S4C
  • An increase in the size of the National Assembly, noting many calls for 80 members but leaving the issue for further consideration.
  • An enhanced approach to the conduct of intergovernmental relations and the machinery for that. The Secretary of State for Wales would also lose his seat in the National Assembly, his right to receive its papers and obligation to present the UK Government’s legislative programme each Parliamentary session.
  • Perhaps most importantly, a move to a ‘reserved powers’ model for the National Assembly’s legislative powers, away from the current ‘conferred powers’ one, along with a removal of the current and problematic protection of pre-devolution powers of UK ministers.

The UK Government should not cherry-pick these proposals, nor should it wait a year to decide what to do, although that is what the Secretary of State seems to intend.

For further information please contact Alan Trench, honorary senior research fellow with the Unit and professor of politics in the University of Ulster. For full analyses see his blog Devolution Matters http://devolutionmatters.wordpress.com/ Contact Alan Trench at devolutionmatters@gmail.com

Notes for Editors

  • The Constitution Unit is an independent and non-partisan research centre based in the Department of Political Science at University College London.

Join the Debate

Blog

Can David Cameron call a second election? How does that fit with the Fixed Term Parliaments Act?

Fri, 22 May 2015 10:00:34 +0000

Robert Hazell outlines how the Fixed Term Parliaments Act restricts the new government from calling a second election. He writes that if Cameron wanted to take a gamble to boost his slender majority, he would have to work within the confines of the Act given the likely complexities of any attempt to repeal it. Now […]

Read more...

The Nineteenth Amendment is a constitutional milestone in Sri Lanka’s ongoing political development

Thu, 21 May 2015 10:00:51 +0000

At the end of April, the Sri Lankan President’s 100-day programme of governance reforms culminated with the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment to reduce the powers of the presidency. Asanga Welikala reviews the progress that has been made since January, and argues that despite difficulties and necessary compromises, the Amendment represents a change for the […]

Read more...

Scotland has voted for the union and for distinctiveness. Delivering both could present acute challenges

Tue, 19 May 2015 09:00:45 +0000

After a dramatic referendum and UK general election, the Scottish remain divided on both independence and on whether to increase tax and public spending, while the English are becoming increasingly vocal in the devolution debate. Jim Gallagher considers the possibilities of a constitutional relationship that will satisfy Scottish aspirations and also be acceptable to the UK as […]

Read more...
Mailing List

Connect with us

RSSFlickr

Footer menu