Power to Enter into Concordat

Part of Orders of the Day — Government of Wales Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:45 pm on 25th March 1998.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Ieuan Wyn Jones Mr Ieuan Wyn Jones Plaid Cymru, Ynys Môn 8:45 pm, 25th March 1998

That is my reading of the Bill. If it is not correct, I fail to understand what the assembly's powers in secondary legislation will be. The Secretary of State might wish to settle the argument. A scenario or case study is the best way in which to test the Government's position on concordats. I want to examine the Secretary of State's written answer of 27 February to the hon. Member for Clwyd, West (Mr. Thomas) on the common provisions in concordats. The right hon. Member for Devizes mentioned it in the context of arrangements for liaison on EU and international matters.

In cases such as this, there will have to be a concordat not only between the Welsh assembly and a Whitehall Department, but between the Welsh assembly and two Whitehall Departments. That is important. For example, in regard to the EU, for the relationship to work, there would have to be a concordat between the Welsh assembly and the Department of Trade and Industry and the Foreign Office.

Negotiations on the future of structural funds would fall within the purview of the DTI. Currently, the DTI is the lead Department in such matters. It is the common position put forward by the DTI in the Council of Ministers that carries the day. The Welsh Office has an opportunity to put forward its case, but in the Council of Ministers the vote is delivered by the President of the Board of Trade or another DTI Minister.