Power to Enter into Concordat

Part of Orders of the Day — Government of Wales Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:30 pm on 25th March 1998.

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Photo of Mr Denzil Davies Mr Denzil Davies Labour, Llanelli 9:30 pm, 25th March 1998

To some extent, I am arguing that it is a one-way street. On the one hand there will be a working relationship but, on the other and according to the document, that relationship must not constrain … Whitehall Departments", and, of course, Whitehall will not want to be constrained. Why should it be constrained by the little kid in the next street? Why should Whitehall be constrained by the Welsh assembly? It will have no interest in being constrained by the Welsh assembly; it will carry on in its own way.

We are moving back halfway to the position that existed before there was a Welsh Office. That is a consequence of devolution and I do not criticise it. When there was no Welsh Office, Welsh matters were dealt with in Whitehall Departments. Then, because of the pressure, the Welsh Office was set up. Gradually it built up, and nowßževentuallyßžit has a good working relationship with other Whitehall Departments. At the start, it was difficult.