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Devolution and Growth Across Britain

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:17 pm on 3rd June 2015.

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Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 2:17 pm, 3rd June 2015

The hon. Gentleman makes an important point, and we need to consider such issues carefully. However, the decision to devolve air passenger duty has been made.

I note that the Opposition Benches have adopted an entirely new look since the last Parliament. The SNP enjoyed unprecedented success, and I congratulate it on earning the trust of so many Scottish voters. However, the SNP should enjoy this honeymoon period, because the hard work is about to begin.

I turn to Wales. We will deliver a clearer, stronger and fairer devolution settlement, implementing in full the St David’s day agreement, led by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales. The Wales Bill will make devolution clearer by introducing a reserved powers model, which is the system already in place for Scotland. It will make Welsh devolution stronger by devolving more powers to Cardiff, especially those covering energy, transport and the environment. We will also agree the precise level of a funding floor for Wales, and the mechanism to deliver it. That will be done with a clear expectation that the Welsh Government will call a referendum on income tax powers.

Northern Ireland does not fall within the scope of this debate as defined by the party opposite. However, we will take forward legislation to give effect to the Stormont House agreement and we look forward to working with colleagues in Belfast to make the devolution agenda benefit all the people of Northern Ireland, including, of course, Northern Ireland’s First Minister, to whom I wish a full and speedy recovery.