Wales Bill - Report (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:30 pm on 14th December 2016.

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Photo of Lord Griffiths of Burry Port Lord Griffiths of Burry Port Labour 7:30 pm, 14th December 2016

My Lords, I will intervene for a short moment, with real apologies for not having been here at earlier stages in these discussions—I fear that I have duties that do not make it possible to be here all that often. I take the definition of the £10 bank very seriously to heart, but that is not the issue for me. I congratulate the Government and the Minister on recognising that there is a problem and bringing forward a government amendment that reflects that. The curious paradox for me is that having recognised there is a problem, on the basis of fixed-odds betting machines as they currently exist, the one area that devolved responsibility does not address is the very part of the problem that creates the discussion in the first place. To have an amendment that provides powers for the Welsh Assembly to look after what happens in the future, when the problem that has generated the debate cannot yield a similar level of control, seems to me a curious paradox. So while thanking the noble and genial Lord the Minister, who has handled things so magnificently in these debates, I just urge him to think about something that is paradoxical but could be tidied up. If retrospective responsibility could be introduced, that would make it a much better amendment from the Government.