Devolution

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On 24 October the plenary Joint Ministerial Committee [JMC (P)] of UK, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland leaders met for the first time in two years. The occasion for resurrecting what had become an almost moribund body was to discuss the ‘UK approach’ to Brexit promised by the Prime Minister. The outcome was to set up another joint committee on Brexit to be known as JMC (EN), chaired by David Davis. The devolveds have also been promised a direct line to the Brexit Secretary.
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If Westminster were to assert the view that Brexit falls under foreign affairs and is therefore a reserved matter, the devolved territories would have little legal recourse but, says Michael Keating, doing would re-open the whole question of the nature of the union. 

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The revised Wales Bill has seen UK ministers respond to many of the criticisms of the original draft, say Manon George and Huw Pritchard of the Wales Governance Centre, however there still remain points of contention between Cardiff and London. 
 
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The UK Government's response to criticism of the draft Wales Bill is more of a staging post than a destination, says Richard Wyn Jones. 
 
When he began the process that would lead to the publication in September 2015 of the Draft Wales Bill, the then Secretary of State, Stephen Crabb, spoke in effusive terms about his determination to achieve a devolution settlement for Wales that would last for the foreseeable future.
 
He was far from the first Secretary of State to embrace such an ambition.
 
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  • 20th July 2018

    Richard Parry reviews a fast-evolving situation as the march of time and need to reconcile rhetoric and practicality constrain policy-makers

  • 13th July 2018

    The White Paper published this week talks about the UK Government making ‘sovereign decisions’ to adopt European rules but, as we know from the experience of Norway and Switzerland, this can be an illusory sovereignty when the costs of deviating from the rules is exclusion from the single market or European programmes. CCC Director Professor Michael Keating looks at whether the UK is ready for this kind of deal.

  • 12th July 2018

    Last week the government released its fisheries white paper. While most of the fisheries and Brexit debate centres on quotas and access to waters, there is also an important devolution dimension. Brexit already has profound consequences for the UK’s devolution settlement and fisheries policy is one example of this. So, in addition to communicating its overall vision for post-Brexit fisheries policy, the white paper was also an opportunity for the government to set out how it would see that policy working in the devolved UK.

  • 4th July 2018

    At the same time as Parliament prepares to ‘take back control’ from Brussels, the executive is in fact accruing to itself further control over the legislative process. CCC Fellow Professor Stephen Tierney addresses a number of trends – only some of which are a direct consequence of the unique circumstances of Brexit – which suggest a deeper realignment of institutional power within the constitution and a consequent diminution of Parliament’s legislative power.

  • 27th June 2018

    Faced with a choice between splitting her Cabinet into winners and losers, Theresa May has sought to keep the Brexit crap game going. She does this by avoiding betting on either a hard or soft Brexit. Professor Richard Rose of Strathclyde looks at the high stakes outcomes facing the Prime Minister. .

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