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First Minister welcomes Silk report on the future of Welsh devolution
Carwyn Jones said:
"I am grateful to Paul Silk and his team for their detailed and comprehensive report. The force of the report is enhanced by the fact that the Commission, with representatives from all four political parties among its membership, is unanimous in its recommendations.
“I’m delighted that the Welsh Government’s clear vision for a long term constitutional settlement for Wales within a devolved United Kingdom has formed the basis of the Commission’s recommendations to the UK Government. Achieving such a settlement could only strengthen the Union and Wales’s place within it.
“The Commission endorse our view that the Welsh devolution settlement should be enhanced and restructured to a reserved powers model. This will strengthen accountability, and reduce the scope for conflict between the Welsh and UK Governments.
“The report also endorses our view that matters only affecting Wales should be decided in Wales – and that for a clear purpose, to enable the democratically elected devolved institutions to improve the quality of life of people in Wales. The report has struck a workable balance between Wales and London.
“I’m therefore delighted the Commission agrees with us that powers over large scale energy consents and policing should be devolved to Wales.
“Devolving new energy powers to Wales will ensure decisions on developments which affect Wales are made in Wales. This will allow us to maximise the economic potential of renewable energy power generation, as well as enabling locally sensitive decision making.
“Devolving powers over policing, community safety and crime prevention will allow us to strengthen joint working with the public and emergency services already devolved and help reduce offending. New powers over road safety and public transport – including powers over speed and drink driving limits, bus and taxi regulation – will also help us make a real difference to people’s daily lives.
“I’m also very pleased the Commission has rejected the idea of transferring any of the Welsh Government’s existing powers to Westminster.
“It now falls to the Welsh Government, and to all political parties, to use the next few weeks to consider the Commission’s recommendations in detail. I will then be calling for a debate on the report in the Assembly immediately after the Easter Recess.”
The Welsh Government believes the new powers should be devolved to the Assembly by 2020/21, as part of a wider reform of the UK Constitution following the Scottish independence referendum.
The First Minister added:
“Devolution is the settled will of the people of Wales. I want the United Kingdom to flourish, and a devolved Wales to play a dynamic role in it. But for this to happen, the governance of the UK must adapt to the reality of its devolved democracy and the aspirations of its citizens.
“I hope that the Commission’s report will provide us with the foundation on which to build a blueprint for reform which can be supported by a cross-party consensus in the Assembly. This will put us in the strongest possible position to work with the UK Government to turn this vision into reality.”