All Welsh MPs will be given the opportunity to debate the proposed Welsh Language Order from the Welsh Assembly Government at a full meeting of the Welsh Grand Committee, Secretary of State for Wales Peter Hain announced yesterday.
A Welsh Grand Debate on the Welsh Affairs Committee report on the Welsh Language Order, expected for publication in the next fortnight, will be held on Wednesday, July 8, to allow MPs to fully debate the content and scope of the Order and its proposed impact on Wales, particularly Welsh business and industry.
Mr Hain said: “As everyone is aware, I am a strong supporter of the Welsh language and therefore want the Welsh Language Order to be given a high priority and full consideration at Parliament. That is why all Welsh MPs are being given the earliest opportunity to debate the order at a full meeting of the Welsh Grand Committee.
Mr Hain has also requested time for the proposed Order to be debated by all MPs on the floor of the House of Commons - the first time the Welsh Language has been debated there for more than 16 years.
“Nobody disagrees with the significance of this Order. It is important to all people in Wales, Welsh speaking and non-Welsh speaking, businesses, employees and the voluntary sector, that is why we need a full debate in Parliamentary time as soon as is possible so that we do not lose momentum.
“A variety of views have already been expressed by the Welsh public, key public, private and third sector organisations within Wales, including unions, employer organisations and the business community on the proposed impact of the Order, which is the most significant and wide ranging to be considered so far under the 2006 Government of Wales Act.
“During the passage of the Government of Wales Bill I made it clear that important Orders such as this should be considered by all Welsh MPs in the Grand Committee. All Welsh MPs have taken a close interest in the Order and have made various representations on different aspects of the proposals.
“Also, in the circumstances, I think it is only right to give all MPs their say on the Order so that Parliament as a whole can be assured its scope and content has been fully scrutinised. I have therefore asked for time to debate the Order on the floor of the House of Commons, the first time the Welsh language will have been debated there in more than 16 years.”