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Tied up with string

Betsan Powys | 11:51 UK time, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The brown paper package containing the Welsh Language LCO, if you remember (and I have a funny feeling you will) was last seen sitting on the Secretary of State's desk. Paul Murphy told Assembly Members it had been scrutinised by Whitehall departments. Officials here echoed that with private relief that Whitehall departments had all given the LCO the OK.

We'd even heard a whispered date of publication: January 26.

But it looks as though the new year has brought with it new - and fundamental - problems with the LCO which, according to a document that arrived in another brown paper package this morning, "makes the January 26 deadline look increasingly difficult to achieve".

Why?

More tomorrow morning when we've had time to scrutinise the contents of the package properly but let's whet your appetite with this: conjure up an image of Ministers of the Crown facing "criminal sanctions" for non-compliance on issues surrounding the Welsh language. Add a few extra issues that "remain alive to the Secretary of State" and remain "to be resolved at the political level".

And you'll see why January 26 looks so difficult achieve and the LCO looks tied up with red string ... or should that be red boxes?

I'm off for a curry.

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