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Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Sarah Down-Roberts

All times stated are UK

  1. Hwyl fawr

    No motion has been tabled for the Short Debate, so that brings today's proceedings in the Siambr to a close.

    Senedd Live returns on Tuesday 10 December.

  2. Amended motion passed

    The Plaid Cymru motion, as amended by the Welsh Government, is passed.

    There were 26 for, seven abstentions, and 11 against.

  3. 'Devolved institutions to have a formal role in negotiations on international agreements'

    The Welsh Government amendment, moved by Jeremy Miles, is to delete point 3 of the Plaid Cymru motion and replace with:

    Calls for:

    a) The devolved institutions to have a formal role in negotiations on international agreements when devolved competence is engaged, applying at all stages of negotiations and having statutory backing.

    b) A UK-wide constitutional convention to ensure that future constitutional arrangements reflect this and prevent the UK Government over-riding the National Assembly where it is acting within devolved competence.

    Looks forward to the election of a UK Government which is fully committed to safeguarding the NHS in Wales and across the UK.

  4. Misconceived concern?

    Brexit Party leader Mark Reckless says he is unsure whether Plaid Cymru's motion is "a cynical effort to exploit the NHS and scares about a US trade deal in advance of the election or whether it is because of genuine, albeit misconceived, concern about how health market regulation operates in the United States".

    Mark Reckless
  5. 'The outcome of referendums should always be implemented'

    The Conservative amendment, moved by Mark Isherwood, is to delete the entire Plaid Cymru motion and replace with a proposal that the assembly:

    1. Notes that Wales voted to leave the European Union in June 2016.

    2. Believes that the outcome of referendums should always be implemented.

    3. Welcomes the opportunities for Wales which will arise as a result of new free trade agreements post the United Kingdom's departure from the EU.

    4. Recognises that, under the devolved settlement, responsibility for international treaties is a matter for the UK Government.

    5. Acknowledges the assurances provided by the UK Government regarding market access to the NHS in future trade deals.

    Mark Isherwood
  6. 'Veto over trade matters which have the potential to affect devolved fields'

    The topic chosen by Plaid Cymru for their debate is "Brexit and Future Trade".

    Their motion, moved by Delyth Jewell, proposes that the National Assembly for Wales:

    1. Notes that:

    a) the UK is currently due to leave the EU on 31 January 2020;

    b) informal trade negotiations between the UK and US concerning a future trade deal has begun, which reportedly include references to the marketisation of patents/NHS drug pricing;

    c) international treaties are outside the scope of powers of the National Assembly for Wales;

    d) Section 82 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 allows the Secretary of State to direct Welsh Ministers to take any action required for the purposes of giving effect to any international obligation.

    2. Believes that:

    a) Wales’s future would be best served by continued membership of the EU and that a referendum should be held between remain and a credible leave option;

    b) the Welsh NHS should not be forced by the UK Government to open up its market for greater private provision, or have increased drug costs imposed upon it as a result of any international agreement that extends patents and restricts use of generic drugs;

    c) a future trade deal between the UK and the US which included provisions relating to the NHS would be a disaster for the Welsh NHS;

    d) the health care system in the United States has failed to properly regulate the marketing and prescribing of Opioids, and notes that this inadequate regulatory environment has contributed to over 70,000 deaths in the U.Sfrom opioid overdoses in 2018, and this is just one example of the dangers of deregulation that could follow a trade agreement written in the interests of US pharmaceutical companies;

    e) the UK Government should not be able to direct Welsh Ministers to take actions in devolved fields which have the potential to detrimentally affect Welsh public services.

    3. Calls for:

    a) the devolved parliaments of the UK to be given a veto over trade matters which have the potential to affect devolved fields;

    b) Welsh MPs to support the NHS protection bill due to be introduced in Westminster in the new term;

    c) Section 82 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 to be repealed.

  7. Four 'actions' rejected

    Ken Skates, Minister for Economy and Transport, rejects four actions, one of which is that "one Regional Skills Advisory Board (RSAB) should be designated to represent and act as a single-point-of-contact for large national bodies with national skills needs such as the construction industry and Transport for Wales".

    Mr Skates does not accept that one Regional Skills Partnership (RSP) should act as a single-point of-contact for large national bodies, saying "all three RSPs should be engaging with larger national bodies as part of their employer engagement strategies".

    However, he tells AMs that having listened to their contributions this afternoon he undertakes to give further consideration to the committee's recommendations in the new year.

    The response by the Welsh Government can be seen in full here.

  8. Rebranding the partnerships as Regional Skills Advisory Boards

    Committee chair Russell George (Montgomeryshire) presents the report, which has two recommendations and 10 actions.

    The package of actions includes "rebranding the partnerships as Regional Skills Advisory Boards to make their role in the wider skills system clear, and a new focus on demand-side interventions".

    The package also "puts in place a clear strategic outlook and remit for the Boards, whilst improving employer engagement and data gathering and analysis".

  9. Ring-fencing revenue collected by local authorities?

    Hannah Blythyn, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, responds to the report.

    One recommendation is rejected, that the Welsh Government "explores the possibility of ring-fencing revenue collected by local authorities through the council tax premium on empty homes, to be used specifically for housing purposes. The Welsh Government should report back to the Assembly on its findings."

    The minister says that "local authorities are responsible for setting their own revenue budgets, and in turn council tax levels, and for deciding how these resources are used to meet local needs and priorities. They have consistently reinforced their wish to have the maximum flexibility in the use of these resources.

    "However, authorities have been encouraged to use the additional income they receive from council tax premiums to address local housing supply issues."

    Hannah Blythyn
  10. 'Develop a national action plan for tackling empty properties'

    The report is presented by committee chair John Griffiths (Newport East).

    There are 13 recommendations, the first of which is that "the Welsh Government work with local authorities to develop a national action plan for tackling empty properties that sets priorities and targets to be taken forward, taking account of recommendations in this report.

    "This should include specific objectives and targets for implementation. The action plan should be published by October 2020".

    View more on twitter
  11. Background: 27,000 private sector homes empty for more than six months

    As of 1 April 2018 there were around 27,000 long-term empty private sector residential properties in Wales, according to the most recent estimates.

    The number of long-term empty properties in the social housing sector is around 1,400.

  12. Empty properties

    The next debate is on the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee report: Empty Properties.

    empty house
  13. One recommendation rejected

    Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething responds to the report on behalf of the Welsh Government.

    One recommendation is rejected, namely that he Welsh Government "must produce and publish a strategy for extending the Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act 2016 to all settings, including community and district nursing services."

    The reason given for rejection is "that the Act already applies to all settings where nursing care is provided or commissioned in Wales".

    The response from the Welsh Government can be seen in full here.

    Vaughan Gething
  14. 'Crucial role of community nursing'

    Committee chair Dai Lloyd (South Wales West) presents the report, which has 10 recommendations.

    Recommendation 1 is that the Welsh Government "must ensure that the crucial role of community nursing, including children’s community nurses, in the future delivery of healthcare is properly recognised in its workforce planning, nurse recruitment and training".

    Dai Lloyd
  15. Topical Question 2: terror attack in London

    Leanne Wood (Rhondda): What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the threat to Welsh citizens following the terror attack in London last Friday?

    Jane Hutt, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, replies "the Welsh Government has received no intelligence to suggest a direct threat to Welsh citizens, but the UK threat level remains substantial".

    The man who carried out Friday's stabbing attack at London Bridge was a former prisoner convicted of terrorism offences, with ties to Cardiff.

    Usman Khan, 28, was out of prison on licence at the time of the attack, in which a man and a woman were killed and three others were injured.

    Khan was shot dead by officers after members of the public restrained him.

    He was convicted in 2012 after plotting with a group from Stoke-on-Trent, London and Cardiff.

    Usman Khan (fourth from the left), pictured with his accomplices in Roath Park, Cardiff on 7 November 2010
    Image caption: Usman Khan (fourth from the left), pictured with his accomplices in Roath Park, Cardiff on 7 November 2010
  16. Topical Question 1: Tata Steel job losses

    David Rees (Aberavon):Will the Minister provide an update following the announcement by Tata Steel of 1000 job losses in the UK?

    Economy Minister Ken Skates replies "I'm continuing to engage with the company and with trades unions to understand what this means for the business in Wales".

    Tata Steel announced last month it expects to cut the jobs across the UK as part of its restructuring plans.

    Two thirds of the job losses will be management and office-based roles, Tata said.

    In the Netherlands 1,600 positions are also set to go, with 350 others cut elsewhere in the world.

    Port Talbot employs 4,000 workers - nearly half of Tata's UK workforce
    Image caption: Port Talbot employs 4,000 workers - nearly half of Tata's UK workforce
  17. Conservative mantra 'a lie'

    Plaid Cymru's Delyth Jewell says the Conservative mantra of 'Get Brexit Done' is "a lie".

    Mr Miles responds "there is absolutely no prospect of arrangements being put in place by the end of the transition period which we would regard as even remotely acceptable in the context of leaving the European Union".

    Delyth Jewell
  18. Provision of education post-Brexit

    We move on to Questions to the Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles.

    Conservative Suzy Davies asks what discussions has the Counsel General had with the Minister for Education regarding the provision of education post-Brexit.

    She seeks assurance "that EU nationals can continue, or even begin, to teach here as of exit day".

    Mr Miles replies that the assembly has "regulations that effectively, in a no-deal scenario, provide on a unilateral basis the recognition of existing qualifications of EU nationals".

    Jeremy Miles