Wales politics

AMs to vote on Wales Bill in January, Welsh Government says

Senedd Image copyright Philip Halling/Geograph

AMs will vote on whether to approve the Wales Bill sometime in January, according to the Welsh Government.

But First Minister Carwyn Jones has not yet confirmed whether he will support the bill - which overhauls devolution.

The Wales Bill promises a simpler constitutional set up, but its detractors say it may reduce the assembly's powers.

The UK government is to hold back the bill's process through Parliament until the vote is considered.

Ministers in London have already made some concessions over the Wales Bill during its passage in the House of Lords.

As well as agreeing to devolving teacher's pay, the government has also agreed to consider giving Wales the power to ban fixed-odds betting terminals.

Negotiations

Mr Jones told AMs, in a document laid in the assembly, that he could not yet confirm whether the Welsh Government will support giving consent to the bill through the vote - known as a legislative consent motion (LCM).

He said he wanted to see the UK government's proposals for report stage - the next stage of the bill's journey through the House of Lords - and the terms of a financial deal between the UK and Welsh governments before he confirmed the Welsh Government's intent.

The Welsh and UK governments are currently negotiating on how Wales' funding would change once AMs begin to use tax raising powers.

It is convention that AMs approve of legislation that affects devolved functions in the assembly through LCMs.

The Wales Office declined to comment, though it said Lord Bourne had told peers that the UK government will not proceed to the third reading stage of the lawmaking process in the Lords - which follows report stage - until the LCM had been considered by the assembly.

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