Elin Jones AM
 Presiding Officer 
 National Assembly for Wales

16 May 2017

Inquiry into the Great Repeal Bill and its implications for Wales

Dear Llywydd,

Further to our discussion of issues relating to Brexit at the Chair’s Forum on 3 April 2017 I am writing to invite you to contribute to our Committee’s inquiry into the Great Repeal Bill and its implications for Wales.

The final shape of the Great Repeal Bill will have significant implications both in terms of the Assembly’s role in the Brexit process and its place in the constitutional order of the United Kingdom.

Whether or not the proposals are taken forward as outlined in the White Paper will depend on the outcome of the UK General Election. Nevertheless, the White Paper offers the Assembly its first opportunity to influence the legislation and, arguably, its best opportunity.

I see two key aspects to this scrutiny:

  1. Devolution: ensuring the Assembly and Welsh Ministers are not prevented from taking an appropriate role in the process; and
  2. Balance of executive power: that an appropriate balance is struck between the powers and pace needed by Welsh Ministers to complete their legislative task with the need for proper Assembly oversight.

I would welcome your views on the Great Repeal White Paper and the UK Government’s broader legislative approach to Brexit. Our terms of reference are as follows:

In the context of the UK Government’s White Paper, to assess whether:

-      the Assembly’s role in the Brexit legislative process, and in scrutinising executive functions, in areas of devolved competence is protected;

-      principles of effective law making are being observed;

-      the Welsh people, stakeholder and organisations have sufficient opportunity to contribute to the legislative processes established by the Bill;

-      the Bill enables the Assembly to exercise appropriate control over delegated powers provided by the Bill; and

-      the Welsh Government’s response is sufficient.

Our Committee is preparing to gather evidence during the first half of the Summer Term, with a view to reporting in early June. Should you wish to respond to this letter, then I would be grateful for a response by Wednesday 24 May 2017.

We are planning to continue our scrutiny of this legislation (and the implications it has throughout and following the Brexit process) should the Great Repeal Bill be introduced later in the year and I will write to you again should the timescales for this become clearer.

Yours sincerely,

David Rees AM
Chair, External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee