Draft Wales Bill

The draft Wales Bill was published by the UK Government on 20 October 2015. The publication of a draft Bill provided an opportunity to scrutinise the proposals before formal introduction of the Bill into the UK Parliament.

The purpose of the inquiry by the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee into the UK Government’s Draft Wales Bill was to examine, in particular:

  • the extent to which the proposed reserved powers model of legislative competence is clear, coherent and workable, and will provide a durable framework within which the Assembly can legislate;
  • the tests for determining competence as set out in clause 3 and Schedules 1 and 2 to the draft Bill;
  • the extent to which the proposed new framework changes the breadth of the Assembly’s competence to make laws;
  • the proposed legislative powers available in specific subject areas as a consequence of Schedules 1 and 2 to the draft Bill;
  • the proposals for the Assembly to gain powers over its functioning (for example in relation to its name, number of Assembly Members and electoral powers for the Assembly);
  • the additional powers to be given to the Welsh Ministers, especially to make subordinate legislation;
  • the proposals included in relation to the permanence of the Assembly and Welsh Government;
  • the proposals included in relation to the convention about the UK Parliament legislating on devolved matters;
  • the implications of the draft Bill for the constitution of the United Kingdom; and
  • any other matter related to the legislative powers needed for effective law-making by the Assembly.



The Committee held a public consultation to gather evidence on this topic.

The evidence includes correspondence from Committees of the National Assembly for Wales, who considered how it may impact on the subject areas which they are responsible for scrutinising.

The Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee also took evidence in formal meetings.


Joint, inter-parliamentary scrutiny

The UK Parliament’s Welsh Affairs Select Committee also examined the draft legislation. The two Committees took evidence together in the Senedd on 9 November 2015.



The Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee’s report of its inquiry was published on 4 December 2015.


Read our summary on our inquiry into the Draft Wales Bill.


A plenary debate was held on the Draft Wales Bill report on 13 January 2016. You can watch the debate again on senedd.tv and you can also access the Record of Proceedings.


More information on the Wales Bill is available on the Research Service webpages.


Business type: Pre-Legislative Work (e.g. White Papers)

Status: Report published

First published: 26/10/2015