UK Government's Wales Bill


The Wales Bill was published by the UK Government on 7 June 2016. Its principal purpose was to amend the Government of Wales Act 2006 to move to a reserved powers model of law-making for the National Assembly for Wales. The Bill received Royal Assent as the Wales Act 2017 on 31 January 2017.

The Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee* agreed to undertake scrutiny of the Bill and to consider and report on any matter relevant to the UK Government’s Wales Bill introduced into the House of Commons on 7 June 2016 and in particular the extent to which: 

(i)           the draft Wales Bill had been amended following pre-legislative scrutiny to contain the following: 

  • the removal of the necessity test or its replacement by a test based on appropriateness;
  • a system for requiring Minister of the Crown consents that reflects the model in the Scotland Act 1998;
  • a significant reduction in the number and extent of specific reservations and restrictions consistent with a mature, effective and accountable legislature;
  • a distinct jurisdiction in which Welsh Acts extend only to Wales;  
  • a system in which Welsh Acts modify criminal and private law as appropriate for reasonable enforcement;
  • a clear commitment that a bilingual consolidation be carried out during the current Parliament.  


(ii)         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 Fourth Assembly’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee reported (PDF, 546KB) on the UK Government’s draft Wales Bill in December 2015.   


Evidence from the Public


The Committee held a public consultation to gather evidence and to hear your views.


On 11 July 2016 the Committee launched a live debate on Loomio. This platform was an opportunity to gather the Committee and stakeholders together to discuss, debate and share ideas on the Bill as it progressed through the UK Parliament.


The Committee’s report


The Committee reported (PDF, 1MB) in October 2016. A supplementary booklet (PDF, 11MB) containing all consultation responses was also made available. You can also read a summary version of our report.


The Committee met with the House of Lords Constitution Committee on 12 October to discuss the Bill.


Plenary debate


The Plenary debate on the Committee’s report took place on Wednesday 19 October. You can watch the debate again on and you can also access the Record of Proceedings.


Legislative Consent Memorandum


The Welsh Government tabled a Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Wales Bill [PDF, 240KB] and accompanying written statement [PDF, 44KB] on Monday 21 November 2016. The Legislative Consent Memorandum was referred to the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee by the Business Committee on 22 November 2016 with a reporting deadline of 12 January 2017.


The Committee reported [PDF, 128KB] on 13 December 2016.


The Welsh Government subsequently tabled a Supplementary Legislative Consent Memorandum [PDF, 116KB] and accompanying written statement [PDF, 163KB] on 10 January 2017 and a Revised Supplementary Legislative Consent Memorandum [PDF, 32KB] on 13 January 2017 which was withdrawn and re-tabled [PDF, 119KB] on 16 January 2017. These supplementary legislative consent memoranda were not considered by the Committee.


The Assembly considered a Legislative Consent Motion for the Bill during Plenary on 17 January 2017.


The Bill received Royal Assent on 31 January 2017.

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 15/06/2016