The UK Attorney General asked the Supreme Court to decide whether parts of the Local Government Bill (2012) (which is about byelaws) are within assembly powers, provoking a degree of indignation from Cardiff Bay. The Bill was waiting for Royal Assent to become law having been passed by AMs before the summer recess this month.
The legislation would have been the first Bill to become law since the referendum in March last year. The Attorney General’s decision to obstruct the first bill to be passed in the Assembly since the successful referendum last year decision to block a new Welsh law should not really surprise anyone.
Traditionally both Westminster and Whitehall have always been fairly hostile or indifferent to devolution in Wales. The Attorney General’s decision indicates that the UK government has still not recognised the historic referendum result. This is simply the UK government interfering in our affairs something that is both unacceptable and fundamentally undemocratic.
The sooner the devolution settlement is amended so that, as in Scotland, we use a Reserved Powers model where everything is presumed to be devolved save for a handful of exceptions, the better. Aside from clearly defining the Assembly's current responsibilities, this would eliminate any future pointless time wasting spats between London and Cardiff.