So a decision has finally been made on the Affordable Housing LCO which has been causing friction between the Welsh Assembly Government and Westminster for quite some time.
Dewi Un will be pleased...actually I can be almost certain that he won't be...
What's been announced today is that in future the Welsh Assembly will have the powers to suspend right-to-buy legislation but (and it's a very big “but”) the Secretary of State for Wales will have the power of veto*.
What does this mean? It means that any resemblance this LCO has to actual powers for the WAG is purely coincidental...
Theoretically it makes little difference if the Secretary of State doesn't exercise his powers. However, while that may all be very well right now during parallel Labour administrations – matters become significantly more complicated when there's a Tory government at one end of the M4 and a Labour government at the other.
It also sets quite a precedent (which Mr Roderick is quick to point out) – what if the Secretary of State was to want a veto on the Welsh Language LCO? Or any other LCO for that matter – what's the point having an Assembly at all?
Kirsty Williams has also spoken out against the decision.
But Plaid's Jocelyn Davies has defended the move by saying that they are campaigning for a full Parliament for Wales by which time this debate will be irrelevant - but I didn't think that was in the offing for a few years yet.
So is this an insignificant technicality or a dangerous precedent?
*IMPORTANT NOTE: The Secretary of State will only have the veto on the Assembly's right to abolish right-to-buy not on it's right to suspend right-to-buy - edit by D3 10/1
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