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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Distinct legislation?

The making of secondary legislation in the Welsh Assembly is a precise science, largely because there are so many limitations on what we can and cannot do. In many instances the orders we pass are identical to those in England simply because Whitehall are doing something and we need to keep up so as not to disadvantage Wales. On other occasions we need to table statutory orders so as to comply with European legislation. Occasionally, a piece of legislation comes forward that is unique to Wales.

All of these orders are classified and monitored so that we can report to the public at large on our activities. These classifications are labels such as 'Matching Whitehall', 'Wales only' etc. This morning a new classification came to light, 'Implementing distinct Welsh policy'!

Further scrutiny of this piece of legislation however, revealed that it reflected changes also being carried out in England and therefore should have been classified 'Matching Whitehall'. Obviously the world of spin and good law-making do not always mix well. In the meantime we are all waiting for legislation to come forward labelled as 'Implementing indistinct Welsh policy'.

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