Tuesday, November 27, 2007

You say goodbye, I say Elco

I said some unkind things about the LCO procedure last week. Today, Counsel General Carwyn Jones came to the Cabinet's weekly press briefing to defend the LCO. He attacked "mischievous" Tory MPs for trying to "reverse" devolution.
LCOs are put forward by the Assembly's ministers, committees or private members to request that law-making powers in devolved fields are transferred to Cardiff Bay. For example, today's LCO from the Assembly Government on home care will allow the Assembly to legislate in that field ... for ever. Mr Jones's complaint was that some MPs were asking what specific legislation will flow from these LCOs.
That is impossible to answer beyond a certain point. No minister can say what measures the Assembly will pass 20 years hence. But when Welsh ministers ask for further powers to be transferred, is it not predictable that MPs will ask: "What do you want to do with these powers?"
It boils down to a pretty simple dichotomy: The Assembly wants all the power it can get, but not everyone thinks this is a good idea.

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