Y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a’r Cyfansoddiad
Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee11/09/2023
Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol
Committee Members in Attendance
|Adam Price AS|
|Alun Davies AS|
|Huw Irranca-Davies AS||Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor|
|James Evans AS|
Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol
Senedd Officials in Attendance
|Gerallt Roberts||Ail Glerc|
|Kate Rabaiotti||Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol|
|P Gareth Williams||Clerc|
|Sarah Sargent||Ail Glerc|
Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.
The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.
Cyfarfu’r pwyllgor drwy gynhadledd fideo.
Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 13:30.
The committee met by video-conference.
The meeting began at 13:30.
Prynhawn da. Good afternoon.
Croeso i chi i gyd.
Welcome, everybody, here to this afternoon's meeting of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee, our first meeting back in formal setting after the recess break, although we've been very busy as a committee, as we will see this afternoon—a lot to get through.
Welcome to all of our Members here, we're fully quorate, we've a full turnout—all our Members are here. It gives me a chance as well, as I haven't been able to do this before, to welcome Adam formally to the committee as well. It's great to see you here, Adam.
Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd.
Thank you very much, Chair.
We will proceed now to business, but just a couple of housekeeping announcements here. As per normal, we're operating through Welsh and English this afternoon. There is no need to mess around with your microphones because that will be done for you. If anybody wants to come in at any point during the public session, because we've got quite a deal of business to get through, just signal to me and I'll bring you in. If my broadband does go down, Alun is going to step in as a temporary Chair before I can rejoin you. So, in saying that, we will now move ahead. Of course, we are on Senedd.tv as normal, and the Record of Proceedings will be published as normal as well. Full Standing Orders apply to this session, even through we are in a virtual format.
So, we move, then, to item No. 2, having noted that we're fully quorate, all Members are here. Item No. 2, as normal, is instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under our Standing Orders 21.2 or 21.3. We have several here. The first of which is a made negative resolution instrument under item 2.1. This is SL(6)370, the Traffic Signs (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations and General Directions 2023, and we have a draft report in our papers. These regulations amend the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016, which set out what traffic signs in Great Britain must look like. The amendments are consequential on and supplementary to the Restricted Roads (20 mph Speed Limit) (Wales) Order 2022, which everybody will be very familiar with. Now, these amendments relate only to Wales and they include the introduction of new road safety signs and the removal of some existing road signs. Our lawyers have looked at this and they've identified five technical points and one merits reporting point. As far as I'm aware, we haven't yet received a Welsh Government response, unless our committee clerks can update us now. So, any comments on this, Kate?
Yes. The first two technical points are just seeking further information from Welsh Government in relation to the drafting of the instrument. The third and fifth technical points identify potentially defective drafting and the fourth technical point raises a number of issues relating to Part 3 of this instrument, particularly relating to the vires and the fulfilment of statutory requirements. And then the merits point just asks Welsh Government to explain what the transitional and saving provisions for certain road traffic signs and road markings will mean for the enforcement of road traffic offences during the grace period. And, yes, we are still awaiting the Welsh Government's response to the report, and Members may just wish to note that this instrument will come into force on 17 September, so it will be enforced before you're able to consider the Welsh Government response.
Thank you very much, Kate. Lots of discussion on this on a wider policy perspective in the public domain, but this is a very narrow instrument. Colleagues, from our perspective, are you happy to agree those points? We are. Thank you very much. We'll move on, then, to item 2.2—thank you, Kate—SL(6)371, the Valuation Tribunal for Wales (Amendment) Regulations 2023, and, again, we have a draft report. These regulations amend the Valuation Tribunal for Wales Regulations 2010, and they make changes in relation to the administration of the Valuation Tribunal for Wales's governing council, its membership terms and the administration of council tax appeals. Our lawyers have looked at this and have identified two technical and two merits reporting points, and, again, Kate, we'll come back to you for your observations and on whether we've had a Welsh Government response, which I think is a 'no' at the moment.
We have received the Welsh Government response today. So, the two technical points identified potentially defective drafting, and in response Welsh Government agrees with the reporting points but does not propose to make corrections on the basis that these errors should not mislead the reader of the regulations. The first merits point is just drawing Members' attention to the regulatory impact assessment, and the second merits point notes that the regulations came into force during recess.
Thank you very much, Kate. Colleagues, content with that, with the reporting points? We are.
We'll go on to item 2.3, SL(6)373, the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) Order 2023. Several papers there in your pack, including the draft report, but also correspondence from the Minister for Climate Change and also a written statement by the Minister for Climate Change from July. So, this Order amends the 2020 Order that established the UK emissions trading scheme. The technical amendments contained in the Order seek to regularise the operation of the UK emissions trading scheme, the UK ETS, strengthen the existing provisions and clarify existing legislation. There's just one technical point that our lawyers have identified here, and we don't need a Welsh Government response. Kate.
Thank you. The technical reporting point is just to note that the Order is in English only.
Thank you for that. Are we content to note those reporting points? We are.
It takes us on then to item 2.4, SL(6)375, the Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2023. Again, we have a draft report in our pack. These regulations, which we're quite familiar with, amend the 2009 regulations—sorry, we're very familiar with them and the amendments to them—which make provision for the repayment of income-contingent student loans in England and Wales. They provide for a temporary reduction of the interest rate on specified undergraduate and postgraduate loans. Again, we don't need a Welsh Government response to this, but our lawyers have identified one technical reporting point. Kate.
Again, it's just that these regulations are made in English only.
Thank you, again, Kate. Unless there are any comments, we'll go on, then, to item 2.5. We move to an affirmative resolution instrument now, SL(6)367, the Welsh Language Standards (No. 9) Regulations 2023. We have a draft report and a letter from the relevant committee here to the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language. The regulations here specify standards of conduct in relation to the Welsh language for water and sewerage undertakers as set out in Schedule 4 to the regulations, and our lawyers have identified two merits reporting points, and we've had a Welsh Government response as well. Kate.
Yes, that's correct. The first merits point noted that the regulations will be more accessible to the reader if the relevant bodies are listed, either in the regulations themselves or in the explanatory memorandum. In response, Welsh Government has amended the explanatory memorandum to include the names of those bodies. And then the second merits point is just drawing Members' attention to the consultation that was carried out.
Thank you, Kate. We note in the letter from the Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport and International Relations Committee that that committee has confirmed in the letter to the Minister that it does not intend to report on those regulations. So, I think we're happy, colleagues, to agree those reporting points.
We'll go on to item 2.6, SL(6)368, the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2023. Again, we have a draft report in your pack. These regulations amend the 2016 regulations that require operators of materials facilities to notify the regulator if they received waste material of 1,000 tonnes or more and to sample the waste entering and leaving that facility. Now, the regulations in front of us amend the type of waste material to which the threshold for notification to the regulator applies, and they also extend the types of material that are required to be sampled. They also amend the reporting and the record-keeping requirements for this information. I'm going to go back to Kate, because our lawyers have identified one technical and one merits reporting point here.
The technical reporting point is just to note that these are composite regulations, so they're in English only. The merits reporting point is to note the letter from the Minister for Climate Change informing the committee that these regulations are within scope of the resources and waste common framework.
Thank you very much, Kate. Adam, over to you.
Wel, dyma’r drydedd esiampl y prynhawn yma o rywbeth sydd ddim wedi cael ei gyflwyno'n ddwyieithog, oherwydd ei fod e yn cael ei gyflwyno ar y cyd gyda Senedd San Steffan. Ond mae’r ffaith ein bod yn gorfod codi hyn fel pwynt technegol yn adlewyrchu’r tensiwn, ontefe, sydd rhwng ein dwyieithrwydd ni fel deddfwrfa ac wedyn y broses o ddeddfu ar y cyd, sydd—fel rŷn ni'n gweld—yn cael ei dilyn yn uniaith Saesneg. I ba raddau y dylem ni gwestiynu hyn yn hytrach nag fel pwynt technegol, ond fel pwynt o bwys gwleidyddol ehangach, neu gymdeithasol ehangach, gan feddwl nad oes rhaid inni dderbyn, jest achos bod yna ddeddfu cyfochrog yn digwydd gyda San Steffan, nad yw dwyieithrwydd yn bosib? A dwi'n nodi, Cadeirydd, yn ddiweddar, benderfyniad Llywodraeth Sbaen, er enghraifft, a hynny'n hanesyddol, i dderbyn llefaru yn ieithoedd eraill gwladwriaeth Sbaen yn y ddeddfwrfa ym Madrid. Felly, mae yn bosib i chi gael parch i ieithoedd lleiafrifol yng nghyd-destun y Deyrnas Unedig yn y ddeddfwrfa yn San Steffan hefyd. Felly, a ddylem ni, ar ryw bwynt, gwestiynu’r egwyddor gyffredinol yma, jest achos bod San Steffan yn rhan o’r broses, y dylem ni hepgor yr angen i fod yn ddwyieithog?
Well, this is the third example this afternoon of something that hasn’t been presented or put forward bilingually, because it is tabled jointly with the UK Westminster Parliament. But the fact that we are having to raise this as a technical point reflects the tension, doesn’t it, between our bilingualism as a legislature and then the process of joint legislation, as we see being followed monolingually in this instance? To what extent should we question this rather than as a technical point, but as a point of political import or wider social import, because we don’t have to accept, just because there is legislation being made alongside Westminster here, that bilingualism is possible? And we should note, Chair, recently, the decision of the Spanish Government, for example, an historic decision, to accept oral contributions in other languages of the Spanish state in the legislature in Madrid. So, it is possible for you to have parity of esteem for minority languages in the context of the United Kingdom, too, in the legislature in Westminster. So, should we at some point question the general principle, just because Westminster is part of the process, that we should neglect the need to be bilingual?
Wel, mae hwnna'n bwynt pwysig iawn.
Well, that's a very important point.
We discuss this quite often within the committee, and I think it would be worth—if colleagues are happy—returning to this in our private discussion, because there are ways in which we have before and we can continue to take this up but don't simply rely on the public sessions that we hold on a Monday afternoon. So, we can, for example, write, following up to these points, but we can also include that within our annual report—as indeed we did last year within our annual report—so that we bundle together the numerous instances we have of this and then put it to not just Welsh Ministers, but Welsh Government as an entity as well. So, I wonder, Adam, would you be happy if we return to this in private session and we can discuss the best ways to take this forward, then?
Ie, yn sicr, byddai hwnna'n fuddiol.
Yes, certainly, that would be beneficial.
Diolch yn fawr. Thank you, colleagues.
We'll go on now, then, to item No. 3, which are instruments that raise reporting issues under Standing Order 21.7, and the first of these—sorry, the one within this section, sorry, is a draft negative resolution instrument, SL(6)374, School Admission Appeals Code, and we have a draft report again. This code, which was issued in 2013, has been revised to reflect the changes made by the Education (Admission Appeals Arrangements) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2023, which codify certain temporary arrangements for admissions appeal hearings that were introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The code also includes some technical amendments that reflect legislative changes since the previous code was issued in 2013. Now, colleagues will recall here that this code was initially laid on 10 May, and our draft report identified a substantial numbers of errors, so the code was subsequently withdrawn by the Welsh Government before this new version was laid. So, we've had a look at it again. Our lawyers have looked at it and they've identified four reporting points under Standing Order 21.7, and I'm going to hand back to Kate and also to hear whether we've had any Welsh Government response as well.
Thank you. Yes, we've received the Welsh Government's response to this today. The four reporting points all related to issues with the drafting, and in response Welsh Government agrees with each of the reporting points, but considers that there is no risk of confusion, and therefore Welsh Government will take these points into account when the code is next revised.
Thank you very much. So, in some ways, that's welcome that they took it away, they've revised it, they are listening to what we're saying. Are colleagues happy with those points to note? Yes.
We'll go on to item 4, which is instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3 that we've previously considered.
We're going to turn to item 4.1, which is SL(6)364, the Animal By-Products, Pet Passport and Animal Health (Fees) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2023. I draw your attention to the pack, where we have a letter from the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, of 3 August.
Our committee considered these regulations on 26 June. You will recall that the Minister made a commitment in Plenary on 4 July to write to us outlining the changes the Minister made to the regulations after the Senedd vote but prior to making. This was quite an issue for us at the time and we turned our attention to it. So, I draw Members' attention to the letter from the Minister. It outlines the changes that were made in relation to the scrutiny points reported by the committee, and the Minister also tells us in that letter that some minor drafting and formatting issues have also been corrected. If you're happy to note that, we can return to that and other items, if you want to, in private session as well.
Can I just suggest that, at this point, it would probably be appropriate to consider item 6.2 on today's agenda, if you're content? There's a tie-in here together, for the obvious reason. Item 6.2 is correspondence from the Minister for Climate Change in respect of the Packaging Waste (Data Collection and Reporting) (Wales) Regulations 2023. We considered the regulation back in July, and it turns to that. So, if you're happy, we can note that correspondence in passing, now, under this item. Okay. Thank you for that.
We will go on, then, to item 5, back to the agenda. We have notifications and correspondence under the inter-institutional relations agreement. This is part of our trying to drive some transparency into what is happening on an inter-institutional basis.
Under 5.1, we have correspondence from the Deputy Minister for Climate Change in respect of the transport inter-ministerial standing committee. Firstly, we hear of the most recent meeting, which took place virtually on 24 May. The Deputy Minister informs us that he chaired the meeting and has given us details on the attendance from the four nations. A communiqué has been issued by the UK Government, and it states that the discussions focused on matters surrounding the collection of UK-wide data and the active travel agenda.
Secondly, we have notification from the Deputy Minister of the next meeting, which will take place imminently, on 13 September. That meeting will be chaired by the Scottish Government's Minister for transport and will cover minimum service levels, rail reform and the zero-emission vehicle mandate—all highly topical subjects. So, it's good that we're getting some transparency here from Ministers on what is happening in those inter-ministerial committees. If there are no comments on that, I'll go on to 5.2.
We have a written statement and correspondence from the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd confirming that she has given her consent for the Secretary of State to make the Validating Alternative Methods for Salmonella Typing (Amendment) Regulations 2023 in relation to Wales. In your pack, colleagues, we've got a written statement and a letter. The regulations amend four pieces of retained EU legislation concerned with targets for the various requirements for sampling and testing for salmonella. The Minister states that, although the Welsh Government's general principle is that the law relating to devolved matters should be made and amended by Welsh Ministers, on this occasion, it considers it appropriate, as there is no policy divergence between the Welsh and UK Government in this matter, to proceed in this way. The Minister also states that the regulations make changes that are minor and technical in nature, and so she considers that
'legislating separately for Wales would be neither the most appropriate way to give effect to the necessary changes, nor a prudent use of Welsh Government resources'.
That's quite interesting for us, colleagues, as we try to unravel what is being dealt with here, particularly as it refers to an item that comes under the REUL as well. But if you're happy to note that, we can return to these in private session as well for discussion.
We go on then to item 5.3. We have correspondence from the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, in respect of the Persistent Organic Pollutants (Amendment) Regulations 2023. In the letter of 18 July, the Minister confirms she has given her consent for the laying of the Persistent Organic Pollutants (Amendment) Regulations 2023 in relation to Wales. The Minister also informs us that the regulations amend a retained regulation of the European Parliament and of the council on persistent organic pollutants, in relation to a derogation for the manufacturing, placing on the market and the use of—and excuse my pronunciation—perfluorooctanoic acid, its salts and PFOA—which is much easier for me—related compounds for textiles for oil and water repellency. The Minister states that she considers it appropriate for the substance of the amendments to apply to Wales as—and we heard this on the previous item—there is no policy divergence between the Welsh and UK Governments in this matter, and that as the regulation being amended is GB wide, any amendments to it can only be made in English on this particular item.
Which brings us on, unless colleagues have got any comments on that, to item 5.4. We have a written statement and correspondence from the First Minister in respect of the inter-governmental relations report. I draw your attention to papers 18, 19 and 20, which are the inter-governmental relations report, the letter from the First Minister of 18 July, and the written statement of the same date respectively. We are invited to note the Welsh Government's report on the inter-governmental relations covering the period 2021-23—a very interesting period, well worth reading—and the associated letter and the written statement from the First Minister. Just to draw out a couple of things for colleagues' notice, and again we can return to this either now or in private session. Within the report, the First Minister provides what he terms 'a balanced assessment' of the nature of inter-governmental working in various areas, including the constitution, elections, European transition, and justice. He concludes that the Welsh Government continues
'to have positive relationships with the other devolved governments.'
He states, of interest to our committee, that for much of the reporting period of 2021-23, it has
'encountered a UK government that has been hostile to devolution, and whose actions are damaging to the Union as a result, particularly in relation to the impacts of the UK government’s legislative programme and financial issues.'
This is something that we as a committee have turned our attention to regularly. However, just to note as well, the First Minister does welcome recent signs of improvements in its relations with the UK Government, and there is much more within those items. I'm sure, if we don't want to discuss it now, we can return to that in private session, because it's quite an interesting and full response.
If we turn, then, to item 5.5, we have a written statement and correspondence from the First Minister in respect of the British-Irish Council summit, which took place in Jersey on 15-16 June.
Item 5.6—I'm skipping along here, but stop me if you want to—we have a written statement and correspondence from the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution in respect of the inter-ministerial group for elections and registration, which took place on 14 June.
And under item 5.7—. In fact, if it's helpful for you, colleagues, we're going to group together items 5.7 to 5.11 for consideration, because they relate to a suite of regulations. I would ask you on these items here to note the written statements and the correspondence from the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, in these items, in which, to summarise, she informs us she's given consent for the UK Government to lay five sets of regulations, which relate to the implementation of the Windsor framework. The regulations are: the Windsor Framework (Retail Movement Scheme: Public Health, Marketing and Organic Product Standards and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2023; the Windsor Framework (Retail Movement Scheme) Regulations 2023; the Windsor Framework (Enforcement etc.) Regulations 2023; the Windsor Framework (Plant Health) Regulations 2023; and the Windsor Framework (Financial Assistance) (Marking of Retail Goods) Regulations 2023.
The Minister states—and this will be familiar to you from the earlier items—that it is appropriate in this case for the regulations to apply to Wales as there is no policy divergence between the Welsh and UK Government on this matter, as it would ensure a coherent and consistent statute book with the legislative provision being accessible in a single instrument, and as there will be no risk of legislative divergence in the UK that would likely jeopardise the implementation of the Windsor framework. The first of those three you will recognise as very familiar as an argument put forward, and the other two are specific to the Minister's argument in respect of the Windsor framework regulations. In her letter of 21 July, colleagues—which is also included in the papers—the Minister responds to questions we asked as a committee in respect of the regulations following our previous meeting. The Minister has also enclosed relevant correspondence with the UK Government Minister for Biosecurity, Marine and Rural Affairs. So, again, colleagues, those are in your papers—happy to return to that if we want to in private session.
Under item 5.12—there's quite a lot, obviously, over the summer recess that we need to take note of here in correspondence, and updates on inter-institutional work—we have correspondence from the Counsel General and the Minister for the Constitution, informing us that the inaugural meeting of the inter-ministerial group on justice will take place tomorrow, on 12 September, having been postponed from May. The meeting will be chaired by Lord Bellamy KC and is likely to focus on a range of issues relating to the victims Bill, prisons, court recovery, legal aid and retained EU law—many of those, of course, of great interest to us.
Item 5.13 is correspondence from the Minister for Climate Change, informing us of her intention to consent to the UK Government making and laying the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (Amendment) Regulations 2023. These regulations amend a retained EU regulation. They correct a technical error as well made in a previous amending instrument. The purpose behind these, the reasons these are required, is to once again align GB's phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons with the UK Government's previous commitments made under the Montreal protocol. The Minister states, for the record, that
'it is considered appropriate for the substance of the amendments to apply to Wales as there is no policy divergence between the Welsh and UK Government on this matter.'
The Minister also states that as the regulation that has been amended is a GB-wide regulation, any amendments to it could not be made in the Welsh language. Again, we can return to this in private session.
Item 5.14, we have correspondence from the Minister for Economy in respect of the inter-ministerial group on trade, which was scheduled to take place on 7 September 2023. The Minister tells us that the agenda was set to include the ongoing negotiations with India and Canada, as well as a discussion around the UK's accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership—the CPTPP. The Minister will provide us with an update in due course. I'm looking to my colleagues in the clerking team for any nods that that did meet and did go ahead, because the chronology of this has overtaken us, but perhaps we'll find out when we get to the private session.
Item 5.15, we have correspondence from the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd in respect of the Persistent Organic Pollutants (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2023. She informs us of her intention to consent to the UK Government making and laying those regulations. The regulations amend the retained EU regulation to add perfluorohexane sulfonic acid, its salts and related compounds to the list of substances of which the manufacturing, placing on the market and use are prohibited. These regulations are testing me today here now, first day back after the recess.
The Minister states that
'On this occasion, it is considered appropriate for the substance of the amendments to apply to Wales as there is no policy divergence between the Welsh and UK Government in this matter.'
And the Minister states that, again, as the regulation has been amended as GB-wide regulation, any amendments to it could not be made in the Welsh language.
And our final one in this section, colleagues, is item 5.16. We have correspondence from the Minister for Finance and Local Government in respect of the Finance: Interministerial Standing Committee, which is due to take place on 20 September. Quite a lot of correspondence there on the inter-institutional arrangements to get through.
But we'll turn now to—and we can return to any of that in private, of course—we'll turn now to the other papers to note under item 6. So, first of all, item 6.1, we have a letter from the Children, Young People and Education Committee to the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, related to the Welsh Government's elective home education guidance. Just for Members to recall here that, in our meeting on 12 June, we discussed some correspondence we had received as a committee in relation to this matter.
Item 6.2 we dealt with earlier, so item 6.3, we have correspondence from the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd to the Business Committee of 13 July relating to the Environment (Air Quality and Soundscapes) (Wales) Bill. The Minister informs the Business Committee that due to an administrative oversight, the general principles debate on the Bill was not added to the business statement for debate on 12 September 2023. So, the Minister sets out that the Government is tabling a motion to suspend the Standing Orders, to enable that debate to take place as planned—this week, indeed.
Then item 6.4, we have correspondence from the Equality and Social Justice Committee in relation to our report on the Welsh Government's legislative consent memorandum on the Victims and Prisoners Bill. Now, as you know, we had hoped to take evidence from Dame Vera Baird, but it hadn't proved possible, unfortunately. Sorry, that committee had hoped to take evidence from Dame Vera Baird, but it was not possible. But the committee also confirmed that, as several clauses were still the subject of ongoing discussions and negotiation between Welsh Government and the Ministry of Justice, it still awaits the outcome of these discussions before reaching any definitive conclusions. So, we'll keep a watching eye on that.
Item 6.5, we have correspondence from the Minister for Economy to the Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee. Members will recall that, in our meeting of 3 July, we noted the outgoing letter from the ETRA committee to the Minister for Economy, following their scrutiny session with that Minister on 21 June. Amongst other things, the committee requested regular updates on the implementation of the Windsor framework and the border control point target operating model. The Minister's response to the ETRA committee states that the Windsor framework is being laid by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, and the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd is happy, therefore, to provide updates to the committee as that programme proceeds. The Minister also confirms that he was expecting an announcement from the UK Government in relation to the border target operating model, and he will provide an update on this in due course.
Item 6.6, we have correspondence from the First Minister to the Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport, and International Relations Committee. This is in relation to the Council of Europe 'Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach to Football Matches and Other Sporting Events'. Members will recall that we considered this convention on 10 July, and we subsequently drew it to the attention of the culture committee. Now, the First Minister is informing the culture committee that he supports the principles of the convention and that officials have discussed the ratification of the convention with their counterparts in the UK Government, including the Home Office, and particularly in the context of the joint UK and Ireland bid to host the Euros, which will be of interest to more than one member of this committee, I know.
We turn then to item 6.7, correspondence from the First Minister to the Llywydd in relation to the Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Wales) Act 2023, and the commencement process. Now, the First Minister states that,
'this was the first time that a Bill passed by the Senedd had engaged in the World Trade Organisation process',
and that the approach they took in relation to the six-month WTO standstill period was based on their understanding of the requirements and the mechanisms involved in that process. The First Minister does, interestingly, acknowledge that there is benefit in reviewing this process, and intends to ask his officials to arrange a meeting with the Senedd Commission to discuss this further. So, quite interesting there.
Item 6.8, we have a written statement by the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, where he states that the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales has published a progress report detailing the commission's engagement with the public, and their efforts to ensure that the final report is informed by the full range of opinions across the debate on Wales's constitutional future. That will clearly be of interest.
Item 6.9, we are invited to note the letter from the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, in which he corrects a statistic that he gave when giving evidence to us on 10 July relating to those in prison with Welsh residential addresses who are from ethnic minority backgrounds. Now, this has been passed on to the Senedd Commission's Record of Proceedings team, and a note will be placed on the formal record. But just to note as a Chair, it's good when a Minister does acknowledge that a mistake has been made and rapidly then seeks to amend that. So, that's good to see.
Item 6.10, we have correspondence from the First Minister, and we have a letter from the First Minister on 7 August 2023, and a letter to the First Minister on 12 July. It's in relation to the UK-Switzerland agreement on recognition of professional qualifications. Members will recall that we considered this agreement on 10 July. We subsequently wrote to Welsh Government requesting its views on the relationship between implementing international obligations and the Sewel convention in the light of the Senedd having refused consent for this agreement's amending legislation. Now, in his response, the First Minister confirms that Welsh Ministers remain consistently opposed to the inclusion of concurrent powers such as those in the agreement's implementing legislation, and despite the fact that the Senedd withheld consent to the implementing legislation, the relevant executive functions now sit, as they do indeed, with Welsh Ministers. So, the First Minister states that they will exercise those functions responsibly.
Item 6.11, we have correspondence from the Minister for Finance and Local Government. We note that letter. It provides a response to the committee's report on the Welsh Government's Supplementary Legislative Consent Memorandum (Memorandum No. 6) on the Procurement Bill.
Item 6.12, we have correspondence from the Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip in respect of the Victims and Prisoners Bill. It provides a response to the reports made by our committee and the Equality and Social Justice Committee in respect of the Welsh Government's LCM on the UK Government's Victims and Prisoners Bill.
And item 6.13, we have a written statement and correspondence from the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language to the Children, Young People and Education Committee in respect of the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Act 2022 (Commencement No. 2 and Transitory Provision) Order 2023. The Minister outlines the purpose of the Order and how it supports the implementation of the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Act 2022, and the establishment of the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research.
We have a few more items here. Item 6.14, we have a written submission by Charles Whitmore in respect of the UK-EU governance inquiry; a written submission by Tanja Buzek, the chair, on behalf of the EU domestic advisory group; and a written submission by Cillian Lohan, chair of the EU-UK Follow-up Committee. So, it's just to note those, and these, of course, are in addition to the ones we received prior to the evidence sessions we undertook on 26 June, and, of course, we're very grateful as a committee for all those additional written submissions. They will help us.
Item 6.15, we have correspondence from the Minister for Climate Change, and this details her response to the committee's 32 recommendations within our report on the Environment (Air Quality and Soundscapes) (Wales) Bill, which, of course, will be in front of the Senedd very shortly as well.
Item 6.16, we have correspondence with the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, and in that correspondence—it relates to our evidence session on 10 July. Members will recall that there were a number of questions we didn't quite get to during the evidence session. It was a very fruitful evidence session, but we ran out of time, so we have responses there from the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution. And, again, we can return to any of those in our private session if there's nothing you want to raise right now.
Item 6.17, we have correspondence from the First Minister, providing a response to the reports laid by this committee and the Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport, and International Relations Committee on the Welsh Government's legislative consent memoranda on the Data Protection and Digital Information (No. 2) Bill.
Colleagues, that was a lot. We've rattled through quite a lot of correspondence and the institutional information as well. Quite a lot for us to digest when we go into private. So, it remains for me now—. We've got quite a bit of business to do now, actually, within private session.
bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi).
that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi).
Cynigiwyd y cynnig.
Could I ask, if, in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi), you're happy to exclude the public for the remainder of the meeting? We are. In which case, we will now move into private session, please. We'll wait for a few seconds before we are told we are in private.
Derbyniwyd y cynnig.
Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 14:12.
The public part of the meeting ended at 14:12.