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Introduction to law in Wales
Introduction to law in Wales

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3.5 A further referendum

The 2006 Act enabled the Assembly to gain powers in all devolved areas without the need to go through the process of obtaining UK Parliamentary consent if a referendum was held and there was a vote in favour.

In 2007 the ‘One Wales’ coalition was created by Plaid Cymru and Labour. This agreement was designed to pursue the opportunity presented in the 2006 Act. Turnout for a referendum on 3 March 2011 was low, but a majority voted in favour of further law-making powers.

The Assembly now has power to make laws directly on the twenty areas for which the Welsh government has responsibility as it no longer has to seek consent from the UK Parliament before doing so.

The enhanced legislative competence of the Assembly is set out in part 4 of the 2006 Act and the areas in which the Assembly has powers are set out in schedule 7 of the 2006 Act. This states that the Assembly has devolved powers in the areas of:

  • agriculture, horticulture, forestry, fisheries and fishing
  • archaeological remains
  • culture
  • economic regeneration and development
  • education, vocational, social and physical training and the careers service
  • environmental protection, including pollution, nuisances and hazardous substances
  • food and food products
  • health and health services
  • highways and transport
  • housing
  • industry
  • local government
  • the National Assembly for Wales
  • public administration
  • social welfare
  • sport and recreation
  • tourism
  • town and country planning
  • transport
  • water and flood defence
  • Welsh language.