Plaid Cymru has made its demands for the transfer of powers from Westminster to Cardiff Bay, a week after the Welsh Government unveiled its ambitions. The party claims that devolving a wide range of powers should happend as soon as possible. Policing and criminal justice head the list.
They were top of Carwyn Jones' more gradual proposals as well. Plaid also wants natural resources and energy policy handed over, when the Welsh Government only asked for control of water and said nuclear power should be excluded from the devolution of energy. Plaid Cymru's other demands include:
- The Food Standards Agency
- Electoral Arrangements
- JobCentre Plus
- The Crown Estate
- A separate civil service for Wales
We believe that having these powers in Wales will make the devolution settlement work better and ensure that the Welsh Government will be more accountable to the people of Wales. Plaid Cymru has long made the argument for the transfer of powers over criminal justice, energy and broadcasting to the Welsh Government. It is in the Welsh national interest for decisions on these to be made in Wales, particularly for a Welsh way of policing and justice, environmental sustainable development and ending the democratic deficit in the Welsh media.
Plaid Cymru agrees with the Welsh Government that Westminster's role should be limited to a list of specific powers, with everything else automatically devolved. It claims that the proposals it's submitting to the Silk Commission on the constitution are 'comprehensive, reasonable and realistic'.
There must be greater consistency in the devolution settlement. The reserved powers model in both Scotland and Northern Ireland should be adopted in Wales to provide greater clarity for where powers lie, rather than the current opaque system. This will increase efficiency and accountability for the Welsh Government. Now that Wales makes its own laws, there is an obvious need for a Welsh legal jurisdiction to reflect this, and this should be introduced quickly, followed by Welsh policing and criminal justice powers. Scotland and Northern Ireland both have these powers.
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