- 11 updates
Plaid Cymru has said that if the Supreme Court strikes down the Assembly's new law on farm workers's wages, Westminster must pass a new Government of Wales Act to devolve the necessary powers.
Meanwhile the UK Government has defended the Attorney General's decision to refer the legislation to the Court, arguing that it is a necessary procedure under the devolution settlement.
But the Shadow Welsh Secretary, Owen Smith, has claimed that today's action is part of a pattern of behaviour by the Welsh Secretary, David Jones. He added that a previous challenge to the Assembly's Byelaws Bill cost £150,000 before the judges ruled last year in the Welsh Government's favour.
Nearly two-thirds of people think the National Assembly for Wales should be given increased powers, according to a new opinion poll.
The poll was carried out for the Silk Commission, which is looking at whether devolution should go further.
A law rushed through the Assembly last month will be challenged in the Supreme Court. The Agriculture Sector (Wales) Bill replaces the system for setting farm workers' pay and conditions in England and Wales, which the UK Government said was no longer needed.
The Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, has asked the Court to decide if the Bill is about agriculture, which is devolved to the Assembly, or employment rights, which are reserved to Westminster. The Welsh Government now cannot send the Bill for Royal Assent until -and unless- it wins in court.
The Court will make its ruling later this year. The UK Government "intends to seek to continue" the old agricultural wages system in Wales until the Supreme Court decides the matter. The Conservatives, who opposed the Bill, say the Welsh Government has brought the court case upon itself.
Paul Silk, who chairs the Commission on Devolution in Wales, described the poll results as a 'real insight' but said he's aware of opposing views and urged as many people as possible to express those views before 27th December, the deadline for evidence.
Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards has welcomed the Silk Commission opinion poll finding, saying that they provide a 'clear road map' for further devolution of power to the Assembly.
People in Pontypridd asked by ITV Cymru Wales for their views on the question of transferring more power to the Assembly had very strong views - on both sides of the debate.
A Welsh Labour spokesperson has responded to the poll carried out for the Silk Commission on devolution in Wales:
Professor Noel Lloyd, a member of the Silk Commission, says that even though this opinion poll shows clear support, it won't forget that there are many 'shades of opinion' on devolution.
Most people backed the Assembly retaining the powers it has in six key areas: tourism, agriculture, housing, roads, education and health. But a significant minority want to see responsibility for health and education returned to London.
20% said education should be the responsibility of the UK Parliament and Government and 27% said the NHS should be administered from London. The survey points out that these are two areas which received most media coverage.
The poll for the Silk Commission also finds that people living here in Wales are more likely to trust the Assembly to act in the best interests of Wales than they are the UK Parliament. These are the results for the Assembly:
- 29% - Trust it a great deal
- 50% - Trust it to some extent
- 13% - Don't trust it that much
- 7% - Don't trust it at all
In contrast, just 37% of respondents said they trusted the UK Parliament to act in the best interests of Wales. These are the results:
- 3% - Trust it a great deal
- 34% -Trust it to some extent
- 39% - Don't trust it that much
- 29% - Don't trust it at all