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Joe Atkinson takes a look at what’s happening in the National Assembly for Wales this week.


Brexit regulations take up plenary time

Much of Tuesday afternoon’s plenary will involve AMs debating regulations on the UK’s exit from the European Union. The Assembly will consider Brexit regulations on social care, food, rural affairs, plant health and local authority finances. The highlight of the afternoon will surely be a discussion on the Seed Potatoes (Wales) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, which are designed to ensure the UK can keep supplying and marketing seed potatoes originating from the EU and Switzerland post-Brexit.

Defence of Reasonable Punishment Bill

The Welsh Government has introduced a new piece of legislation this week – the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill. The Bill would afford children the same protection from physical punishment as adults, prohibiting parents and adults acting in a parental capacity from physically punishing children. Julie Morgan, the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, said the legislation will build on the government’s commitment to children’s rights. Ms Morgan, who has campaigned to end the defence of reasonable punishment for many years as a backbencher, will make an introductory statement in the Senedd on Tuesday afternoon.

Renting Homes Bill reaches its conclusion

As one piece of legislation is introduced, it looks like another will complete its journey through the Assembly, as AMs hold a stage 4 debate on the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Bill. The legislation, if passed, will prohibit letting agents from charging certain fees to tenants, and is designed to make the private rented sector more affordable. The Bill has received cross-party backing so is highly unlikely to fall at the final hurdle.

Regional rugby

AMs from across the Siambr will come together to debate regional rugby, calling on the Welsh Government to work with the Welsh Rugby Union and clubs to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the game in Wales. Expect plenty of references to Wales’ Grand Slam heroics at the Six Nations and the rumoured merger of the Ospreys and the Scarlets which has been ruled out for now.

Senedd and Elections Bill scrutinised

The Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill faces scrutiny at the hands of two committees this week. On Monday afternoon AMs on the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee will hear from constitutional experts including Professor Laura McAllister, chair of the expert panel on Assembly reform, and Professor Roger Awan-Scully of the Wales Governance Centre. The Finance Committee will consider the financial implications of the Bill on Wednesday morning, taking evidence from the Electoral Commission.


Featured image: Tim via Flickr

Newsdirect is a political monitoring company with offices in Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. We provide a range of services to clients with a wide range of interests in Welsh public affairs. Why not try out our new service, Senedd Today, or subscribe to our free daily political briefing from Wales.

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