Devolution

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On 24 October the plenary Joint Ministerial Committee [JMC (P)] of UK, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland leaders met for the first time in two years. The occasion for resurrecting what had become an almost moribund body was to discuss the ‘UK approach’ to Brexit promised by the Prime Minister. The outcome was to set up another joint committee on Brexit to be known as JMC (EN), chaired by David Davis. The devolveds have also been promised a direct line to the Brexit Secretary.
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If Westminster were to assert the view that Brexit falls under foreign affairs and is therefore a reserved matter, the devolved territories would have little legal recourse but, says Michael Keating, doing would re-open the whole question of the nature of the union. 

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The revised Wales Bill has seen UK ministers respond to many of the criticisms of the original draft, say Manon George and Huw Pritchard of the Wales Governance Centre, however there still remain points of contention between Cardiff and London. 
 
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The UK Government's response to criticism of the draft Wales Bill is more of a staging post than a destination, says Richard Wyn Jones. 
 
When he began the process that would lead to the publication in September 2015 of the Draft Wales Bill, the then Secretary of State, Stephen Crabb, spoke in effusive terms about his determination to achieve a devolution settlement for Wales that would last for the foreseeable future.
 
He was far from the first Secretary of State to embrace such an ambition.
 
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