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Wales votes Yes to give Assembly full law-making powers

By Jonathan Isaby

Welsh flag A referendum was held yesterday on whether to give the National Assembly for Wales full law-making powers across the 20 devolved areas for which it already has responsibility.

Until now the Assembly has only been able to make laws in those areas (including education, health, local government and economic development) subject to the agreement of the UK Parliament on a subject-by-subject basis.

The referendum asked the Welsh people whether they wanted the Assembly to have those law-making powers without any reference to Westminster and the result has just been announced as:

  • Yes - 517,132 (63.5%)
  • No - 297,380 (36.5%)

Turnout was 35.4% and the only local authority area of the 22 in Wales to vote No was Monmouthshire, by a margin of 320 votes.

There are more detailed results via the Electoral Commission website and more about the referendum on the National Assembly website.

The Conservative Party was fornally neutral in the referendum on the basis that there were differing views within the party on the issue, although the Tory Assembly Members were supportive of the Yes campaign.

5.30pm update:

BOURNE NICK Nick Bourne, leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly, has welcomed the vote:

“I am very pleased at this clear Yes vote. Assembly Members of all parties now need to get down to the job of law-making in the most efficient and effective manner to deliver for the people of Wales. Welsh Conservatives are committed to making the next stage of devolution a success, as we have strived to make it work over the past 12 years.

“Politicians of all parties must now redouble their efforts through innovative and robust policy development and effective scrutiny of the process of making laws for Wales. Turnout was in line with the trend over the past 30 years sending a powerful message to politicians of the need to re-engage with the people of Wales.”


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