Carwyn Jones, First Minister and Ieuan Wyn Jones, Deputy First Minister
Following the announcement by the Chief Counting Officer that the people of Wales have voted in favour of the proposal put forward in the referendum held on 3 March, we wish to congratulate our Assembly colleagues and thank you for the part you have played in this truly historic event. We warmly welcome this result and look forward to the Assembly exercising Wales’ autonomous law making powers.
In accordance with section 105 of the Government of Wales Act, the Welsh Ministers will now prepare and lay before the Assembly a Commencement Order, which will serve to bring the Assembly Act provisions into force; a draft of the Order will need to be approved by the Assembly before it can be made. If the Order is duly approved in draft, and made, the Assembly Act provisions will come into force on 5 May, meaning that it will be possible to propose Bills under the new powers from the start of the new Assembly.
There are additional statutory requirements that need to be brought about for Assembly Acts – a Welsh Seal and Letters Patent. These are required so that Royal Assent to Assembly Bills can be duly signified. A bilingual Letters Patent Order in Council will be submitted to the Privy Council shortly. This Order will make provision for the form and manner of preparation, and publication, of Letters Patent that are to be signed to signify Her Majesty’s Assent to a Bill passed by the Assembly. These Letters Patent must also be passed under the Welsh Seal and work will be put in hand to develop the first Welsh Seal since the time of Owain Glyndŵr.
A fuller statement will be made in the Assembly next week.