As part of work on the Constitution Unit/Wales Governance project on the Draft Wales Bill leading to the report Challenge and Opportunity: The Draft Wales Bill 2015, I analysed all the specific reservations proposed in the new Schedule 7A in the draft bill. The point of this analysis was to establish two points. First, whether the reservations corresponded to reservations or exceptions for Scotland or Northern Ireland – some do, but many do not. Second, in the absence of any explanation for the reservations in the Explanatory Notes to the draft bill, what the policy rationale for them might reasonably be – whether they related to other functions being reserved, for example. This repeated an exercise I undertook for the earlier report on the general principles underpinning the ‘reserved powers’ approach. This analysis underpins the discussion of reservations and their appropriateness in chapter 7 of Challenge and Opportunity.
The resulting table is long and complicated, and including it in the published report would have added hugely to the printing costs but not greatly to its argument or intellectual weight. Nonetheless, we thought it should be available to those interested. It runs to some 74 pages, and can be downloaded HERE as a PDF file.
Regarding use of the table, each numbered reservation in Schedule 7A has its own box. Not all comments do – some apply to several reservations on the same overall matter. There are some formatting gremlins that affect lay-out (for which apologies), but not clarity or legibility. The table includes all exceptions from reservations, but in some cases lengthy interpretation clauses have been edited.