The result of the Welsh referendum will bring a greater degree of responsibility to the National Assembly for Wales and Welsh Assembly Government, said Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan.
Welcoming the ‘Yes’ result, Mrs Gillan said: “Importantly, the people of Wales have had their say. The vote in favour of enhanced law-making powers will allow the National Assembly for Wales and Welsh Assembly Government to get on with their job of delivering better public services and improving the quality of life for the people of Wales in areas for which they have responsibility .
“The result brings with it a greater degree of responsibility to Cardiff Bay as it enables the Assembly to legislate on its own in all the areas covered by the original devolution settlement.
The Government reinforces its commitment to working closely with the Welsh Assembly Government to make these legislative arrangements work effectively.
Mrs Gillan said she was pleased the coalition Government had delivered on the commitment to hold a referendum - requested by Assembly Members - on enhanced law-making powers for the Assembly. The referendum gave the people of Wales a choice on the future of Welsh devolution.
She said: “It is up to the Assembly and the Welsh Assembly Government to decide when to bring these powers into force. However, the First Minister has already said he planned before the referendum to ask the Assembly to approve an Order within the next week or so which would allow commencement of the new powers as soon as possible.
“The Assembly’s full powers are set out in Schedule 7 to the Government of Wales Act 2006. It means the Assembly will be able to legislate on subjects in the 20 areas designated in the Government of Wales Act 2006.
“All the areas previously non-devolved remain non-devolved, and are the responsibility of the Government and Parliament. They include matters best undertaken at the national, UK-wide level and include fiscal, economic and monetary policy, defence and foreign affairs, policing, criminal and civil justice, social security, employment and energy.”
Mrs Gillan added: “This result does not attract additional funding for the Assembly, but I have been pleased to note that the Welsh Assembly Government says that in the future full powers mean it will be able to legislate more efficiently and cheaply in the designated devolved areas.”