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5 things to look out for in the Senedd - 9 July 2018

Fall-out from David Davis' resignation, debates on committee reports, and the future of Bangor University's maritime research ship...

Fall-out from David Davis’ resignation

David Davis’ resignation as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union will only serve to boost the Welsh Government’s narrative that Theresa May’s Brexit strategy is in chaos. Mr Davis quit after the cabinet agreed a plan for the UK’s future relationship with the EU at Chequers on Friday, expressing concerns that the plan would align the UK too closely with EU regulations. Welsh Tories, including pro-Brexit MP David TC Davies, have backed the new plan, citing the lack of a credible alternative. Carwyn Jones remarked that the UK Government is in “complete disarray” but he will be encouraged that the new plan seeks to avoid a hard border in Ireland and would maintain a common rulebook for all goods with the EU.

New inquiries kick off as summer recess approaches

It may be just two weeks until the summer recess, but that hasn’t stopped some of the Assembly’s committees from ploughing ahead with new inquiries. The education committee will begin its inquiry into the impact of Brexit on the higher and further education sectors on Thursday morning, while at the same time the culture committee will start taking evidence on a short inquiry into the independent review of S4C. In addition, the health committee will take evidence from Welsh Government ministers on its long-term plan for health and social care on Wednesday.

Numerous committee reports to be debated

There will be three plenary debates on committee reports on Wednesday afternoon. First, AMs will discuss the public accounts committee’s report on the Welsh Government’s initial funding of the Circuit of Wales project, which expressed concerns over “significant shortcomings” in the decision-making processes followed by those charged with handling taxpayers’ money. There will then be a debate on the health committee’s report on the use of antipsychotic medication in care homes, which highlights the continued inappropriate use of antipsychotics in care home settings. The economy committee’s report on enterprise zones, which identified a variation in performance and outcomes in Wales’ eight enterprise zones, will then be considered.

Plaid AM leads short debate on maritime research vessel

Rhun ap Iorwerth will bring his concerns over the future of the Prince Madog, Bangor University’s research vessel, to the Assembly as he leads a short debate on the matter. The Ynys Môn AM, who entered the Plaid Cymru leadership contest last week, has previously highlighted the prospect of the Prince Madog being leased to a third party or even being sold. The vessel has served the university’s school of ocean sciences since 2001 and was commissioned using a £2.8m joint infrastructure fund grant.

AMs to debate first supplementary budget

On Tuesday afternoon AMs will consider the Welsh Government’s first supplementary budget for 2018-19, which sets out changes in financial allocations across government. The Assembly’s finance committee produced a report on the budget, which found that changes in the supplementary budget are not substantial but added that scrutiny of the process remains important.

Photo: The Prince Madog research vessel (Credit: Reading Tom via Flickr)

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