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5 things to look out for in the Senedd this week - 18th June 2018

Legislative milestones, the anniversary of the EU referendum, a celebration of humanism, and much more...

· Politics,Wales,Assembly,Alcohol pricing,5 things

1. Minimum price for alcohol

Wales will be closer to implementing a minimum price for alcohol if a Welsh Government bill passes the last phase of Assembly scrutiny on Tuesday. The Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) Bill has moved through the Assembly smoothly thus far and will seek to replicate minimum pricing legislation in Scotland. UKIP have been the major detractors of the Bill, highlighting its impact on moderate drinkers and questioning the benefits it will bring to heavy drinkers.

2. Abolition of letting fees

Another legislative milestone will be marked in the Assembly’s Equality Committee, which is beginning its inquiry into the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) Bill. The Bill intends to prohibit letting fees that are not rent, security deposits, holding deposits and payments in default. There is widespread support for the Bill in the Assembly, though concerns have been raised that the legislation will simply serve to drive up the cost of rent.

3. Marking refugee week

After hundreds of migrants were turned away from Italy over the weekend, government minister Julie James will make a statement to mark Refugee Week, casting Wales as a nation of sanctuary. Expect references to events in the Mediterranean, and debate over the Welsh Government’s policies on refugees, especially after UKIP AM Gareth Bennett published an alternative report on asylum seekers and refugees to the committee he sits on.

4. Second anniversary of Brexit

The Welsh Government has scheduled an Assembly debate on Tuesday marking two years since the EU referendum. Expect plenty of party political back-and-forth following last week’s Commons deliberations over amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, though there is unlikely to be anything new arising from a debate on a topic that has dominated Assembly deliberations ever since the June 2016 vote.

5. Humanist Day

Mick Antoniw will use his short debate on Wednesday afternoon to mark World Humanist Day. The Labour AM, who represents the Pontypridd constituency and served as Wales’ Counsel General, will discuss the merits of the humanist movement, which seeks to promote the value of critical thinking and rationalism over the acceptance of superstition and dogma.

Also to look out for: This week’s opening FMQ on the prospect of a Welsh cricket team; a statement on the refreshed autistic spectrum disorder action plan; and the continuation of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee’s well-publicised inquiry into the state of Welsh roads.

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