23/10/2011 The Politics Show Wales


Jon Sopel and Aled ap Dafydd with analysis of the political scene shaping Wales.

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Later in the programme: It was meant to be a retail park,


but millions of pounds of taxpayers' money was spent on what


has turned into a lorry park on Anglesey - we have the details.


And harsh words from a Labour peer on the priorities of the Welsh


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1791 seconds


First, a flagship development on the outskirts of Holyhead has cost


the taxpayer millions of pounds more than originally planned. The


Parc Cybi site on Anglesey was supposed to be a business and


retail park but is now a lorry park. Part of the project included an


archaeological dig costing several million pounds. The business


minister Edwina Hart has announced the site will now be sold. John


Stephenson has the story. You can almost feel the hand of


history reaching out. It is now known as Parc Cybi on the outskirts


of Holyhead. Before the Roman work began, dozens of archaeologists


work here. -- development work. As is normal, the site has now been


covered up. But what they found here at Parc Cybi was an


international -- of international significance. You have so much


going on in this one site. It is not an individual site. In the past


archaeologists focused on one monument but he'll have an entire


landscape stretching thousands of years so it is significant -- here


you have a landscape. It is not an everyday occurrence to find this


kind of archaeology condensed in one reasonably small area and the


information it gives you about the continuity of people, one community


living in a site for several 1000 years is significant discovery.


Parc Cybi was intended to be a major mixed-use site for north-west


Wales, creating up to 1300 jobs. Well, the idea was to create


businesses to help regenerate Holyhead and the Isle of Anglesey.


The purpose hasn't changed and that but there will be interest being


shown, but like everything else it is about the economic climate so it


is taking time to get off the ground. All sorts of schemes were


aired and there was even talk of trying to persuade the Home Office


to site a new prison, but like the archaeology they have discovered,


all that is now history. By spending millions to develop the


site the Welsh Government had hoped to create jobs. This -- the final


scheme, though, is nothing like that originally planned. One bone


of contention is the millions spent on the archaeology. What have they


been doing? I know it is a slow process and they have to move stone


by stone, step-by-step, but �4 million? I am sorry, I cannot get


my head around that or justify that to people and I will not try. It is


a no-brainer for me. That argument, say the critics, is totally


disingenuous. I think what has happened in Parc Cybi, it is


devious in a way, the archaeology has almost been made a scapegoat


for the fact that the park has not developed the way they intended.


You find a lot of these developments parks, they have ideas


which are not necessarily fulfilled afterwards. So I think, the


question is, the overall budget of that Park, it is nothing to do with


the archaeology, the reason it subsequently has not been used.


total cost for developing Parc Cybi was going to be in the region of


�11 million, but the Welsh Government have now revealed to the


politics show that work on the Parc Cybi site would have cost the


taxpayer �21 million. Last week, at the Business Mr Edwina Hart finally


gave the green light to the sale of Parc Cybi to an investment company.


-- Business Minister. They plan to develop a transport hub and lorry


park which, they say, could create 70 jobs and boost the Ireland's


economy -- the island's economy. Earlier this month the Supreme


Court was said that laws passed by the Assembly Government have the


same legal weight as laws passed by the UK Parliament. We discuss the


issue with the Consul General Theodore Huckle.


I met the consul-general at his office at the Wales HQ at Cathays


Park. The Supreme Court judgment followed a challenge by insurance


companies against a law passed by the Scottish parliament. The First


Minister Carwyn Jones intervened to support the Scottish position


because he believed the constitutional principle applies


here as much as it does in Scotland. This is a very detailed judgment,


but essentially, as I understand it, it is about companies not being


able to get around decisions made by democratically elected


politicians, whether they be in Edinburgh or in Cardiff, using the


judicial system. Absolutely. And it is a result which, on behalf of the


Welsh Government and I hope the people of Wales, we are absolutely


delighted. It is that line, isn't it, between the judiciary and


democratic processes that we are dealing with here. Absolutely.


is putting the Assembly in Wales and the parliament in Scotland at


the same level as the parliament, the UK Parliament. Yes. We have to


remember that just as with the Scottish parliament, the National


Assembly for Wales axe under the powers given to it by the


government of Wales Act. -- acts. Within that acts there are certain


procedures for reviewing what Wales does by way of legislation and


ensuring that that is within what we lawyer's core competence. For


example, if provisions were to breach the convention of human


rights or European law, they would automatically be outside the


competence, the legislative competence of the National Assembly


for Wales in this case and the same applies for the Scottish parliament.


On that basis, the legislation would be capable of being referred


to the Supreme Court and struck down. That is all taking place


within the structure of the Act, and everybody understands that and


we are quite happy with that ability of the Supreme Court to


review what the Assembly's legislative assemblies do. It is a


different matter when we consider judicial review, a common law


remedy which everyone can bring if they have appropriate standing on


an issue, to challenge an action taken by a minister, say, or an act


of secondary legislation, to say that it is, in this case,


irrational, for example. We were very strongly of the view that that


remedy, that challenge, should not be available in relation to primary


legislation or legislation of a primary nature passed by, in this


case, people elected by the people of Wales. As was said in a legal


judgment, you cannot have organisations, rather than working


through the democratic process, using the law to subvert


democratically taken decisions on legislation. Absolutely. The


doctrine of separation pub -- doctrine of separation of powers


provides that there are three elements of government, the rule of


law, if you like, that is, the legislature, the executive and


judiciary. The judiciary, the courts, will refer to the power of


the legislature, if you like, the primary law-making body, which is


directly elected by the electorate, and will only interfere when it has


the power to do so, and it is always accepted that it does not


ordinarily have the power to intervene. So it does not second-


guess what the people's representatives have provided


should be the law. Do you foresee any interesting battles ahead that


are likely to be battles... Are you expecting fun and games over that?


A I look forward to issues of that type which will arise, because it


is a very exciting time to be in Wales generally and a lawyer in


Wales in particular. It is a very exciting time to be in this post in


Wales, for all the aforesaid reasons. I cannot predict when the


issues will arise, really, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are


quite a lot of issues which arise over the coming years, because if


the First Minister... The First Minister is on record as saying


that this legal jurisdiction of England and Wales is the only one


in the world where there are two legislative bodies which can pass


measures, acts of equal status to affect the lives of the people of


Wales. Part of that overall jurisdiction. Therefore it seems to


be inevitable that there will be situations where if not a clash,


there will certainly be rubbing up against each other of those two


spheres of operation, so when that happens, it has to be worked out in


some way, and there may be challenges to be considered. There


maybe advice to be given, but it is not for me to predict when and


where. Is there a possibility or even a likelihood of a separate


legal system for Wales in the not- too-distant future? People use that


expression to mean a very different things. It means different things


to have raised using it. You will know that the First Minister


announced a week or so ago that there will be a debate about that


issue, because people are talking about it, and there will be a Green


Paper, probably the first one to be issued by the government in Wales


since the election and since the referendum, and I look forward to


that debate as well. It is obviously one eye as a lawyer and


interested in generally, but specifically because I am in this


role now. That was the Consul General


Theodore Huckle. On Radio Wales at 1pm you can hear


the annual Patrick Hannan Lecture. The first lecture in memory of the


distinguished broadcaster is being given by former Labour MP Baroness


Eluned Morgan. The topic is Labour and devolution. She pulls no


punches as she revealed to our political Editor Betsan Powys.


Let's start with redefining the relationship with the private


sector. I think there has been suspicion in the past from many


members of the Labour Party in terms of how we relate to business,


because our traditional relationship, you must remember,


the history is one of bosses against the workers, and that has


been the historic background to this. We do need to move on, and I


think what happened was that that was understood when Tony Blair came


into power in the UK. Labour in Wales however, didn't quite move in


the same direction. They went too far, further than the rest of the


UK with the prawn cocktail offensive, but in Wales we have to


redefine our relationship particularly at this time, because


they is no other choice if we want to create jobs in Wales. Do you


think that suspicion is still tangible, can you still potter --


spotted in the Welsh Labour movement and in government? It is


definitely still there and we need to be careful in terms of what kind


of industries we deal with, what kind of businesses, but the danger


is that we have had suspicion against all of them because we have


not known how to distinguish. I think we should be using the trade


unions to help us identify who the good businesses are and to help to


nurture and develop those industries, because that is how you


get job creation in Wales, and job creation is absolutely crucial at


this point in time. You made the point that you thought there ought


to be greater care in not asking for too much devolution if that


would harm prospects of job creation. Where is that barb aimed,


at civil servants, politicians all wear? It is about resources,


expertise and really focusing on what will improve the material


well-being of the people of Wales. If it is simply about ideology,


about, let's have more power for the sake of it, I think it is the


wrong way to go. If it will help job creation, then of course do it,


but here is a real question over whether there is a capacity, and


the expertise in particular, at this time, when there is a real


contraction in the Civil Service, to be able to deliver that.


talk also about the need to make Wales an attractive place for


business. That must be key. Labour has had a long time to do that. Are


you just saying it hasn't got there yet? It has failed so far? When you


look at the evidence, the investment from people outside


Wales coming in to Wales has dropped, so there is obviously a


problem that we have to address. The question is, how do we


prioritise? Labour is doing great stuff, I think, but the question


now I think is about prioritising, making sure the jobs agenda is


absolutely the top the agenda. that not what it has been doing? It


says it has been doing that for many years. Well, I think if we


look at what has been discussed and what is discussed in the Assembly,


you can see that it is not a Labour problem. I think all the other


parties are equally guilty. We have been distracted by things we


shouldn't be having. Like what? think there are issues we should be


looking at. We spent a lot of time this week discussing smacking


children. Of course it is an important issue, but at a time of


crisis, when actually there is a question about whether that will


follow through, I think it is about really spending time at making


relationships, and really caught in the private sector at to make the


investments in Wales. That is not being done to the extent it should


be done. I think all the Assembly members, not just Labour members


and ministers, could get involved in this. Every single Assembly


member could be developing relationships with businesses in


their communities. And to those who might say after this, Eluned Morgan


spent a couple of years in the private sector, look what has


happened to her, what would you say? I went to the private sector


deliberately because I realised there weren't enough people within


the Labour movement who had an understanding. I think there is a


real suspicion by many people in the party, and because of that,


there has been a fear of engagement, because we don't understand the


language business speaks. Having seen it, listen, it is not all


fantastic in the private sector, let me tell you, but what is


interesting is that it is not that intimidating either. I don't think


this is rocket science. I think it is simply about gaining the


confidence within the administration to say, we are up


for this and we will engage. It is comforting message was some of the


movement, isn't it? -- for some of the movement. I don't think it is


difficult. I think at this time of crisis, people need to understand


that if they are serious about job creation, job creation will not


come from the public sector, so there is only briefly a couple of


other choices, and the private sector is central to that. Eluned


Morgan, thank you. As we heard earlier on the politics


show, the Commons will vote tomorrow on whether to have a


referendum on EU membership. The coalition government and the Labour


leadership are urging their MPs to oppose such a move. We have the


Conservative MP for Abba Conwy who backs the referendum joining us


from Bangor. Good afternoon. Why us a referendum such an important


issue? Can I clarify the position first of


all, I am backing an amendment which has signed up to which asks


the government to produce a White Paper and on the basis of the White


Paper explain what the negotiation position the government will take


would be, then we would put that issue to a referendum. I do think


the motion put forward in front of the House on Monday is


fundamentally flawed in two ways, firstly it is a three option


referendum which I think is dangerous, and secondly, one of the


options is renegotiation but it does not explain what type of


renegotiation. I think it would be wrong to was the people of this


country to vote on a referendum were renegotiation is an option but


there is no explanation whatsoever about what renegotiation would mean.


One of your party's most prominent Euro-sceptics, William Hague, says


this is not a time for a referendum because of the economic crisis. The


Labour leader Ed Miliband says that people who were asking the UK to


leave the EU are barking mad. Are you barking mad? I have never asked


to leave the EU. I have always said it strongly we should renegotiate a


position with the EU and that is the amendment we have put forward,


that is what it aims to do. I understand what -- white William


Hague is saying what he is saying because the euro zone crisis is


significant and there is a real need to do with it if economic


growth is to be delivered in the UK context. I do think the motion is


probably wrongly timed and certainly very badly drafted, but


ultimately, I have been asked to vote on an alternative vote


referendum which I supported and a referendum on the powers of the


Welsh Assembly. I want to stay with the EU and renegotiate with the EU,


but it is no bad thing that issues which are important to the general


public are debated in Parliament. What would you say to those


claiming that this once again shows that the Conservative Party is


divided on Europe? -- to those same this once again shows. This is a


division between the pragmatic Euro-sceptic parliamentary party


and those who are desperate to get the issue resolved immediately. The


Conservative parliamentary party is fundamentally a Euro-sceptic but


there is undoubtedly a division between the pragmatists, who feel


we need to discuss what areas we want to renegotiate upon, and those


who feel we should move immediately to a referendum. Unfortunately,


even though I can see that, I cannot see any merit in a


referendum proposal with three options. That is why a I hope our


amendment, the George used as a moment, will be selected. George


Eustace has also said that this has been badly handled by the


government. Would you can care with that? I think that is a difficult


question, because ultimately they are two ways we could deal with


this as government. The government could have said this was a


backbones is as much an and the government will not be bound --


back bench business motion. Or they could have ignored it. I am proud


that his coalition government has decided that this issue is


fundamentally important and that they use the abuse of -- the views


of Parliament have to be respected. The government has taken it


seriously. Does that mean we have created contention within the


party? Undoubtedly. You have touched on this already, as a final


question, the government is not bound by the result of the moped --


vote tomorrow, but what is the point? I disagree. You are


technically correct that the government is not bound by the vote


but it would be very difficult to explain to the British people that


if the House of Commons voted in favour of this motion, the


government ignored it -- that would be difficult to explain. We need a


robust argument, but my own view is that the George used this amendment


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