03/02/2016 The Wales Report


03/02/2016

Bethan Rhys Roberts explores concerns over a decline in the number of Welsh pupils learning a modern foreign language.


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Transcript


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Tonight, on the Wales Report, why are fewer children in Wales

:00:00.:00:07.

We hear concerns that Welsh schoolchildren are missing out.

:00:08.:00:21.

Plans take shape to reform Britain's relationship

:00:22.:00:22.

with the European Union, but what does it all mean for Wales?

:00:23.:00:31.

And claims from a top economist that the current

:00:32.:00:33.

devolution settlement makes Wales impossible to govern.

:00:34.:00:35.

Good evening and welcome to the Wales Report.

:00:36.:00:38.

According to research by the British Council,

:00:39.:00:42.

there has been a steep decline in the number of pupils learning

:00:43.:00:53.

modern foreign languages in schools over the last ten years.

:00:54.:00:56.

And, in a country where for many, bilingualism is the norm,

:00:57.:00:58.

there are concerns that this low uptake of foreign languages could be

:00:59.:01:01.

Remember, you can join in the conversation on social media.

:01:02.:01:06.

As part of BBC Wales' How Wales Works season,

:01:07.:01:08.

Felicity Evans has gone back to school.

:01:09.:01:20.

It is great to learn another language.

:01:21.:01:30.

I think it would really help me in University.

:01:31.:01:35.

They would open different doors and I would be able to speak

:01:36.:01:38.

to new people as well as people in my own culture.

:01:39.:01:40.

I would be able to experience other peoples' culture.

:01:41.:01:43.

It would also help for holiday, so when you go to speak to them

:01:44.:01:47.

in their own language, it will be useful.

:01:48.:01:49.

I chose languages as I believe that in the future, when I go to apply

:01:50.:01:52.

for jobs and staff, they are more likely to employ someone who speaks

:01:53.:01:56.

a second language than someone who can speak one.

:01:57.:01:58.

These pupils at this comprehensive in Barry do not need convincing

:01:59.:02:00.

about the importance of learning a modern foreign language.

:02:01.:02:03.

There has been a steep decline in pupils choosing to study

:02:04.:02:07.

languages at GCSE level and beyond over the last decade.

:02:08.:02:12.

A recent report for the British Council found that Wales has

:02:13.:02:15.

the lowest take-up of all of the UK home nations.

:02:16.:02:19.

The author of this report says it is a grim situation.

:02:20.:02:22.

The last ten years, the number of students taking French and German

:02:23.:02:27.

at GCSE has about halved, slightly more than halved.

:02:28.:02:31.

It looks like there is 20% of pupils now taking up

:02:32.:02:42.

For Wales' place in the world, and the preparation that Welsh

:02:43.:02:47.

children have for life in the global economy.

:02:48.:02:49.

And for many potential employers, securing Wales' place in the global

:02:50.:03:01.

economy involves being able to recruit workers

:03:02.:03:03.

Creditsafe has offices in Caerphilly and Cardiff,

:03:04.:03:09.

as well as nine other countries around the world.

:03:10.:03:12.

But the decline in language learning means that the local language talent

:03:13.:03:23.

I think it is true to say that the number of people

:03:24.:03:27.

that we recruit now compared to ten years ago, the number of people

:03:28.:03:32.

who have taken modern foreign languages right the way

:03:33.:03:34.

level or even beyond that, that number has fallen,

:03:35.:03:38.

and of course, it is a sad reflection, because what we want is,

:03:39.:03:41.

when we have people open to those opportunities,

:03:42.:03:43.

we can give them support, we can provide additional language

:03:44.:03:45.

We don't expect people to know everything, but if they have taken

:03:46.:03:51.

modern foreign languages up to a certain level,

:03:52.:03:53.

they are more open and able to take those things on in the future.

:03:54.:03:57.

With offices all round Europe, there are always opportunities.

:03:58.:03:59.

We have people that started working here on the telephone in Caerphilly,

:04:00.:04:02.

who are now working in our operations across Europe.

:04:03.:04:04.

The manager of our sales division in Germany works in Berlin,

:04:05.:04:07.

and he started on the phones here in South Wales.

:04:08.:04:09.

One of the particularly disappointing things

:04:10.:04:11.

about the decline in modern foreign languages in Wales over the last

:04:12.:04:13.

decade is that we are squandering a natural advantage.

:04:14.:04:16.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that being bilingual

:04:17.:04:21.

makes it much easier to learn a third or even fourth language.

:04:22.:04:24.

Here at this school, they are harnessing the power

:04:25.:04:29.

of Welsh by joining modern foreign languages to it to in one faculty.

:04:30.:04:40.

The school's enthusiasm for modern foreign languages,

:04:41.:04:45.

or MFL, and its good results, have made it a key part of the Welsh

:04:46.:04:49.

government's attempts to rescue the subject.

:04:50.:04:50.

They set up regional centres of excellence.

:04:51.:04:52.

This school is the one for South Wales Central.

:04:53.:04:54.

It is to share good practice and drive improvement

:04:55.:04:56.

Amy Walters Bresner is the regional languages coordinator.

:04:57.:04:59.

In languages, we teach the skills of reading,

:05:00.:05:03.

And that skill is what employers aren't looking for.

:05:04.:05:12.

And we have almost forgot about that, I think,

:05:13.:05:21.

whereas now, the spotlight is on MFL.

:05:22.:05:23.

I think we have a place in modern society today to make language

:05:24.:05:26.

The Welsh government's new push on modern foreign languages

:05:27.:05:42.

languages is generating excitement within the sector.

:05:43.:05:44.

It only started in September, and there is a lot of ground

:05:45.:05:48.

But how will any progress be measured?

:05:49.:05:51.

Experts say it is difficult to get figures on how Welsh schools

:05:52.:05:54.

are doing an take-up and performance, and there are calls

:05:55.:05:56.

to use the schools inspectorate took monitor the situation better.

:05:57.:05:59.

At the moment, language does not have any special status little

:06:00.:06:01.

in the performance measures, and it is quite difficult to get

:06:02.:06:04.

information about the number of pupils who are taking a foreign

:06:05.:06:07.

I think they could do more to monitor what is happening,

:06:08.:06:10.

and to publish figures, and to hold schools responsible

:06:11.:06:12.

through ESTIN and around the proportions of pupils that take

:06:13.:06:15.

a language at GCSE and the standards that they reach.

:06:16.:06:21.

The education minister, Hugh Lewis, is stepping down at the election.

:06:22.:06:23.

So it will be up to his successor to see through the new initiative

:06:24.:06:29.

Without effective action, it looks like their viability

:06:30.:06:32.

in schools across Wales will be at risk.

:06:33.:06:34.

Education Minister Hugh Lewis was unavailable for interview,

:06:35.:06:42.

but how Welsh government spokesman told the Welsh report that they want

:06:43.:06:53.

more young people to learn foreign languages and benefit

:06:54.:06:56.

The Minister has introduced Global Futures, a five year

:06:57.:07:07.

strategy to improve the take-up and teaching

:07:08.:07:08.

Joining me now is Professor Claire Gorrara, head of modern languages

:07:09.:07:12.

Why do think there is this decline in the take-up of foreign

:07:13.:07:17.

I think it links firstly to a sense of doing a language

:07:18.:07:21.

Looking at the results, we do very well in Wales in terms

:07:22.:07:24.

I think it is also linked to a sense that parents aren't always aware

:07:25.:07:31.

of the intercultural benefits of learning languages,

:07:32.:07:32.

not just the linguistic skills but the world more generally.

:07:33.:07:38.

And also, I think about curriculum time, and the way it has

:07:39.:07:41.

been set up in the curriculum by the Welsh school system.

:07:42.:07:43.

This decline that the British Council sought was also seen

:07:44.:07:45.

But is it fair to say that they acted sooner?

:07:46.:07:49.

They put the brake on a bit sooner, they made it more compulsory

:07:50.:07:52.

Is Wales a bit slow in trying to right a wrong here?

:07:53.:07:57.

I think certainly within England and Scotland, there was a sense

:07:58.:07:59.

for international competitiveness, the need to educate students

:08:00.:08:01.

from a very early age, with modern foreign languages.

:08:02.:08:06.

It is for greater economic outward visibility and profile.

:08:07.:08:08.

In Wales, there has been a slow start, but I am keen and optimistic

:08:09.:08:12.

about the new partnership we are operating.

:08:13.:08:16.

Again, Wales behind the curve for you, and Wales taking its eye

:08:17.:08:19.

I think partly, because we have had a different approach in terms

:08:20.:08:24.

of the school system, obviously devolution plays a part,

:08:25.:08:27.

but it is about looking a new way to approach it,

:08:28.:08:38.

following a period of a lack of focus on modern foreign-language

:08:39.:08:41.

is, looking at stem subjects and the importance

:08:42.:08:43.

And they are taking their eye off the ball.

:08:44.:08:46.

Looking at it now, there is a real strong awareness that it is a very

:08:47.:08:52.

Global Futures, this strategy, ?500,000 are available

:08:53.:08:54.

One, it is creating a strong model of partnership between universities

:08:55.:09:01.

and secondary schools, visual consortia and the Welsh government.

:09:02.:09:04.

Two, there are some new things developing that are coming along,

:09:05.:09:06.

school students under understanding the value of languages.

:09:07.:09:09.

Wales very proud of it bilingual heritage, and many see it

:09:10.:09:14.

Are there those who think well, hang on, Little John

:09:15.:09:29.

They don't have time to do something on top?

:09:30.:09:35.

In many ways, we have to try and reflect on Welsh as a second

:09:36.:09:39.

language can really improve the take-up of an, to improve

:09:40.:09:42.

language skills across one or two languages.

:09:43.:09:43.

We have a heritage language, it may come from a different

:09:44.:09:46.

We have students with a wonderful multilingual skills,

:09:47.:09:49.

We heard about job opportunities there, and the benefits of

:09:50.:09:59.

languages. There are those who say forget French and German, let's do

:10:00.:10:03.

Arabic and Urdu and Chinese. Is that the way forward? Any language from

:10:04.:10:09.

the very early age has a wonderful impact on your brain synapses. It

:10:10.:10:15.

helps the way your brain competes. Having that second or third language

:10:16.:10:20.

as a learning experience early on is a key thing. Looking forward to the

:10:21.:10:26.

Welsh economy, the Spanish and Chinese art ain't much more visible

:10:27.:10:30.

on the global stage. I had any language has a wonderful impact on

:10:31.:10:34.

linguistic ability and international awareness. It is take-up is not

:10:35.:10:38.

reversed, what will be the impact for Wales? It will make Wales less

:10:39.:10:43.

globally competitive. They will not be able to secure jobs in

:10:44.:10:49.

multinational countries within Wales. -- companies within Wales. It

:10:50.:10:55.

will be a lack of broadened horizons. So the message to

:10:56.:10:59.

ministers is to get this right, and quickly. We send up 40

:11:00.:11:05.

undergraduates to schools across Wales to mentor people at GCSE 's.

:11:06.:11:15.

We are working on a pan-Wales initiative. Thank you very much.

:11:16.:11:20.

Whatever language -- in whatever language, the debate over Europe is

:11:21.:11:23.

suddenly going to be lively. When you have details on a potential deal

:11:24.:11:26.

on the potential relationship between the UK and the rest of the

:11:27.:11:32.

European Union. David Cameron is setting out his terms in

:11:33.:11:38.

Westminster. If we stay, we will be protecting our rebate, stripping

:11:39.:11:42.

away unnecessary regulation, and is stepping up our commitments. We will

:11:43.:11:47.

truly have the best of both worlds. The draft deal by Donald Tusk

:11:48.:11:57.

prominence -- promises an emergency brake on my current benefits. A key

:11:58.:12:04.

legal statement. But those campaigning for UK to leave the

:12:05.:12:09.

European Union, say it does not come close to beat changes Mr Cameron had

:12:10.:12:14.

promised. If you look at the substance of the renegotiations,

:12:15.:12:19.

what is being asked for is fairly weak. So it is almost as if the

:12:20.:12:24.

strategy is to ask for nothing and then you get nothing in return. Yet

:12:25.:12:28.

it gives the Prime Minister the opportunity to wave the white flag

:12:29.:12:31.

and says that he has done a great job for Wales and the United

:12:32.:12:35.

Kingdom, which is not necessarily the case. If European leaders steal

:12:36.:12:41.

the deal in a crucial European summer, then Britain's EU referendum

:12:42.:12:47.

could be held as soon as June. So, what does it all mean for us here in

:12:48.:12:51.

Wales? Joining us now art to political commentators. Thanks,

:12:52.:12:56.

I think almost certainly. both. Kevin, is it going to be June?

:12:57.:13:01.

Downing Street, we believe, have pencilled

:13:02.:13:03.

David Cameron is desperate to get it out of the

:13:04.:13:06.

He fears another migration and refugee crisis in the summer

:13:07.:13:09.

would influence a result if it was delayed, but also he knows

:13:10.:13:12.

it is going to dominate British politics

:13:13.:13:14.

And he doesn't want that to happen, because he could allow his opponents

:13:15.:13:21.

to get up a head of steam, so he believes if he goes in June

:13:22.:13:25.

So let's be honest, the protestations from

:13:26.:13:29.

Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland, from Wales or so, basically

:13:30.:13:40.

Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland, from Wales also, basically

:13:41.:13:42.

they don't register in Downing Street?

:13:43.:13:43.

I understand why objections are made with huge

:13:44.:13:46.

elections in May than a referendum in June, there is a real prospect

:13:47.:13:50.

of chaos, and Europe dominating those

:13:51.:13:54.

May elections rather than just the referendum itself,

:13:55.:13:56.

but David Cameron has his own timetable.

:13:57.:13:58.

He does it because he believes it suits him and Britain's best,

:13:59.:14:03.

He does it because he believes it suits him and Britain best,

:14:04.:14:06.

so I am afraid all objections will be ignored, he may

:14:07.:14:09.

smile and try to smooth ruffled feathers but he is going

:14:10.:14:12.

Darren, he has bigger fish to fry, basically, doesn't he,

:14:13.:14:15.

but what will be the impact if it is June 23, on the Welsh Assembly

:14:16.:14:19.

Let's look at this another way, there were people who objected

:14:20.:14:22.

when this referendum potentially was going to be called

:14:23.:14:26.

on the same day as the assembly elections.

:14:27.:14:28.

There was always going to be some impact.

:14:29.:14:30.

I think what worries the four main parties in Wales is actually Ukip,

:14:31.:14:33.

and the closer you hold a referendum to be assembly

:14:34.:14:39.

and the closer you hold a referendum to the Assembly

:14:40.:14:42.

elections, the more likely it is to be beneficial to Ukip

:14:43.:14:44.

in that assembly vote, it's as simple as that.

:14:45.:14:46.

Talking about Ukip, they expect to do pretty well,

:14:47.:14:49.

they are targeting Wales more than Scotland

:14:50.:14:50.

and London, so will they then split their money and think,

:14:51.:14:58.

"Right, we now have to spend on the referendum," or is it one big

:14:59.:15:02.

One big campaign, and as soon as they

:15:03.:15:06.

sort out this local difficulty with finding some candidates

:15:07.:15:08.

to stand who are acceptable to their party they will be full

:15:09.:15:11.

steam ahead and you will see the motoring

:15:12.:15:13.

If they don't make progress in the assembly election it will be

:15:14.:15:17.

Kevin, the impact on the other parties, we are talking

:15:18.:15:23.

about splits, potentially big ones, in Labour and the Tories,

:15:24.:15:27.

Plaid Cymru and Lib Dems perhaps more united on the European issue,

:15:28.:15:30.

but for those two big parties, they will be split at a time

:15:31.:15:33.

when they are fighting elections in Wales.

:15:34.:15:35.

I think the splits are bigger and more fundamental

:15:36.:15:38.

in the Conservative Party than Labour, but there are people

:15:39.:15:43.

in Labour, MPs, Assembly members, who are Eurosceptic,

:15:44.:15:46.

and if you have divided parties, in elections, it becomes very

:15:47.:15:48.

damaging because the electorate don't know

:15:49.:15:50.

who to listen to when they hear these many voices.

:15:51.:15:53.

Again, that is another reason David Cameron wants

:15:54.:15:56.

to go early, because he knows Europe, as it has in the past,

:15:57.:15:59.

will split the Conservatives in future.

:16:00.:16:03.

He thinks he can hold his cabinet relatively strongly together,

:16:04.:16:06.

a few people will speak out, but as we saw

:16:07.:16:10.

today, we know there are a lot of Eurosceptic Tory MPs who get out

:16:11.:16:14.

of bed every day to drag Britain out of

:16:15.:16:18.

Europe, and they will not be quiet or go meekly into the polling booths

:16:19.:16:21.

and accept the result if it isn't what they want.

:16:22.:16:26.

Daran, crystal balls then, let's pretend it's a no,

:16:27.:16:37.

it's let's get out of Europe, but Wales and Scotland,

:16:38.:16:39.

in the breakdown, have said yes, what

:16:40.:16:41.

We are talking about a Scottish referendum, aren't we?

:16:42.:16:44.

Well, I think it's much more likely, actually, that Scotland would say

:16:45.:16:47.

If you look at opinion polls, and I don't moment

:16:48.:16:50.

If you look at opinion polls, and I don't for a moment

:16:51.:16:53.

suggest we should take them without a pinch of salt after last

:16:54.:16:56.

year, it has shown a similarity between Welsh

:16:57.:16:58.

and English voting patterns that isn't there with Scotland.

:16:59.:17:00.

If Scotland votes a different way to Wales and England,

:17:01.:17:03.

it is a far more likely scenario, and in that

:17:04.:17:05.

circumstance it probably would move towards another Scottish referendum.

:17:06.:17:09.

And then, Kevin, we are talking about a rump UK out

:17:10.:17:11.

of the European Union, where does that leave Wales?

:17:12.:17:15.

Yes, it would be the end of the United Kingdom,

:17:16.:17:17.

One of the nightmares would be Scotland and Wales voting

:17:18.:17:25.

to stay in, England voting to come out.

:17:26.:17:32.

We know what would happen if in that rump different England and Wales

:17:33.:17:35.

be huge tensions, and there would not be soluble

:17:36.:17:38.

A lot of economic chaos would happen should Britain come out

:17:39.:17:42.

of the European Union, with also added

:17:43.:17:43.

You are both seasoned commentators that have covered a lot

:17:44.:17:50.

of elections, have the stakes ever been

:17:51.:17:52.

It seems to be a roller-coaster the last couple of years

:17:53.:17:59.

This is probably the most profound we have had yet,

:18:00.:18:03.

not just because of the relationship with Europe but because of

:18:04.:18:06.

the future of the rest of the UK as we

:18:07.:18:08.

Will this put an end to the questioning and the major

:18:09.:18:11.

I am not sure, but it is certainly a hugely

:18:12.:18:20.

Kevin Maguire, final question, where will we be

:18:21.:18:23.

I kind of feel that Britain will vote to remain,

:18:24.:18:37.

not least because you have the leaders of the Conservative Party,

:18:38.:18:40.

Labour, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the SMP

:18:41.:18:41.

Labour, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the SNP

:18:42.:18:43.

all campaigning to remain in, but you will not solve this

:18:44.:18:46.

question, it will go on, because the problems

:18:47.:18:48.

Europe gets blamed for a lot of things, a lot of questions

:18:49.:18:52.

are more fundamental than Britain's membership,

:18:53.:18:53.

including the question of refugees and migration.

:18:54.:18:58.

Thank you both, Daran Hill, thank you, Kevin

:18:59.:19:00.

Whichever party ends up in charge of the Senedd after the elections

:19:01.:19:07.

in May, they will have to grapple with

:19:08.:19:11.

a devolution settlement that is being called deeply problematic.

:19:12.:19:13.

Today in Westminster row erupted over the UK Government's attempt

:19:14.:19:15.

Labour say they will not now support the draft Wales Bill

:19:16.:19:20.

All this after a report by respected academics this week said the draft

:19:21.:19:27.

legislation was constricting, clunky and short-sighted.

:19:28.:19:37.

So is Wales as it currently stands ungovernable?

:19:38.:19:40.

Professor Calvin Jones from Cardiff Business School

:19:41.:19:42.

The path of Wales since devolution is a great disappointment

:19:43.:19:47.

The devolution project, which I supported, which once had

:19:48.:19:50.

How do we make Wales work better and how should it be

:19:51.:19:57.

After 16 years and four governments we can no longer use

:19:58.:20:00.

excuses of growing pains and bedding in to explain poor performance.

:20:01.:20:05.

If devolution were going to be economically transformative

:20:06.:20:07.

Devolution has not just failed, it cannot work.

:20:08.:20:14.

This is the great unmentionable in all political

:20:15.:20:16.

Wales in our modern globalised world cannot be governed

:20:17.:20:21.

For an economist like me, this is obvious, the economy

:20:22.:20:26.

of industrial South Wales is nothing like that of north-east Wales,

:20:27.:20:28.

separate markets, different skills needs, different customers,

:20:29.:20:31.

North West Wales like another country

:20:32.:20:42.

again, and Powys - Powys is just Powys.

:20:43.:20:44.

The idea that these disparate economies can be effectively managed

:20:45.:20:46.

and directed from Cardiff Bay is bizarre.

:20:47.:20:48.

Especially when actual economic power over interest rates,

:20:49.:20:50.

energy, currency and most taxes lives in London.

:20:51.:20:52.

Businesspeople in places like North Wales are not just

:20:53.:20:54.

on the outside, they are on the periphery of the periphery.

:20:55.:20:56.

Far from turning the clock back on devolution, I think we need

:20:57.:21:01.

The Welsh Government needs to give away power,

:21:02.:21:04.

transferring resources, financial and human,

:21:05.:21:05.

Resources, policy and landscape should be controlled locally

:21:06.:21:10.

at the level of the functional economic

:21:11.:21:12.

Strawberries a pound, raspberries a pound.

:21:13.:21:18.

What then would be left the Welsh Government to do?

:21:19.:21:21.

Must the turkeys then vote for Christmas?

:21:22.:21:22.

We could build a more agile Government,

:21:23.:21:25.

narrow in scope and all the better for it.

:21:26.:21:27.

It should be focused on sustainability, evaluating public

:21:28.:21:29.

bodies in Wales and holding them to account when they fail,

:21:30.:21:32.

and running key services and infrastructure

:21:33.:21:39.

where the argument for economies of scale are strong.

:21:40.:21:41.

We might even enjoy this new approach.

:21:42.:21:44.

It is tempting to blame politicians but we failed the devolution era

:21:45.:21:46.

largely because of the way it was dealt.

:21:47.:21:48.

Lack of civic resources, public enthusiasm and economic

:21:49.:21:50.

control, together with the grumpy and petty process of devolution

:21:51.:21:53.

from Whitehall, has stymied any effort to

:21:54.:21:54.

It is time for a fundamental change in the way we approach

:21:55.:21:58.

Politicians in Cardiff Bay have to start trusting those in the rest

:21:59.:22:02.

With the new Welsh Government coming in May, now is the perfect

:22:03.:22:06.

I am joined now by Manon George from the Wales

:22:07.:22:12.

Governance Centre and from Westminster, the Liberal Democrat

:22:13.:22:16.

peer and former First Minister of Wales, Mike German.

:22:17.:22:22.

peer and former Deputy First Minister of Wales,

:22:23.:22:24.

Manon first of all, has he got a point, is Wales that the moment

:22:25.:22:30.

ungovernable with the current settlement?

:22:31.:22:31.

I think the point I would like to make is that Wales

:22:32.:22:34.

doesn't have the tools to do the job.

:22:35.:22:35.

I don't think we can just blame politicians that they don't

:22:36.:22:38.

We are working with a third settlement, a third Welsh devolution

:22:39.:22:42.

settlement, and I would argue old settlements

:22:43.:22:46.

have been a failure and we are looking at a fourth

:22:47.:22:49.

settlement, and the way that is looking at the moment

:22:50.:22:51.

I would argue that will also be a constitutional failure.

:22:52.:22:55.

Yes, and you have written as part of your

:22:56.:22:57.

organisation a critical report about that.

:22:58.:23:00.

We will come onto that, but Mike German, this fourth

:23:01.:23:02.

settlement as proposed at the moment by the

:23:03.:23:07.

Draft Wales Bill, a big row erupting all around you in Westminster today,

:23:08.:23:10.

Labour withdrawing support for the Bill.

:23:11.:23:12.

As a Lib Dem do you still support what that proposes?

:23:13.:23:16.

The principle of the Bill is about a reserve powers model,

:23:17.:23:20.

which I believe is the right way to approach

:23:21.:23:23.

it, a similar approach they did with Scotland right at the very

:23:24.:23:25.

What I do regret is it has taken so many struggles to keep

:23:26.:23:32.

us moving over the hurdles each time to get a straightforward and clear

:23:33.:23:35.

You have a clear distinction between what you can do in Wales

:23:36.:23:40.

and what you can do in the UK Government.

:23:41.:23:46.

The trouble is, the Governance Centre has rightly

:23:47.:23:47.

pointed out, there is still a good deal of confusion about that

:23:48.:23:50.

division, so what I think we need to do is clarified that

:23:51.:23:53.

I think the Government has a job to do in trying to explain that

:23:54.:23:59.

better, it also has to make sure the legislation is clearer,

:24:00.:24:02.

but those changes can be made, and I am sure

:24:03.:24:05.

it is listening to this because it understands it needs to carry people

:24:06.:24:09.

Just to be clear, Mr German, you are still backing that Bill

:24:10.:24:14.

The principle of the Bill is absolutely right.

:24:15.:24:21.

I think there is a great deal to do in terms of detail to make

:24:22.:24:25.

those changes, to straighten the curves which are now appearing

:24:26.:24:27.

to be in the way the text is written in the legislation.

:24:28.:24:30.

Manon George, you are more critical as an institution,

:24:31.:24:32.

Are you saying scrap it or just pause here and have a think?

:24:33.:24:37.

We don't actually think it is rooted in principles,

:24:38.:24:41.

because the reserve powers model, letting Wales do anything

:24:42.:24:46.

except for what is reserved to Westminster, isn't necessarily

:24:47.:24:48.

the best model if it doesn't provide clarity,

:24:49.:24:50.

This is the model you are asking for, though, and the Secretary

:24:51.:24:56.

of State would say if he way here tonight, it provides

:24:57.:25:01.

of State would say if he were here tonight, it provides

:25:02.:25:04.

clarity, it is robust, simpler and clarified

:25:05.:25:05.

There is a long list of matters I reserved,

:25:06.:25:10.

There is a long list of matters which are reserved,

:25:11.:25:13.

so we are arguing that Wales doesn't have as much power as it has under

:25:14.:25:16.

There are also test that exist in Wales that don't exist

:25:17.:25:20.

in Scotland, for example in Wales we would not be

:25:21.:25:22.

allowed to change ministers with crown functions

:25:23.:25:24.

without the consent of the Westminster Parliament first.

:25:25.:25:26.

There is also a necessity test, so where it is

:25:27.:25:28.

Mike German, here we are again, once again talking about

:25:29.:25:32.

When will devolution start looking about what these politicians

:25:33.:25:37.

and people like you actually do with those powers?

:25:38.:25:44.

Indeed, and that is why it is so important to get this settlement

:25:45.:25:51.

absolutely right, and that is why it is important to ensure the powers

:25:52.:25:56.

Wales has and will have had clearly described and written down. It is

:25:57.:25:59.

right they should be a debate about these issues because there are

:26:00.:26:03.

people who pour over the detail and find out the wrinkles in the text,

:26:04.:26:07.

and we have do straighten that out, but more importantly, we need to use

:26:08.:26:16.

powers properly and fundamentally Wales's economy is lagging behind

:26:17.:26:20.

the rest of the UK, meaning jobs and the pounds in your pocket which

:26:21.:26:25.

peoples in -- people in Wales have are not as strong as the rest of the

:26:26.:26:30.

UK, that is the fundamental problem we have to address through

:26:31.:26:35.

legislation. Manon George, you could argue, you don't like this Bill, but

:26:36.:26:39.

it focuses on process, why not let it pass and see if they can use the

:26:40.:26:44.

powers? That is our concern, that they won't be able to use them, that

:26:45.:26:48.

there will be so much uncertainty about the powers of the Assembly and

:26:49.:26:53.

it will be up to the courts to decide whether the Assembly can

:26:54.:26:58.

legislate or not. It will end up in the courts more often than at the

:26:59.:27:03.

moment, will it? I hope it won't. That is what clarity means. That is

:27:04.:27:07.

where you have to have these wrinkles ironed out. There is no

:27:08.:27:11.

doubt there is confusion, and of course lawyers who like to look at

:27:12.:27:16.

these things will always find a way through it. Legislation needs to be

:27:17.:27:21.

as firm as possible, as clear as possible, and the detail needs to be

:27:22.:27:24.

as worked out as possible, and there is time to do that in the present

:27:25.:27:30.

process. That is why the arrangements are that this

:27:31.:27:34.

consultation is still ongoing. I think the Welsh Government and the

:27:35.:27:37.

UK Government must layout quite clearly what changes they believe

:27:38.:27:44.

are achievable, but also ensure that for people who are in Wales

:27:45.:27:48.

listening to the way this debate goes forward, they know at the end

:27:49.:27:52.

of the process there will be a clear position about what you can do in

:27:53.:27:56.

Wales and the UK Government. Weather is overlap, because there is bound

:27:57.:28:00.

to be, there is an arrangement by which the overlap is agreed and

:28:01.:28:04.

process and agreed for it. There is already something in place for that,

:28:05.:28:09.

it needs to be straightened. Manon, a final word, anybody thinking, I

:28:10.:28:14.

don't care about this constitutional confusion, why should people care?

:28:15.:28:24.

Because we want a sustainable settlement, we don't want to be in

:28:25.:28:26.

another position in five years redrafting this again. Let's try and

:28:27.:28:29.

do this properly this time and have a sustainable settlement for Wales.

:28:30.:28:32.

Manon George, Mike German, thank you. That's it for delight, you can

:28:33.:28:38.

get in touch with us by e-mail or follow us on social media. We will

:28:39.:28:44.

be back next week, but until then, thanks for watching, Diolch am eich

:28:45.:28:55.

cwmni, nos da. Good night.

:28:56.:29:01.

On The Wales Report with Bethan Rhys Roberts this week: concerns over a decline in the number of Welsh pupils learning a modern foreign language. And in or out? What does the proposed referendum on Britain's membership of the EU mean for Wales?


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