Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd
Members of the Senedd will wish to be aware I have given consent to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to exercise a subordinate legislation-making power in a devolved area in relation to Wales.
The Persistent Organic Pollutants (Amendment) Regulations 2023were laid before the UK Parliament by the Secretary of State on 29 June 2023 in exercise of powers under articles 2A, 15(1) and 18(1) of the Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 of the European Parliament and of the Council on persistent organic pollutants (recast) (“the retained POPs Regulation”). This was done to extend the date from 4 July 2023 to 3 December 2025 for a derogation for the manufacturing, placing on the market and use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and PFOA-related compounds for textiles for oil and water-repellency for the protection of workers from dangerous liquids that comprise risks to their health and safety.
The SI will allow for specific exemption to be applied for protective equipment used by UK Armed Forces personnel. It will not extend to products or equipment used by non-military manufacturers or users, as these will be restricted through the UK REACH Regulation.
The Welsh Ministers do not propose to introduce an equivalent Welsh SI as the Regulation being amended is GB-wide, so any amendments to it must be in English only.
Impact the instrument may have on the Senedd’s legislative competence and/or the Welsh Ministers’ executive competence:
The draft Regulations do not diminish or undermine the powers of Welsh Ministers in any way. The Secretary of State can only exercise functions in relation to Wales without consent in the case of reserved powers. The Secretary of State can only exercise functions in relation to Wales in devolved matters with the consent of Welsh Ministers.
I would like to reassure the Senedd it is normally the policy of the Welsh Government to legislate for Wales in matters of devolved competence. However, in certain circumstances there are benefits in working collaboratively with the UK Government where there is a clear rationale for doing so. On this occasion, I have given my consent to these Regulations for reasons of efficiency and expediency in future policy change and adherence to international obligations, cross-government coordination and consistency.
The Regulations were laid in draft before the UK Parliament on 29 June 2023 to come into force 4 July 2023.