On 23 March 2023, Welsh Ministers were asked to vote on whether they consented to the proposal that provisions of the Procurement Bill that fall within the legislative competence of the Senedd should be considered by UK Ministers.
Rebecca Evans MS (Minister for Finance and Local Government), who tabled the legislative consent memoranda, set out her arguments for recommending consent for the core procurement provisions of the Bill, but raised issues regarding consent for certain provisions relating to international agreements, and the concurrent powers given to UK Ministers in relation to devolved areas without needing to obtain Welsh Ministers’ consent.
Welsh Ministers were asked to vote on two motions, with the first – relating to the core procurement provisions – passed. However, Welsh Ministers voted against the second motion relating to the provisions relating to international agreements, namely “Treaty state suppliers”, “Trade Disputes” and related provisions in Schedule 9.
The UK parliament will now need to decide whether to amend the Bill to meet Welsh Ministers’ concerns or go ahead with the provisions as drafted, regardless of Welsh Ministers’ objection.