More powers by St David's Day

There are a few days to go before we find out exactly how much agreement has been reached by the political parties at Westminster and the Assembly about the future shape of devolution.

As my colleague David Cornock has pointed out his blog, there's a clear view now that discussions on energy and electoral arrangements have proved to be more fruitful than policing and criminal justice.

The big unknown is funding, which has the potential to unblock the possibility of a referendum on income tax.

The opposition parties at the Assembly have held their weekly briefings and there was a marked difference in the views of the two parties that form the Westminster coalition. I've kept the full quotes in as they give the best picture.

The leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Kirsty Williams expressed concern about a lack of progress, particularly in relation to the recommendations of the second Silk report which called for devolution in areas like policing and energy.


Kirsty Williams said: "We have always said we would do everything we could to see progress on the settlement here in Wales. We would like to see full implementation of Silk two.

"What is clear is that other political parties don't share that aspiration and what has always been my concern in this process is that, as is the story of Welsh devolution, we will be held back by the slowest member of that particular team.

"We have been constantly battling against that."

When asked who is the slowest member, she pointed to the Conservatives on criminal justice issues and described Labour's shadow Welsh secretary Owen Smith as being "highly cautious and Conservative with a small c in his approach to additional powers coming here to the Assembly."

She said: "What we have been doing is to continue to try to push for the fullest implementation of Silk two as we can in the face of opposition from both Labour and the Conservatives."


Now compare those thoughts with the leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies.

He said the announcement later in the week will "once and for all put many of the constitutional arguments to bed".

In reference to the talks, he said: "It will not satisfy everyone because in that room you have got a package of measures from a party that wants full independence, Plaid Cymru, to maybe a more cautious approach that is viewed by the other politicians.

"What will be in that package are the tools to deliver a robust constitutional settlement for Wales and the tools that will remove many of the excuses that previous Welsh governments have used to say they cannot act on health, education and economic issues."