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  1. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with Questions to the First Minister
  2. Statement: The Autistic Spectrum Disorder Strategic Action Plan
  3. Statement: Refugee Week – Wales, a Nation of Sanctuary
  4. Statement: Companion Animal Welfare
  5. The Environmental Protection (Microbeads) (Wales) Regulations 2018
  6. Debate: Stage 4 of the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill
  7. Debate: The Second Anniversary of the EU Referendum

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

Hwyl fawr

That brings today's proceedings in the Siambr to a close.

Senedd Live returns tomorrow morning for the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee.

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Labour, Plaid Cymru and Conservatives back bill

The Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill, backed by Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives, is passed in the Senedd, with Wales following in the footsteps of Scotland by setting a minimum price per unit.

A public consultation is expected by the end of the year on what the minimum price should be, ahead of its likely introduction in 2019.

There were 45 for, no abstentions, with five against.


'Promises that are now falling apart'

Labour AM for Llanelli Lee Waters responds to Leanne Wood's comments: "I'm surprised it's taken her two years to reveal this cunning plan".

He says "we should turn our fire at those who made promises that are now falling apart."

Lee Waters

First minister 'refused to use his greatest campaigning tool for the national good'

Leanne Wood accuses the first minister of not utilising the trade unions for a Welsh civic society "remain" campaign because they were "too busy campaigning and fundraising for Labour for the Assembly election".

She says the first minister "refused to use his greatest campaigning tool, the unions and others, for the national good.

"Had you done that we might have had a different result and I wonder if you regret that now."

'Restricting the Assembly’s legislative competence'

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood says AMs should express regret over "the Welsh Government’s decision to grant consent for the UK Government to restrict the National Assembly for Wales’s legislative competence, despite stating clearly in ‘Securing Wales’ Future’ that 'any attempt to do so will be firmly resisted'. "

She also calls on AMs to express regret "that a majority of Welsh Labour MPs abstained on a vote on continued single market participation via EEA membership, in contradiction to 'Securing Wales’ Future' which states, 'We cannot support an EU exit agreement that would leave the UK without continued Single Market participation'."

'Stop trying to undermine the Brexit process'

UKIP's Neil Hamilton says it is "the decided will of the people that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union".

He calls upon "politicians opposed to the United Kingdom leaving the EU to respect the wishes of Welsh and British voters and stop trying to undermine the Brexit process".

He also calls upon the Welsh Government "to work with the UK Government to secure the best deal for Wales and the UK, outside the EU, the single market and the customs union".

Neil Hamilton

'UK Government negotiations with EU should not be undermined'

On behalf of the Conservatives, Mark Isherwood says AMs should recognise that "the UK Government is delivering on the decision made in the EU referendum to leave the EU and that its position in negotiations with the EU should not be undermined".

'Best basis for securing satisfactory outcome to Brexit negotiations'

The final item today is a debate on the second anniversary of the EU referendum on 23 June 2018.

First Minister Carwyn Jones calls on AMs to "reaffirm support for the approach to EU transition put forward in the White Paper, Securing Wales Future, published by the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru in January 2017 and believes this still provides the best basis for securing a satisfactory outcome to the Brexit negotiations".

He says “what matters most is securing a Brexit that safeguards Welsh jobs and the economy. All the evidence shows this requires a close relationship with our EU neighbours.

“This means full and unfettered access to the Single Market and participation in a Customs Union. We also urgently need clarity and direction from the UK Government.”

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'Rushed passage of bill has hampered scrutiny'

Rhun ap Iorwerth says Plaid Cymru will vote for the bill, although he says the "rushed passage" of the bill has hampered scrutiny of the price aspect.

Vaughan Gething rejects the suggestion that the legislation was rushed, adding the bill addresses the reality that Wales like other countries "has a problem with cheap strong alcohol".

'Shoddy legislation'

This bill makes me "despair" says Conservative Angela Burns, stating the legislation is "shoddy".

She says the legislation is incomplete without the price on the face of the bill.

"My biggest concern is that you could be replacing one addiction with another," she adds.

Angela Burns

Guide to Public Bills and Acts

There is generally a four-stage process for the consideration of a Public Bill involving:

  • Stage 1 – consideration of the general principles of the Bill by a committee, and the agreement of those general principles by the Assembly;
  • Stage 2 – detailed consideration by a committee of the Bill and any amendments tabled to that Bill;
  • Stage 3 – detailed consideration, by the Assembly, of the Bill and any amendments tabled to that Bill;
  • Stage 4 – a vote by the Assembly to pass the final text of the Bill.

Stage 4 debate

We now reach the Stage 4 - the final stage - debate on the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill.

Being able to buy a bargain-priced bottle of wine or cider could soon be a thing of the past in Wales if the new law is passed.

If the price is set at 50p, it would mean a can of cider would cost at least £1 and a bottle of wine £4.69.

Ministers believe tackling excessive drinking could save one life a week and 1,400 hospital admissions a year.

Health officials want to cut the number of alcohol-related deaths - 463 in 2015-16 - and the 54,000 alcohol-related admissions to hospital every year.

Welsh Government

Environmental Protection (Microbeads) (Wales) Regulations 2018 approved

AMs approve the draft Environmental Protection (Microbeads) (Wales) Regulations 2018 without objection.

The ban on making or selling "rinse-off" personal care products with microbeads will take effect on 30 June.

The UK government introduced a ban in England in January.

'Important step to safeguarding our marine environment'

Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn said: "Microbeads in rinse-off products are unnecessary and harmful to sea life.

"A ban will reduce pollutants from entering our seas and is an important step to safeguarding our marine environment."

'Microbeads ban part of the action needed'

Plaid Cymru's climate change spokesman Simon Thomas stresses that a ban on microbeads is only part of the action needed to take on plastics along with a levy on single-use plastics.

Simon Thomas

'Significant step'

Welsh Conservative environment spokesman David Melding backs the idea, and says "this is a significant step if we are going to put an end to the plastic problem that is choking our seas and scourging our environment."

Plastic microbeads facing ban from bathroom products

AMs are now considering the Environmental Protection (Microbeads) (Wales) Regulations 2018.

Plastic microbeads will be banned from bathroom products such as shower gel and toothpaste in Wales if assembly members back the regulations.

Campaigners say the tiny pieces of plastic are polluting the oceans with a devastating effect on marine life and are entering the food chain.

Microbeads are a major environmental concern because they are too small to be captured in sewage treatment when washed down the drain.

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'Regulation of veterinary fees needs to be looked at'

Mick Antoniw says the "regulation of veterinary fees needs to be looked at - it seems to me there is very little clarity about veterinary fees, they seem to be largely unregulated and increasing by about 12% per annum, and there is a 20% VAT charge".

Mick Antoniw

'More needs to be done to educate dog owners'

UKIP's Gareth Bennett suggests "more needs to be done to educate dog owners as to the welfare and cost of keeping their animals".

Gareth Bennett

Animal Offender Register

Plaid Cymru's Bethan Sayed says she is disappointed with the cabinet secretary's comments that a draft report by a Task and Finish Group does not recommend the development of an Animal Offender Register in Wales.

In 2016, RSPCA Cymru made a case for the introduction of an Animal Offender Register in Wales, and Bethan Sayed has long called for such a register.

The final version of the report is due by the summer recess.

Bethan Sayed

'Scale of unlicensed activity'

Conservative Paul Davies says "one of the more difficult issues that needs tackling is around the scale of unlicensed activity and in the rise of the online sale of pets".

Paul Davies

Microchipping regulations could include cats

Lesley Griffiths says a review of the microchipping regulations will take place to include research into the levels of compliance and enforcement.

She says consideration will be given to whether there is a benefit in extending the regulations to include other species, including cats.

To improve welfare standards for puppies in Wales, she confirmed her intention to investigate the potential banning of third party sales.

Lesley Griffiths

Statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs

The next statement is by the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths, on companion animal welfare.


Inappropriate behaviour 'needs to be challenged'

Consultation ends on 25 June

Leader of the House and Chief Whip, Julie James calls on AMs to embrace its proposals to develop and improve access to help, advice and services for refugees and asylum seekers across Wales.

The consultation on Nation of Sanctuary – Refugee and asylum seeker plan ends on 25 June.

'Wales, a Nation of Sanctuary'

We move on to a statement by the Leader of the House on Refugee Week – "Wales, a Nation of Sanctuary".

Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on the 20 June. This year the week runs from 18th to 24th June.

In the UK, Refugee Week is "a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational activities that celebrate the contribution of refugees and people seeking sanctuary to the UK and encourages a better understanding between communities".

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'Failure to drive systemic change'

UKIP's Caroline Jones says "it is clear there has been a failure to drive systemic change" and that there is a "postcode lottery of support for adults on the autism spectrum".

'Only 16% of adults with autism are in full-time employment'

Plaid Cymru's Rhun ap Iorwerth points out that only 16% of adults with autism are in full-time employment, and 32% in any kind of employment, and calls on the cabinet secretary to address this.

Rhun ap Iorwerth

'Huge sums of money continue to be spent getting it very wrong'

Conservative Mark Isherwood says his autism-related casework suggests that "huge sums of money continue to be spent getting it sadly, very, very - and sometimes tragically - wrong".

Mark Isherwood

'Good progress but still much more to do'

Health and Social Services Secretary Vaughan Gething says the establishment of a National Integrated Autism service "is creating consistent support for autistic people across Wales".

He says services are operating in Cardiff and Vale, Cwm Taf, Gwent and Powys, it will be launched in North Wales next week and will be operational in Western Bay and West Wales later this year.

He adds, “although we are making good progress we know there is still much more to do and we continue to look carefully at the issues which autistic people say matter most to them to inform future action.”

Vaughan Gething

Statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services

The first statement of the day is by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething, on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder Strategic Action Plan.

The plan outlined actions to:

  • introduce a 26-week waiting time target from referral to first appointment for children with autism
  • transform the education support for children with ASD
  • implement a national assessment pathway for children
  • improve employment opportunities for people with autism
  • support organisations to become Autism-friendly
  • publicise information and resources.


Business Statement and Announcement

The next item is the Business Statement and Announcement.

Leader of the House Julie James outlines the Assembly's future business and responds to requests from AMs.

Julie James

'Enormous sympathy' for couple whose 'stillborn' son died in their arms

Simon Thomas raises the Ombudsman for Wales Nick Bennett's report highlighting a series of distressing failings in the case of Ellie and Chris James, of Haverfordwest, whose baby died in their arms after being told he was already dead.

The first minister says he has "enormous sympathy" for the couple, and says his officials will monitor Hywel Dda health board to ensure the recommendations of the Ombudsman's report are implemented.

The couple said that the pain of losing their son would never heal, and that it was hard not to have pictures of him with his brother Ragen and sister Grace
The couple said that the pain of losing their son would never heal, and that it was hard not to have pictures of him with his brother Ragen and sister Grace

Do Plaid Cymru AMs drive electric cars?

"I wonder if she (Leanne Wood) or others on Plaid benches drive an electric car. Practice what you preach," says the first minister, angering Plaid Cymru AMs.

He's been driving a hybrid for three years, he adds.

Electric car

Air quality problems are 'costing people's lives'

Air quality problems are "costing people's lives" says Leanne Wood, and she accuses Labour of not being consistent on the issue.

"You can laugh and mutter" she says in response to heckles, warning of further legal trouble for the Welsh Government on air quality.


Diesel and petrol-only vehicles by 2030 'too early' says Carwyn Jones

Leanne Wood asks the first minister to read her colleague Simon Thomas' report on hydrogen vehicles, and calls for a clean air act for Wales to phase out the sale of diesel and petrol-only vehicles by 2030.

"I think that's too early," says the first minister. "I don't think the technology is there now".

'Welsh Government air quality plans lack clarity and detail'

Does the first minister agree that Welsh Government air quality plans lack clarity and detail, asks Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood.

The first minister replies, "there is a challenge, of course, to improve air quality in the future".

Leanne Wood

'Mental health is a key priority'

Caroline Jones asks if some of the additional money will be used to ensure mental health funding "is based on a robust assessment of health care needs".

Yes, the first minister replies, adding that "mental health is a key priority for us... that will shape any decision we take if there is any extra money".

How will extra £1.2bn be spent?

UKIP group leader Caroline Jones raises an issue already raised by Andrew RT Davies - how the cash available to the Welsh Government from the weekend's announcement of more cash for the English NHS will be spent.

The first minister says he doesn't know what any increase in the block grant will be, and so difficult to give any commitments.

Caroline Jones

'900 people die a year of bowel cancer'

900 people die a year of bowel cancer, says Andrew RT Davies, adding if we had a better screening system for people 40 years or older that could be driven down further.

The vast majority of people get the treatment they should get within the right amount of time, replies the first minister.