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The Commission on devolution in Wales

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The Commission on Devolution in Wales (often referred to as 'the Silk Commission', after its chair, Paul Silk KBC) was established as a result of a commitment made in the UK Government’s Coalition Agreement.

The Commission was launched on 11 October 2011, with the support of the Welsh Government and the three opposition parties in the (then) National Assembly for Wales. It was asked to consider how the scope of devolution might be changed to better serve the people of Wales.

In October 2011 the Government established the Silk Commission to review the financial and constitutional arrangements in Wales. The Commission published its first report entitled ‘Empowerment and Responsibility: Financial Powers to Strengthen Wales’ in November 2012, making 33 recommendations to improve financial accountability of the Assembly and the Welsh Government. The Government responded formally in November 2013, accepting most of the Commissions recommendations.  

The Commission published its second report entitled “Devolution, Democracy and Delivery: powers to achieve our aspirations for Wales’ in March 2014 which made 61 recommendations. The Welsh Government published its response on 1st July 2014 in which it set out its case for broader powers on the reserved model.

The UK's coalition Government set out a series of proposals in response to the Commission's second report. This is known as the St David’s Day process. They included adopting a reserved powers model of devolution in Wales, the devolution of more powers to Wales and a commitment relating to maintaining funding for Wales above a certain level (funding floor). 

Many of proposals made in the first and second Silk Commission reports have been implemented by the Wales Acts 2014 and 2017.  

Published on
Last updated
20 December 2023