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News, Politics, Programmes

A Month in a Country

If you hand’t realised that there’s just a month to go until the referendum on strengthening the Assembly’s powers, then by the end of today you will.

On March 3rd we will all be asked,

Do you want the Assembly now to be able to make laws on allmatters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for?

On our ballot papers we will be told that if we vote YES,

The Assembly will be able to make laws on all matters in the subject areas it has powers for, without needing the UK Parliament’s agreement.

And if we vote NO that,

What happens at the moment will continue.

So that’s the choice. Over the next four weeks then campaigners on both sides will try to persuade us to vote one way or the other.

There won’t be an official NO campaign, nor will there be an official YES campaign, because the main NO campaign group, True Wales decided not to apply for that official status and the rules meant there could only be two official groups or none.

Lack of official status won’t stop True Wales trying to get you to agree with them though.

We'll be keeping you informed of all the arguments over the next month

Neither will it prevent the main YES campaign group, Yes For Wales, which has the support of all four political parties in the Assembly and a massive amount of backing from high-profile individuals, charities and other organisations.

At ITV Wales, we’ll do our best to let you know over the next four weeks what the arguments are and what both sides are saying.

Starting this evening at 6pm on Wales Tonight.  We’ll be live from the Senedd in Cardiff Bay with a special report and guests from both sides of the debate.

Then at 1035pm join me for Sharp End where we’ll discuss it further.

We’ll also be looking at efforts to end child poverty and asking if they’re ambitious but realistic or hopelessly optimistic in an interview with the  minister responsible, Labour’s Huw Lewis.

Last week we spoke to the Education Minister Leighton Andrews about the problems facing our schools. This week he’s launched a major shake-up of our education system. I wonder what my guests think.

They are Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins, the former Conservative minister, Rod Richards and the Western Mail’s Chief Reporter Martin Shipton.

Join us all for Sharp End at 1035pm ITV1 Wales.

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About Adrian Masters

By day, Political Editor at ITV Wales. By night, obsessed with music and books.

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