Transfer of Powers in the UK

The Devolution of power in the UK means that new bodies are now responsible for travel and tourism matters. The UK Parliament has power to make laws governing all matters relating to travel and tourism in England and Wales. It also enacts legislation on the British Tourist Authority, the English and Welsh Tourist Boards, travel documents (passports and visas), regulation of trade associations (e.g.ABTA), consumer protection and employment law for the whole of the UK. The Scottish Parliament has powers in relation to all other travel and tourism law matters, including setting tourism policy in scotland and the functions and powers of the Scottish Tourist Board. No change may be made by the UK Parliament re the functions and powers of the BTA without prior consultation with Scottish Ministers. The Welsh National Assembly (Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) took over the functions and powers previously excercised by the Secretary Of State for Wales and this included tourism in the Principality. The Assembly has powers to set tourism policy and has a budget to support and encourage tourism development. It does not have legislative powers, however. The Northern Ireland Assembly will have similar legislative powers to the Scottish Parliament and provision is made in the Peace Agreement (Northern Ireland Act 1998) for cross-border cooperation with the Irish Republic on tourism matters. The UK Government has introduced a Bill to establish a Greater London Assembly which will have specific powers and duties on tourism, economic development, transport, planning, emergency services, environment and culture. The directly elected Mayor will have executive powers in these matters and a budget.

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