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His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, 10 June 1921 to 9 April 2021

Read about the arrangements following The Duke of Edinburgh’s death

Present

  • Rt. Hon. Mark Drakeford MS (Chair)
  • Vaughan Gething MS

Via video link

  • Rebecca Evans MS (items 1-2 only)
  • Julie James MS
  • Jeremy Miles MS
  • Lesley Griffiths MS
  • Eluned Morgan MS
  • Ken Skates MS
  • Kirsty Williams MS
  • Jane Hutt MS
  • Hannah Blythyn MS
  • Julie Morgan MS
  • Dafydd Elis Thomas MS
  • Lee Waters MS

Officials

  • Shan Morgan, Permanent Secretary (via video link)
  • Des Clifford, Director General Office of the First Minister
  • Carys Evans, Principal Private Secretary to the First Minister (via video link)
  • Toby Mason, Head of Strategic Communications (via video link)
  • Jane Runeckles, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Madeleine Brindley, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Alex Bevan, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Dan Butler, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Ian Butler, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Kate Edmunds, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Sara Faye, Special Adviser (via video link)   
  • Paul Griffiths, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Clare Jenkins, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Andrew Johnson, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Gareth Williams, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Mitch Theaker, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Tom Woodward, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Christopher W Morgan, Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
  • Damian Roche, Cabinet Secretariat
  • Jonathan Scourfield, Specialist Policy Adviser (via video link)
  • Tracey Burke, Director General, Education and Public Services (via video link)
  • Andrew Goodall, Director General, Health (via video link)
  • Andrew Slade, Director General ESNR (via video link)
  • Reg Kilpatrick, Director General, COVID-19 Crisis Coordination (via video link)
  • Piers Bisson, Director European Transition (via video link)
  • Ed Sherriff, Deputy Director European Transition (Negotiations) (via video link)
  • Simon Jones, Director Economic Infrastructure (via video link)
  • Dewi Rowlands, Deputy Director Transport Policy (via video link)
  • Kayleigh Sweet, Brexit Preparedness (via video link)
  • Jack Savery, Implementation Manager (via video link)

Item 1: Minutes of the previous meeting

  1. Cabinet approved the minutes of 15, 18 and 19 October.

Item 2: Senedd business

  1. Cabinet considered the Plenary forward schedule and noted that statements on Strategic Assistance for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and the Innovative Housing Programme had been added to the agenda for Tuesday.

Item 3: European Transition Update

  1. The Counsel General and Minister for European Transition introduced the paper, which provided an update on work underway across the Government to prepare for the end of the transition period.
  1. With less than two months to go, there was still no clarity on the UK’s future relationship with the EU once the transition period had ended. At the JMC(EN) the previous week there were no assurances from UK Ministers that a deal was certain. However, it was clear that any deal would be a shallow one, resulting in major changes to how the UK would trade with the EU. This would include new trade barriers for goods and services and significant changes to the way the UK cooperated with the EU in key areas, such as security.
  1. The summary version of the End of Transition Action Plan outlined the key activity that would be presented in a document for publication the following week.
  1. While the outcome of the negotiations remained unclear, the plan had been drafted to reflect the implications of that ongoing uncertainty. The document set out the significant amount of work undertaken to plan for every eventuality.
  1. Any deal would result in significant change for businesses, people and potentially public services, and few actions within the plan would not be needed, should there be a deal. The main exceptions to this related to a reduced risk of large scale disruption at the border and a lower risk to some sectors from tariffs or other trade barriers.
  1. The plan also referenced how impacts arising from the end of the transition period could compound the critical and still evolving effects of the pandemic.
  1. The considerable challenges to prepare Wales were evident. The narrative emphasised that, as a responsible Government, Welsh Ministers were doing all they could to help partners and stakeholders. Ministers were also seeking to improve collective readiness for the end of transition, while making it clear this was heavily reliant on work led by the UK Government.  However, there was low confidence in important areas of UK preparedness activity.
  1. Work was continuing on the basis of activity that was the minimum necessary to meet statutory obligations, and reduce disruption where it was practical. This, however, was resulting in acute resourcing pressures across the organisation.
  1. The aim was to publish the document on 11 November, which was 50 days before the end of the transition period.
  1. Cabinet welcomed the paper and put on record its thanks to all those officials involved in preparing the End of Transition plan.
  1. Cabinet approved the paper.

Item 4: Llwybr Newydd – A New Wales Transport Strategy – Consultation draft

  1. The Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales introduced the paper, which asked Cabinet to agree to the publication of a consultation document on Llwybr Newydd – A New Wales Transport Strategy.
  1. The new Strategy reflected the need to deliver for the people of Wales, whether it was about their health, their environment, their well-being, or their culture and heritage. It was a holistic approach to transport, which recognised that this was as much a social issue as it is was an economic or environmental one.
  1. There had been a significant level of engagement in the development of the consultation, both within Government and with external groups and organisations. The draft reflected views of stakeholders, such as the statutory Welsh Commissioners, young people, older people, those with disabilities, the BAME community, along with the Gypsy and Traveller communities, refugees and asylum seekers.
  1. This engagement had been invaluable in demonstrating how much transport was a social issue and shaped people’s lives. It also highlighted the ongoing social and economic barriers within the transport system, which had been considered within the draft policies.
  1. The policy framework contained in the Strategy placed people and the environment first. It promoted policies that would help achieve the decarbonisation targets. It encouraged less travelling and, where it was required, it promoted sustainable solutions.
  1. It also moved the transport system toward being an enabler to support other policy areas to tackle poverty, loneliness and isolation, poor health and inequality.
  1. Once published, there would be a need to monitor and evaluate Government performance in meeting the measures and targets.  There would also be a need to continue to work across portfolios to ensure that the transport system had a greater role in delivering against the wellbeing goals.
  1. The proposal was for the consultation on Llwybr Newydd to be issued in mid-November.
  1. Cabinet approved the paper.

Item 5: Any other business

COBR meeting

  1. The First Minister and the Minister for Health and Social Services had attended a COBR meeting earlier that day. 
  1. There had been a commitment to hold further COBR meetings involving the devolved administrations in the hope of establishing a four nation approach to the Christmas period. There had been some discussion about funding, specifically whether there would be any further Barnett consequentials as a result of the extra funding being made available in England. There were also questions about whether the devolved administrations would be able to access the furlough scheme should there be a need to introduce further restrictions within the respective nations.
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