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Present (via Teams)

  • Jeremy Miles MS (Chair)
  • Rt Hon. Mark Drakeford MS
  • Vaughan Gething MS
  • Lesley Griffiths MS
  • Ken Skates MS
  • Julie James MS
  • Kirsty Williams MS
  • Jane Hutt MS
  • Dafydd Elis-Thomas MS

Apologies

  • Rebecca Evans MS
  • Lee Waters MS
  • Eluned Morgan MS
  • Hannah Blythyn MS
  • Julie Morgan MS

Officials

  • Shan Morgan, Permanent Secretary
  • Des Clifford, Director General, OFM
  • Piers Bisson, Director, European Transition
  • Tim Render, Director, Land, Nature and Food
  • Carys Evans, Principal Private Secretary, First Minister
  • Will Whiteley, Head of Cabinet Division
  • Gareth Williams, Special Adviser
  • Jane Runeckles, Special Adviser
  • Dan Butler, Special Adviser
  • Christopher W Morgan, Cabinet Secretariat
  • Damian Roche, Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
  • Toby Mason, Director of Communications
  • Liz Lalley, Deputy Director, COVID-19 Recovery
  • Emma Edworthy, Deputy Director Trade Policy
  • Lindsey Bromwell, Head of Trade Policy
  • Ruth Bacigalupo, Head of Services, Trade Policy Team
  • Christopher Warner, Deputy Director Constitution and Justice
  • Gary Haggaty, Deputy Director Community Safety Division
  • Rob Parry, Deputy Director, European Transition (Legislation)
  • Michelle Grey, Head of Negotiation Policy and Co-ordination
  • Euros Jones, European Transition
  • Angela Fraser, Private Secretary, CGMET
  • Paul Harrington, Head of Intergovernmental Relations, European Transition
  • Shelley Hughes, Deputy Head of Frameworks Policy Team
  • Enfys Dixey, Head of Economic Competitiveness Policy
  • Ed Sherriff, Deputy Director, European Transition (Negotiations and Preparedness)
  • Rhydian Ayres, Deputy Director of Brexit Borders Policy
  • Steven McGregor, Brussels Office
  • Kayleigh Sweet, European Transition Preparedness
  • Jack Savery, European Transition

Item 1: Minutes of the previous meeting and actions arising

1.1. The Cabinet Sub-Committee approved the minutes of 13 January and noted the actions were in hand.

Item 2: Update on developments – Oral item

2.1 The Counsel General and Minister for European Transition introduced the item, which provided an update on recent developments since the previous meeting.

2.2 An update was given on developments on the Intergovernmental Relations Review, including on the IGR principles, dispute avoidance and resolution arrangements, and proposals for new intergovernmental machinery.

2.3 In relation to staff resource pressures arising from the end of the transition period, and new functions or responsibilities for the Welsh Government, the First Minister had agreed an assessment process in which 3 ministers, mainly without a direct portfolio interest, were reviewing the initial priorities identified by officials.

2.4 The outcome of this assessment would be shared with Ministers shortly and, if agreed, would lead to additional staffing resources in specific areas. These additional resources would be confirmed in the Final Budget for 2021-22.

2.5 Turning to further updates from ministers, it was reported that the export trade of some fishers had disappeared as a result of the new bureaucracy and non-tariff barriers introduced at the end of the transition period. The paperwork requirements for shipments of fresh seafood had grown exponentially and it was having a severe impact on businesses.

2.6 The Sub-Committee noted the updates.

Item 3: UK Accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

3.1 The Counsel General and Minister for European Transition introduced the item, which provided an update on negotiations for UK accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

3.2 It was noted that on 1st February, the UK government notified CPTPP of its formal request to join the partnership. The CPTPP was a free trade agreement between 11 countries around the Pacific Rim.

3.3 In terms of Welsh trade with the bloc, it was currently relatively small, accounting for around 6% of Welsh goods exports, compared with nearly 60% to the EU.

3.4 It was important to note that, as this was an existing agreement, the scope to change it was narrow.

3.5 The Sub-Committee noted the paper.

Item 4: EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement: What it means for Wales publication

4.1 The Counsel General and Minister for European Transition introduced the paper, which referenced the draft publication ‘The New Relationship with the EU - What it means for Wales’.

4.2 The aim of the document was to set out in practical terms the main implications and changes for the citizens of Wales, for businesses, security, communities and society, along with what could be expected as a result of the change in the relationship with the EU.

4.3 The document covered matters that went beyond the TCA in certain areas, to provide a more complete, though not exhaustive, picture of the new relationship with the EU and what that would mean for the people of Wales.

4.4 The document drew on the Withdrawal Agreement for matters covering citizens’ rights and recent UK Government announcements on funding and focused on tangible changes that would affect the majority of people and businesses in Wales.

4.5 The Sub-Committee welcomed the use of case studies throughout the document, which would help businesses apply the information to their own circumstances.

4.6 The Cabinet Sub-Committee approved publication of the draft document.

Item 5: Long term implementation - Borders and operational activities

5.1 The Counsel General and Minister for European Transition introduced the item, which provided an update on borders infrastructure and the ongoing work on future policy outside the EU.

5.2 The final set of import controls is scheduled to come into effect during July, which would mean a legislative requirement for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks to be performed at Border Control Posts (BCPs) in Wales and the rest of the UK. This gives rise to a range of significant challenges, on which there is urgent work taking place in Welsh Government as well as important engagement being pursued with UK government.

5.3 The Sub-Committee noted the update.

Item 6: Update on UKIM and Frameworks

6.1 The Counsel General referred to the paper, which provided an overview of key developments in relation to both Common Frameworks and the UK Internal Market Act.

6.2 As the Act impinged on the devolution settlement in a number of areas, the Welsh Government issued formal legal proceedings on 19 January 2021, challenging the Act by way of Judicial Review. 

6.3 The Sub-Committee noted that work was continuing at pace to refine Common Frameworks for finalisation this year.

6.4 The Sub-Committee noted the update.

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