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Present (via Teams)

  • Jeremy Miles MS (Chair)
  • Rt Hon. Mark Drakeford MS (from item 4)
  • Eluned Morgan MS
  • Julie James MS
  • Kirsty Williams MS
  • Lesley Griffiths MS
  • Rebecca Evans MS
  • Dafydd Elis-Thomas MS
  • Ken Skates MS
  • Jane Hutt MS

Officials

  • 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
  • Ruth Bacigalupo, Head of Services, Trade Policy Team
  • Rob Parry, Deputy Director, European Transition (Legislation)
  • Michelle Grey, Head of Negotiation Policy and Co-ordination
  • Euros Jones, European Transition
  • Lowri Lloyd-Hughes, Senior 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
  • Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer
  • David S. Thomas, Agriculture Trade Policy
  • Jack Savery, European Transition

Apologies

  • Vaughan Gething MS
  • Hannah Blythyn MS
  • Julie Morgan MS
  • Lee Waters MS

Item 1: Minutes of the previous meeting and actions arising

1.1. The Cabinet Sub-Committee approved the minutes of 16 September.

Item 2: Update on developments with supporting papers

2.1 The Counsel General and Minister for European Transition introduced the item, and supporting papers, which provided progress reports on: EU/UK negotiations; Frameworks; Legislation; and EU Finance.

2.2 It was noted that the Counsel General and Minister for European Transition would be writing to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on the UK / EU negotiations ahead of the European Council to set out the Welsh Government’s position and the compromises the UK government would need to make to achieve a full trade deal, to avoid compounding the damage done to the economy by COVID-19.   

2.3 The Common Frameworks programme was now at a crucial stage and it was hoped that most of these, albeit provisional, would be operational by the end of the transition period.

2.4 In terms of legislation, there was now much more clarity on the UK government’s EU Exit SIs, where Welsh Ministers were being asked to give consent and there was a clearer picture of the Welsh SIs required by the end of the Transition Period. A significant amount of complex work was underway to protect the devolution settlement and ensure a functioning statute book by the end of the year.

2.5 The Minister for Finance and Trefnydd referred to the paper, which provided an update on EU finance issues.

2.6 The Welsh Government continued to press UK Treasury for full replacement of EU programme funding to respect the devolution settlement and ensure that Wales was adequately resourced to ensure a smooth end to the Transition period. This was also important for Welsh Government delivery partners, including the Third Sector.

2.7 Welsh Ministers would also have to be fully resourced to manage new functions, previously undertaken at EU level, which would be transferring to the Welsh Government from 1 January 2021.

Item 3: Trade policy update - Agriculture market access negotiating positions

3.1 The context for this agenda item was that as the UK government progresses with ‘rest of the world’ trade negotiations, the issues being discussed will become increasingly detailed and will include more controversial areas, including agricultural market access. The paper for this item provided an overview of some of these issues, in order to inform a discussion on what might happen in the negotiations and how the Welsh Government would respond.

Item 4: End of Transition Plan

4.1 The Counsel General and Minister for European Transition introduced the paper, which provided an updated End of Transition Plan for agreement. It was recognised that the plan would continue to be refined in advance of the end of the Transition Period.

4.2 Since the last meeting, policy officials had continued to work intensively to prioritise and progress the actions within the budgetary constraints. The plan had been developed to reflect this work.

4.3 The Sub-Committee approved the paper.

Item 5: Preparedness update – Borders readiness and UK government projects

5.1 The Counsel General and Minister for European Transition introduced the item, which provided an update on the UK-wide projects that the Welsh Government was involved in, highlighting the work on border issues in particular.

5.2 The Sub-Committee noted the update, paper and recommendations.

Item 6: UK Internal Market Bill

6.1 The Counsel General and Minister for European Transition introduced the paper, which asked the Sub-Committee to agree the proposed amendments to the UK Internal Market Bill.

6.2 The Bill itself gave rise to serious concerns and posed a significant risk to the devolution settlement and to the development of Common Frameworks. Because of this, the LCM laid in front of the Senedd on 25 September recommended that the Senedd should withhold its consent to the Bill as currently drafted.

6.3 The Sub-Committee agreed the proposed amendments, in doing so discussing and supporting the approach for seeking to secure these changes to the Bill.