Present

  • Rt Hon. Mark Drakeford AM
  • Jeremy Miles AM (Chair)
  • Lesley Griffiths AM
  • Ken Skates AM
  • Eluned Morgan AM
  • Vaughan Gething AM
  • Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM
  • Des Clifford – Director General, OFM
  • Piers Bisson – Director, European Transition
  • Simon Brindle – Director, Brexit Strategy
  • Andrew Jeffreys – Director Treasury
  • Carys Evans – Principal Private Secretary, First Minister
  • Gareth Williams – Special Adviser
  • Tom Woodward – Special Adviser
  • Andrew Johnson – Special Adviser
  • Jane Runeckles – Special Adviser
  • Damian Roche – Cabinet, Plenary and Committee Secretariat (minutes)
  • Sophie Jones – Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
  • Andrew Slade – DG ESNR
  • Reg Kilpatrick – Director, Local Government
  • Huw Morris – Group Director SHELL
  • Tim Render – Director Land, Nature and Food
  • Gian Marco Currado – Director, Environment & Marine
  • Andrew Gwatkin – Director International Relations and Trade
  • Georgina Haarhoff – Deputy Director, Policy
  • Gary Haggaty – Deputy Director Community Safety Division
  • Emma Watkins – Deputy Director EU Exit & Economic Policy
  • Mari Stevens – Deputy Director, Marketing
  • Robbie Thomas – Transport
  • Bill MacDonald – European Transition
  • Emma Alexander – European Transition
  • Toby Mason – Director of Communications
  • Leon Griffiths – European Transition
  • Peredur John – European Transition

Apologies

  • Rebecca Evans AM
  • Kirsty Williams AM

Item 1: Minutes of the previous meeting

1.1 The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.

Item 2: Update on developments – Oral Item

2.1 The Sub-Committee noted the latest position in relation to the Supreme Court’s judgement yesterday in the prorogation case, which ruled that the Prime Minister’s decision to suspend sittings for 5 weeks was unlawful. Parliament would resume today after the ruling.

2.2 The Counsel General and Brexit Minister informed the Sub-Committee that ‘A Brighter Future for Wales’ would be published the following day. 2.3 The Counsel General attended a meeting with the Rt. Hon. Oliver Dowden, Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office, on the Inter-Governmental Review the previous Wednesday and had attended a meeting with James Duddridge MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on Monday.

2.4 It was noted that conversations held with Chris Skidmore, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy were positive, focusing on a UK-wide scheme regarding Erasmus+.

2.5 The BEIS Secretary of State had finally agreed to establish the first quadrilateral meeting on 7 October. This would be an opportunity to press the need for
strengthened architecture between administrations in order to meet the challenges ahead.

2.6 The Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language had met with Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales, to discuss the International Strategy. It was noted that it would be important not only to continue bilateral contacts with the Secretary of State for Wales but also to ensure positive, direct relationships with other Secretaries of State.

2.7 Now that the UK government freight procurement framework had been finalised, further information would be needed from the Departments of Transport and Health to provide assurance that sufficient capacity would be available.

Item 3: Preparedness – Oral Item

3.1 The Counsel General and Brexit Minister informed the Sub-Committee that the Action Plan would be presented at the next meeting. Ministers thanked officials for all the hard work that had gone into finalising and publishing the outline action plan, which had received positive responses in the media.

3.2 A series of bilaterals had taken place between the First Minister and individual ministers and deputy ministers.

Item 4: Funding

4.1 The Counsel General and Brexit Minister introduced the paper, which set out the work being done to secure replacement funding for existing EU programmes, and funding considerations in the event of a no deal.

4.2 It was agreed that the Welsh Government would need to continue to make clear its position on the Shared Prosperity Fund, and that anything less than full compensation for lost EU funding would be the UK government reneging on the commitment made by various Leave campaigners to the people of Wales.

4.3 The Cabinet Sub-Committee noted the paper.

Item 5: No Deal Preparedness - Transport

5.1 The Minister for Economy and Transport introduced the paper, which provided an update on no deal preparations put in place for ports, buses, rail and Cardiff Airport.

5.2 The Sub-Committee noted the no deal preparations across the Department for Economy and Transport, as set out in the paper.

Item 6: No Deal Preparedness – Economy and skills

6.1 The Minister for Economy and Transport introduced the paper, which provided an update on business preparedness including employability and skills support.

6.2 It was noted that processes for responding to any significant incidence of business downsizing and closure had strengthened overall.

6.3 In this context, prioritising support and providing a strong employability and skills offer were key.

6.4 The Sub-Committee noted the no deal preparations across the Department for Economy and Transport, as set out in the paper.

Item 7: No Deal Preparedness – Environment, energy and rural affairs

7.1 The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs introduced the paper, which updated the Sub-Committee on the readiness projects, which would put in place regulatory and other systems to allow trade flows to continue, including replacements for EU systems to which Wales would no longer have access.

7.2 It was noted that a significant amount of preparation had taken place across the Department, including close working with Defra, BEIS and the other devolved administrations.

7.3 The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs informed the Sub-Committee that a letter had been issued to all SMEs in the agri-food sector to signpost people to sources of help or advice about preparing for Brexit.

7.4 It was noted that there were currently 74 live Brexit preparedness projects, the majority of these ‘no-deal’ projects were on track for EU exit on 31 October and officials would continue to work closely with Defra and other devolved administrations on ‘no–deal’ arrangements.

7.5 The Sub-Committee noted the paper.

Cabinet Secretariat
September 2019