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Present

  • Jeremy Miles AM (Chair)
  • Ken Skates AM
  • Eluned Morgan AM
  • Vaughan Gething AM
  • Rebecca Evans AM
  • Kirsty Williams AM
  • Julie James AM
  • Jane Hutt AM
  • Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM
  • Lee Waters AM
  • Hannah Blythyn AM
  • Des Clifford – Director General, OFM
  • Piers Bisson – Director, European Transition
  • Simon Brindle – Director, Brexit Strategy
  • Carys Evans – Principal Private Secretary, First Minister
  • Gareth Williams – Special Adviser
  • Tom Woodward – Special Adviser
  • Andrew Johnson – Special Adviser
  • Jane Runeckles – Special Adviser
  • Paul Griffiths – Special Adviser
  • Damian Roche – Cabinet, Plenary and Committee Secretariat (minutes)
  • Sophie Jones – Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
  • Reg Kilpatrick – Director, Local Government
  • Huw Morris – Group Director SHELL
  • Steve Davies – SHELL
  • Jason Thomas – Director, Culture, Sport and Tourism
  • Liz Lalley – Deputy Director, Preparedness
  • Mari Stevens – Deputy Director, Marketing
  • Tom Smithson, ESNR
  • Ifan Evans – Deputy Director, Health
  • Toby Mason – Director of Communications
  • Peredur John – European Transition

Apologies:

  • Rt Hon. Mark Drakeford AM
  • Lesley Griffiths AM

Item 1: Oral updates

1.1 It was agreed that oral updates would be taken at the end of the meeting on an exceptions only basis.

Item 2: No Deal preparedness – International relations

2.1 The Minister for International Relations introduced the paper, which set out preparations for a ‘no deal’ Brexit as detailed in the Welsh Government’s Trade Policy paper and draft International Strategy, including the collaborative work being done with the marketing team.

2.2 Maintaining Wales’ international profile would be essential in a post-Brexit environment and international trade and attracting inward investment were both vital to Wales’ economy. The key to delivering this was reaffirming relationships with global partners, countries and regions around the world, underpinned by targeted marketing activity.

2.3 The draft International Strategy, currently out for public consultation, set out the proposed approach.

2.4 In order to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, the International Relations & Trade department had developed a coherent, evidenced based and forward-thinking trade policy for Wales. There was increased support and advice for Welsh exporters and work was continuing with the marketing team in Culture, Sport and Tourism to underpin a strong, unified brand, which marketed Wales internationally as a place to invest, visit and work.

Item 3: No Deal preparedness – Health and social care services

3.1 The Minister for Health and Social Services introduced the paper, which focussed on preparations taking place across the Health Department.

3.2 Maintaining continuity of supply was a key issue, for example through central arrangements like the medical devices and clinical consumables warehouse in Wales, and the UK-wide medicines arrangements. These had been reviewed and assured over the summer and were continually monitored.

3.3 Significant work had been undertaken in the social care sector directly with Local Authorities, independent and third sector organisations. Local Authorities had statutory responsibilities under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 to meet the care and support needs of people in their communities.

3.4 The Sub-Committee noted the paper.

Item 4: No Deal preparedness – Local government

4.1 The Minister for Housing and Local Government introduced the paper, which set out the key risks to local government in the event of a ‘no deal’ including the housing and financial pressures that local authorities would feel when demand was increased on already stretched services and the effect that price increases would have on vulnerable communities.

4.2 It was reported that significant work had been carried out with partners in local government and the WLGA to ensure that the sector was as prepared as it could be for a possible ‘no-deal’ scenario. However, it would not be possible to fully prepare or mitigate for the impacts of ‘no-deal’ on local authorities, given their role in delivering such a range and volume of key services for Wales.

4.3 The Sub-Committee noted that funding, structures and communications had been put in place between Welsh Government and local authorities to strengthen preparedness, make it more consistent, increase capacity and reduce duplication.

4.4 In addition, all authorities had Brexit planning risk registers, scrutiny arrangements and a Brexit co-ordinator in place.

4.5 The Sub-Committee noted the paper.

Item 5: No Deal preparedness - Education

5.1 The Minister for Education introduced the paper, which set out the expectation that for HE/FE and skills, no issues on ‘Day One’ post-Brexit were anticipated, beyond those facing the rest of the public sector.

5.2 In relation to individual institutions’ preparedness, reassurance had been sought via the stakeholder Brexit forum, umbrella bodies, and bilateral discussions at a senior level.

5.3 The Cabinet Sub-Committee noted the paper.

Item 6: No Deal preparedness – Culture, sport and tourism

6.1 The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism introduced the paper, which provided an update on the impact of a ‘no-deal’ on staffing, recruitment and funding for tourism, the arts, culture and the creative industries, along with an update on the engagement taking place with stakeholders in Wales and the UK to consider the implications for visitors post-Brexit.

6.2 The Sub-Committee noted the paper.

Item 7: No Deal preparedness – Action plan

7.1 The Sub-Committee noted the updated Action Plan.

Cabinet Secretariat
September 2019

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