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Present

  • Rt Hon. Mark Drakeford AM 
  • Jeremy Miles AM (Chair) 
  • Lesley Griffiths AM
  • Julie James AM
  • Vaughan Gething AM
  • Rebecca Evans AM
  • Kirsty Williams AM
  • Jane Hutt AM
  • Lee Waters AM
  • Shan Morgan – Permanent Secretary
  • Des Clifford – Director General, OFM
  • Piers Bisson – Director, European Transition
  • Simon Brindle – Director, Brexit Strategy
  • Will Whiteley – Head of Cabinet Division
  • Carys Evans – Principal Private Secretary, First Minister
  • Gareth Williams – Special Adviser
  • Dan Butler – Special Adviser
  • Andrew Johnson – Special Adviser
  • Alex Bevan – Special Adviser
  • Damian Roche – Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
  • Christopher Morgan – Cabinet Secretariat
  • Toby Mason,  – Director of Communications
  • Reg Kilpatrick – Director Local Government
  • Liz Lalley – Deputy Director, European Transition Preparedness
  • Bethan Bateman – Head of Future Migration
  • Nicola Forrest – Migration Policy Manager, European Transition Team
  • Sarah Hough – European Transition Team

Apologies

  • Eluned Morgan AM
  • Ken Skates AM

Item 1: Update on developments

1.1. The Counsel General and Brexit Minister reflected on the excellent work done over the summer to prepare the Welsh Government for a possible ‘no-deal’ outcome, thanking officials and Ministers for their engagement and hard work.

1.2. ‘No-deal’ was now considered a significantly less likely outcome, although preparations would need to be updated and maintained, and then possibly stepped up again in early January should there not be a clear way forward as a result of the General Election scheduled for 12 December.

1.3. In addition, planning for winter pressures such as serious weather events and the increased demand on health services should be factored in to updated preparedness planning. The contribution of volunteers for the ECC(W) was recognised and it was agreed that future demands on the same staff be minimised where possible.

1.4. It was noted that the Permanent Secretary had discussed the learning taken from ‘no-deal’ preparations with Sir Mark Sedwill, Head of the Civil Service.

1.5. The Sub-Committee noted the update.

Item 2: Future migration policy

2. The Counsel General and Brexit Minister introduced the paper, which summarised developments on migration policy over the last 12 months and highlighted a number of areas where the Welsh Government might wish to further develop its policy in order to press the UK government to take on board the future migration needs of Wales.

2.2 It was clear that the current UK government was intent on introducing a points-based migration system, similar to that in Australia. It was imperative that the Welsh Government was in a position to seek to influence UK government policy so that, if this policy were to be pursued, the most damaging impacts on Wales were mitigated.

2.3 The issue of maintaining three year migrant student visas was raised and it was noted that finding a way to continue this positive inward migration into Wales should be found.

2.4 The Sub-Committee discussed the proposed salary threshold for migrants, which was currently at £30,000 per annum, and noted that if a salary threshold remained as a proposed part of future migration policy, then a lower threshold of £20,000 per annum would be more appropriate in Wales.

2.5 The Sub-Committee agreed the paper.

Cabinet Secretariat
November 2019

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