The First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford and the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon have jointly written to the new Prime Minister asking him to immediately rule out a no deal Brexit.
The First Ministers set out 4 steps the new Prime Minister can immediately take to establish a more productive relationship between the governments of the UK. These include:
- The need for the on-going Inter-governmental Relations Review to put in place more robust machinery for working together on the basis of greater equality.
- A commitment to full involvement of the devolved administrations in international negotiations, which impact on devolved competence.
- The UK government should ensure that Wales and Scotland would be no worse off if the UK does leave the EU.
- The Immigration White Paper is replaced by proposals, which reflect the needs of the economy of the whole of the UK.
They have also called for the UK government to prepare for a 2nd EU referendum.
The First Ministers say in their letter:
“We are concerned that you have not ruled out leaving the European Union without a deal on 31 October.
“While we will continue to do everything we can to ensure we are as prepared as possible for this eventuality, there should be no doubt that the consequences would be catastrophic for all parts of the UK.
“It would be unconscionable for a UK government to contemplate a chaotic no deal exit and we urge you to reject this possibility clearly and unambiguously as soon as possible.
“We are also clear the decision about EU exit must now be put back to the people. It is the policy of both governments that the UK Parliament should legislate for a further referendum. If such a referendum is held we will argue strongly that the UK should remain in the EU.”
“While the prospect of a no deal exit exists – despite the differences between our governments – there must be strong and constructive joint planning and action to mitigate the effects so far as possible.
“This must be done in a way that fully respects devolution. And in any next phase of the EU exit process, the meaningful involvement of all the UK’s governments in the decisions that affect them is crucial.
“This will require a significant shift in the culture and approach to intergovernmental relations we have experienced over the past 3 years to ensure proper respect is given to devolved interests and institutions.”