Welsh Government Minister Rebecca Evans will hold talks today with key members of the European Parliament who will play a key role in agreeing any deal between the UK and the EU.
During a visit to Strasbourg the Minister will meet the Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group. The group’s six members will play a crucial role in determining the Parliaments’ views on any Brexit Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU. The European Parliament has a decisive role in the Brexit process because it must approve the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the European Commission.
Rebecca Evans said:
“We are now at a crucial time in the Brexit process. A deal, if there is one, between the UK and the EU will need the approval of both the Westminster Parliament and the European Parliament, an aspect which is often overlooked in the heated debate over Brexit. I am looking forward to meeting MEPs from the Brexit Steering Group to again communicate the Welsh Government’s aim of a Brexit that protects jobs and our economy.
“We are now 135 days from the UK leaving the EU and it is crucial we see a deal that avoids us catastrophically falling out of the EU and puts in place a platform for continuing our trade and economic relations.”
The Minister will also raise the Welsh Government’s wish for the Wales to remain a member of certain EU programmes – such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus – once the UK has left the EU.
Rebecca Evans continued:
“I have heard from our university leaders how much they value collaboration with partner universities, how important continued research collaboration is and why it is vital that they are still able to participate in the Erasmus + and Horizon 2020 programmes. We share this view, and have continually lobbied the UK Government on continued participation.
“We want Wales to be a global and outward looking nation; Welsh universities have worked hard to build these links and our students benefit from this collaboration and we want to see this continue.”
Rebecca Evans’ visit will include meetings with at least three members of the Steering Group - Elmar Brok MEP, Gabriele Zimmer MEP, Philippe Lamberts MEP - and European Parliament Deputy Secretary-General Markus Winkler, as well as Welsh MEPs.
In April the Welsh Government welcomed Elmar Brok MEP, a senior Member of the European Parliament and a member of the Brexit Steering Group for talks on Brexit.