The Welsh Government has today published an overview of its no deal Brexit action plan.
The plan sets out the potential consequences of a no deal Brexit on all aspects of Welsh life and summarises the measures being taken to help to limit some of the worst effects of leaving without a deal.
But Welsh Ministers will today warn that no action either the Welsh Government or the UK government can take is capable of protecting the country from the full impact of harm caused by a no deal Brexit.
Unlike the Operation Yellowhammer assumptions, which the UK government was compelled to publish by Parliament last week, the Welsh Government’s plan is being published to help people in Wales understand the true scale of disruption expected in the event of no deal and the work carried out to mitigate the worst impacts.
Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles said:
“We are publishing this overview of our no deal action plan in the interests of transparency. We are doing all in our power to limit the damage that will be caused by a no deal Brexit.
“We hope that we won’t need to take the steps set out in this plan, but make no mistake, a no deal Brexit will damage Wales. The UK government’s own planning assumptions, revealed last week, predict rising fuel prices, shortages of some foods, protests and delays at ports, and those on low incomes being disproportionately affected – this is not project fear but project fact.
“Leaving the EU without a deal is not remotely a viable option, it is intentionally steering the ship towards the rocks. The best way to avoid a shipwreck is to change course and we will not apologise for continuing to make the case for that as forcefully as we can.
“But we have a duty to prepare for what could happen and we are continuing to do so, even though it will be impossible to fully mitigate the impact of a no deal.”
Many of the actions set out in the plan are intended to react to a specific consequence of leaving the EU without a deal, such as a rise in unemployment or shortages caused by disruptions to imports. Not every action in the plan may be needed in the event of a no deal.
The Welsh Government’s preparations are focused on 4 main areas:
- UK-wide preparedness – working with UK government departments and other devolved administrations on projects that extend beyond Wales
- Welsh Government action – working with partners and organisations in Wales to implement interventions to address the strategic risks of a no deal Brexit
- legislation – making sure Wales has a functioning statute book for exit day
- civil contingencies – developing a response to the most immediate and urgent issues.
The Welsh Government has worked continuously since 2016 to prepare for Brexit and achieve the best possible outcome. Key actions include:
- creating a £50 million European Transition Fund and continuing to push UK government for further funds
- providing advice for business on how to prepare and extra funding so they can build their resilience
- investing in a new NHS warehouse to provide additional storage capacity for medical devices
- putting in place plans to minimise disruption at Holyhead Port
- providing financial support our farming, food and fishing sectors.
The action plan provides a strategic overview of a range of risks associated with a no deal Brexit. Ministers will provide more detail on a range of interventions in specific statements over the coming weeks.