Carwyn Jones, First Minister
The Welsh Government has agreed with the Scottish and UK Governments a set of principles governing the establishment of UK-wide common frameworks in a range of areas currently subject to EU administration (a copy is attached). The Welsh Government will work with the Scottish and UK Governments to develop common positions in agreed areas. The UK Government has tabled a list of areas which they consider interact with our devolution settlement (copy also attached) which we are considering and discussing with them.
This does not change our stance on the UK Government’s European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. We have made clear to the UK Government that engagement on frameworks does not in any way mean that we accept the constraints on devolution provided for in its Bill. UK frameworks which encompass devolved responsibilities must be agreed between the Devolved Governments and the UK Government, and not imposed by the UK Government. Our position remains clear that unless substantive changes are made to the Bill we cannot recommend the Assembly gives its consent.
The Cabinet Secretary Mark Drakeford represented the Welsh Government at a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee on EU Negotiations on 16 October. The meeting was chaired by the First Secretary of State, Damian Green, and attended by the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, and representatives from the other Devolved Governments and the Territorial Offices. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss updates since the last meeting, the recent EU negotiations and the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
The Joint Ministerial Committee agreed that it should meet again before the end of the year. We welcome the re-convening of the Joint Ministerial Committee meetings as a positive step towards achieving more constructive relationships and better joint working between the UK and Devolved Governments. We hope it represents a new and productive chapter in the development of a genuinely “whole-UK” approach to Brexit policy.