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Jeremy Miles, AM, Counsel General and Brexit Minister

First published:
21 January 2020
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On 09 January, I attended the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) in Whitehall. The meeting focussed on the role of the Devolved Governments in the next phase of negotiations with the EU. UK Government Ministers noted that they were in the process of finalising their proposals for negotiating structures and expected this would provide clarity on the role of the Devolved Governments.

UK Ministers noted the Welsh Government’s proposed amendments to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) and assured me that these would be carefully considered. I stressed that the Welsh Government’s recommendation to the Senedd would be not to consent to the Bill as it stands. I made clear that this would be a very significant constitutional moment and would require serious and respectful consideration by the UK Government and by Parliament, if they elected to proceed in the event the Senedd were to withhold consent.

I also emphasised the importance of concluding the Inter-Governmental Relations Review (IGRR) urgently, as well as the need to establish regular Ministerial quadrilaterals covering all relevant policy departments. In addition, I raised concerns around the operation of the settlement scheme for EU nationals in the UK and in particular the seemingly high proportion of applicants receiving pre-settled status rather than full settled status.

I expect to host the next JMC (EU Negotiations) later this month in Cardiff and for that meeting to focus on finalising proposals for dispute resolution as part of the IGRR, reaching a firm conclusion on the role of the Devolved Governments in negotiations, and a discussion of negotiation objectives. 

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