Carwyn Jones, First Minister
On 22 June, together with the Minister for Environment, I represented the Welsh Government at the thirtieth Summit of the British-Irish Council (BIC) in Guernsey. The Summit was chaired by Deputy Gavin St Pier, Chief Minister of the Government of Guernsey. The Summit was attended by lead Ministers from the other BIC Member Administrations including:
• An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, of the Irish Government
• Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, Rt Hon David Lidington MP
• First Minister of Scotland, Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon
• Isle of Man’s Chief Minister, Hon Howard Quayle MHK
• Chief Minister of the Government of Jersey, Senator John Le Fondré
The British-Irish Council Summit is an important opportunity for Member Administrations to collaborate and share good practice on the common issues we face. This Summit provided an opportunity for Member Administrations to consider the priorities of the Council’s Members and to update the Council on their activity in relation to the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU).
The Summit opened with a Ministerial meeting of the BIC Environment work sector which focussed on Marine Environment with three priority areas:-
• Tackling marine litter
• Biodiversity and Marine Protected Areas
• Ocean Acidifications
The Minister for Environment, Hannah Blythyn AM, represented Wales and reported back to the Summit meeting on the actions we are taking to address the priority areas above She spoke about her ambition to make Wales the first refill nation and our commitment to support communities to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics to stop plastics from entering our environment. The Minister highlighted the importance of not only tackling waste at source but to also consider what happens at the end of the lifecycle of the waste we produce. The Minister also spoke of our commitment to the Marine Protected Area Network and our duty in Wales to consider biodiversity in everything we do.
There followed a discussion about the latest political developments. The Council received an update on engagements between the governments and parties in Northern Ireland. Ministers also updated the Council on their activity in relation to the UK’s exit from the European Union particularly in relation to economy and trade, free movement of goods and people, the Common Travel Area, and relations with the EU.
The key discussion points for the thirtieth Summit were published in a joint Communiqué.
https://www.britishirishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/communiquÃ©s/Thirtieth Summit Comminique - Guernsey_3.pdf