Carwyn Jones, First Minister
Assembly Members will wish to be aware that I am in the process of establishing an expert advisory group to ensure Wales secures the best possible outcome in forthcoming Brexit negotiations.
The European Advisory Group will be made up of business people, politicians and experts with a detailed understanding of the European Union.
The group will advise the Welsh Government on the wide-ranging impact on Wales of the UK’s exit from the EU and how Wales can overcome challenges to secure a strong and prosperous future and a continued positive relationship with Europe.
In addition I am setting up a Cabinet Sub-Committee on European Transition from September, while detailed work continues between the Welsh Government, UK Government and the other Devolved Administrations to prepare for the EU negotiations.
My immediate focus since the EU referendum result has been on protecting our economy and providing assurance to Wales’ business community. As such, we have outlined 6 immediate economic measures, while we are also developing a business confidence plan with support for Welsh exports and have created a new fund to help boost employment and attract inward investment.
I have sought a cast iron commitment that Wales will not lose a penny of the EU money budgeted to us up to 2020 and have been absolutely clear that maintaining uninterrupted access to the Single Market is vital.
Detailed and formal negotiations between our officials and the UK Government have been ongoing since the June vote, and this close working will intensify in the coming weeks. Our leadership in calling an emergency British Irish Council has resulted in a very clear understanding of the issues facing devolved administrations and we will continue to pursue Wales’ interests in every avenue open to us.
It is my responsibility to shape Wales’ future outside the European Union – and I am not taking this responsibility lightly. I will not lose sight of how Brexit will impact directly on the people of Wales. The advisory group will help us to understand the real world impact on our towns, villages, farming communities, educational institutions, businesses, the third sector and vital public services.
Close working with all parts of Welsh society will be vital in delivering the strongest voice possible for Wales in the forthcoming negotiations. That is why we are opening a new dialogue with Plaid Cymru on European Transition, alongside our other liaison committees.
Despite the challenges ahead, we are ready to roll up our sleeves and shape Wales’ future in a changing world. We will ensure our national interests are set out clearly, and the best possible outcome for Wales is secured.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.