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Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford sets out Wales’ Brexit priorities

Wednesday May 16th, 2018

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford on Monday night (May 14 2018) set out Wales’ priorities for the future as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.Government Opportunities

Speaking at the latest in a series of events organised by Wales for Europe, he set out the Welsh Government’s 6 priorities. These 6 priorities respect the Brexit vote in 2016 but put Welsh interests at the forefront of a new relationship with the European Union:

  • continued full and unfettered access to the single market and participation in a customs union
  • a new migration system that links migration more closely to employment
  • Wales not to lose a penny of funding as a result of Brexit – a promise made during the referendum campaign
  • a fundamentally different constitutional relationship between the devolved governments and the UK Government, which is based on mutual respect
  • maintaining current social and environmental protections, including workers’ rights
  • a transition period to avoid a ‘cliff edge’.

The speech came ahead of yesterday’s (Tuesday May 15) debate on a Legislative Consent Motion, which seeks the National Assembly’s agreement to those aspects of the UK government’s EU Withdrawal Bill which have an impact on devolution.

Professor Drakeford said:

“When we started discussions with our Scottish and UK counterparts, the EU Withdrawal Bill would have allowed the UK government to take control of devolved policy areas, such as farming and fishing, after Brexit.

We are now in a different place. London has changed its position so that all devolved powers and policy areas rest in Cardiff, unless we all agree that some matters will continue to operate temporarily to the existing EU rule book. These will be areas where we all agree that, when the UK leaves the EU, UK-wide rules are needed for a functioning UK internal market.

The Legislative Consent Motion defends and entrenches devolution while also providing the certainty necessary that the United Kingdom will operate effectively, the other side of the European Union and the shared rule book it has provided.”

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