Brexit and Devolution: Securing Wales’ Future

Author (Corporate)
Publication Date June 2017
Content Type

On June 23rd 2016 the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (EU). The Welsh Government has been working since the referendum to protect and promote the interests of Wales during Brexit negotiations. It wants the best possible outcome for the people of Wales.

A majority in Wales voted to leave the EU and the government has been clear this democratic decision must be respected. It aims to ensure that the democratic will of the people of Wales, and its economic, social, environmental and cultural needs, inform the UK’s approach to Brexit. Through this, it is determined to secure a positive future for Wales in a post-Brexit world.

In January 2017 the Welsh Government launched a White Paper Securing Wales’ Future that set out the main issues it believed vital for Wales as the UK moved to leave the EU:

+ The single market and international trade
+ Migration
+ Finance and Investment
+ Constitutional and Devolution issues
+ Social and environmental protections and values
+ Transitional arrangements

Securing Wales’ Future marked the beginning of a dialogue. To continue the dialogue the Welsh Government would publish a series of further documents to extend the debate both here in Wales and the United Kingdom. The first of those documents was Brexit and Devolution.

The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, launched the policy paper on the 15 June 2017. The paper presents a blueprint for a major constitutional renewal of the UK, which can meet the challenges Brexit poses for the devolved nations and the future governance of the country as a whole.

The paper proposes replacing the current Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) with a new UK Council of Ministers that would take forward negotiations, reach binding decisions and help resolve disputes.

The council, served by an independent secretariat and a structured work programme, would bring the 4 governments together to negotiate and agree binding UK frameworks in devolved areas where they are needed, as well as considering non-devolved policies, such as state aid.

The paper also proposes a convention on the future of the United Kingdom. The convention, chaired by a respected, independent figure, would consider major questions which will face the UK once it is outside the EU and take evidence from all political parties, civil society and all parts of the UK.

Source Link
Related Links
ESO: Background information: Brexit and Devolution: The UK Government’s bind
ESO: Find more information on Wales and the EU Referendum, 23 June 2016
ESO: In Focus: Brexit - The United Kingdom and the European Union
Wales: Government: Brexit
Wales: Welsh Government: Press Release, 15.06.17: First Minister sets out a way forward for devolution post-Brexit
Blog: Welsh Brexit, 15.06.17: Watch launch of new Welsh Government policy paper on Brexit and devolution, and the academic reaction
BBC News, 15.06.17: Brexit an opportunity to reinvent the UK - Carwyn Jones

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