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Ahead of a meeting with the Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay in Cardiff today, Counsel General and Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles has warned that the Prime Minister’s plans for a vote in Parliament on Brexit legislation is the wrong approach.

First published:
16 May 2019
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Jeremy Miles said:

“The talks between the UK government and the opposition are supposed to be aimed at building a consensus. Setting a deadline for a new vote without cross-party consensus goes against the whole point of the exercise. The Prime Minister should be focused on building genuine cross-party support for the broadly-based majority needed to approve a deal, and the legislation to implement it. 

“This is a desperate double or quits strategy from a Prime Minister who seems determined to end her premiership by making the same mistake of setting red lines and refusing to budge that has got us in the mess we find ourselves in.

“The Prime Minister’s approach so far has hampered negotiations and created a deadlock in Parliament. We urgently need compromise to move this issue forward and find a way of leaving the EU that could get through Parliament. The deal on the table is not going to pass while the Prime Minister simply crosses her fingers and hopes for the best.

“We are not out of the danger zone - we shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking a no deal Brexit has gone away. The UK government must show the flexibility which they have so far failed to show.”

The Counsel General will also use today’s meeting to reiterate calls for the devolved administrations to be fully involved in discussions on the UK’s future partnership with the EU. 

Jeremy Miles added:

“We need to see a radical change of approach from the UK government in the next phase of negotiations. I will push the Brexit Secretary again today for a firm commitment that any position the UK government takes will be fully agreed with the devolved administration in advance of future negotiations with the EU. It should also be a given that the devolved administrations are present in the room where negotiations on the future partnership involve devolved matters. This must be a process of co-decision making - it is way past time Whitehall accepted devolution as a partnership in the governance of the UK. 

“The Welsh Government will continue to help citizens and organisations across Wales, and do all in our power to prepare for Brexit. This includes further funding from our dedicated £50 million European Transition Fund, supporting leadership and cooperation between public bodies, providing the latest advice for the public via our Preparing Wales website, and helping businesses to adapt and prepare for the future.”