Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales
The recent publication of the UK government’s Operation Yellowhammer planning is the result of Parliament’s actions in compelling its sharing with the public. It is regrettable the UK government had to be compelled to share this information. The assumptions underline and endorse what the Welsh Government has said for many months about the enormity of the challenges a self-inflicted no-deal Brexit would present to Wales.
We continue to press the UK government to rule out a no-deal exit from the European Union, despite the Prime Minister’s apparent determination to keep it as a very real possibility. This is partly because we have no assurance the Prime Minister intends to obey the law with regard to requesting an extension, and partly because if he does we cannot be sure the EU27 will unanimously agree such a request.
We continue to work very closely with our partners, including local government, the NHS, on our own preparations for Brexit and we have invested significant sums through our EU Transition Fund. However, no level of planning and preparation either here, or by the UK government, will adequately address the level of disruption a no deal exit would mean for the people of Wales.
For so long as the threat of a no deal exit persists, it is important that we all consider urgently what a no-deal exit from the EU would mean and seek advice and take appropriate action where necessary.
Advice about a range of Brexit issues has been published and made available on the Welsh Government website at https://gov.wales/preparing-wales and we will release further information over the coming weeks to help people prepare for what the UK government’s and our own planning assumptions demonstrate what will be a very difficult time ahead.