Vaughan Gething, Minister for Economy
In accordance with the Inter-Institutional Relations Agreement, I am notifying Members that I attended a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Group on UK-EU Relations on 26 June. I was unable to provide prior notice of the meeting as it was called at very short notice by the UK.
The meeting was chaired by Leo Docherty MP, UK Government Minister for Europe at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Also in attendance was Angus Robertson MSP, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture. A senior official from the Northern Ireland Civil Service was present as an observer.
The meeting was held in preparation for the subsequent UK-EU meetings of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee (WAJC) held on 3 July, which I did not attend.
I made the following main points at the June meeting, which were noted:
- more notice should be given for meetings of this Inter-Ministerial group, in line with the terms of the Inter-Governmental Review.
- engagement with UK Government on Windsor Framework implementation matters was ongoing.
- progress with the EU on the Windsor Framework should hopefully unblock key issues such as UK association to Horizon Europe.
- on citizens’ rights, the Welsh government would welcome earlier, and more substantive, engagement from the Home Office.
The subsequent Joint Committee meeting adopted two formal decisions on sanitary and phytosanitary measures (agri-foods) and medicines to implement the Windsor Framework. It also adopted a decision to adjust aspects of the Co-ordination of Social Security mechanisms. The details are set out in the UK-EU Joint Statement here: Joint statement on the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee meeting, 3 July 2023
The next meeting of the IMG on UK-EU Relations is scheduled for 11 September, to be chaired by FCDO Minister for Europe, Leo Docherty MP. No formal agenda has yet been set, but I expect it to include discussion on the implementation of the Trade & Co-operation Agreement and the Withdrawal Agreement, ahead of a series of various UK-EU meetings scheduled for the remainder of 2023.