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National Assembly for Wales


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Agency officials

Jeremy Miles AM

Brexit Minister

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Carwyn Jones AM

First Minister

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Jeremy Miles AM Jun 17th, 2019

In the meantime, we must continue our preparations for the possibility of leaving the EU without a deal at the end of October. Since the extension was agreed in April, we have been taking the opportunity to review the preparations that we made as the anticipated departure date neared in April. It is important that we take stock and think about how best to build on all the valuable work done across the public sector and beyond. It remains the case that it is not possible to mitigate fully the impacts of a 'no deal' exit on Wales, either in the short or in the long term. There is simply no measure that could fully counteract the effects of a lurch into trading under World Trade Organization rules. The imposition of tariffs and the potential for delays and blockages at ports because of customs checks are an inevitable consequence of leaving the European Union without a deal.

The health and well-being of the people of Wales remains our top priority and we will continue to do our utmost to secure access to medicines and security of food supplies. We will continue to support businesses in all sectors of the economy through advice provided by the Business Wales Brexit portal and financial support through the Brexit business resilience fund, the economy futures fund and the Development Bank of Wales. And we will continue to press the UK Government so that Wales does not lose a penny of funding.

We provide advice and guidance through our Preparing Wales website—Paratoi Cymru—which is regularly updated with support for the people of Wales. Businesses can access financial support and advice about trading through uncertain times on the Business Wales website, including the Brexit portal, and through the Development Bank of Wales. We have now identified a number of simple, low-cost actions to help businesses prepare for a 'no deal' Brexit and which will be useful for their businesses anyway, and those details are now available on Paratoi Cymru.

Jeremy Miles AM Jun 17th, 2019

Faced by this sort of binary choice, we are clear that, almost three years on from the referendum, and more than two years after we put forward 'Securing Wales’ Future', we as a Government must recognise these realities and change course. In doing so, we make no apology for the policy that we and Plaid Cymru put forward in January 2017. It was an honest attempt to articulate a way of respecting the referendum result while not trashing the economy, recognising that the economic fall-out from a hard Brexit would only intensify, rather than solve, the problems caused by austerity—the austerity that, with the sense of being left out, played such a big part in motivating people to vote 'leave' in communities across Wales.

So, as a Government, we will now campaign to remain in the EU. And to make that happen, Parliament should now show the courage to admit it is deadlocked and legislate for a referendum, with 'remain' on the ballot paper. We have been calling for months for the UK Government to make preparations in case a referendum should be necessary. Now Parliament must make sure that it happens.

Let me be completely clear: any deal will require a new mandate from the electorate, and leaving without a deal must require one also. And, of course, any referendum must include remaining in the EU as an option. We have always argued that holding a further referendum risks reinforcing divisions, but the European elections have shown that any belief that the country has come together is wholly illusory. And, of course, there is the chance that a second referendum might lead to the same result as the first. But we will campaign to remain, and we will work with those within this Chamber and outside who share that view.

Jeremy Miles AM Jun 17th, 2019

The negotiations between the Government and the opposition have broken down, destroyed by the jockeying for prominence of would-be Conservative leaders, and we know that there is no appetite in the parliamentary Conservative Party for a form of Brexit that we had consistently advocated, one that retains participation in the single market and a customs union.

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