The Prime Minister held the first Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) meeting to take place outside of London today, in a special meeting in Wales.
As a sign of the government’s commitment to engage with the devolved administrations and to seek a Brexit that works for the whole of the UK, the Prime Minister, together with the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, the Secretary of State for International Trade, the Secretaries of State for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Minister for the Cabinet Office met with ministers from the devolved administrations today.
This was the second JMC under the Prime Minister’s leadership and followed 3 JMC(EN)s that have taken place over the last few months.
Discussions focused to focus on our exit from the EU, how we can work together to support UK businesses to trade and invest in the lead up to leaving the EU and intergovernmental relations.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, the Prime Minister said:
I am delighted to be holding today’s JMC in Cardiff, particularly in the week the Wales Bill is expected to gain Royal Assent – heralding a new devolution settlement for Wales.
At the JMC in October, I set out how we would fully engage with the devolved administrations in the process of planning the UK’s departure from the EU.
I am pleased that the committee on EU negotiations has met 3 times since then, giving ministers from the Scottish government, Welsh government and Northern Ireland executive a direct line to the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU.
I know ministers and officials from all sides are also in regular contact bilaterally. We have received papers from both the Scottish and Welsh governments and I am grateful to the devolved administrations for their contributions to this important process.
We will not agree on everything, but that doesn’t mean we will shy away from the necessary conversations and I hope we will have further constructive discussions today.
We have also had the Supreme Court judgement which made clear beyond doubt that relations with the EU are a matter for the UK government and UK Parliament. We should not forget that that means MPs representing every community in the UK will be fully involved in the passage of Article 50 through Parliament.
The United Kingdom voted to leave the EU, and the UK government has a responsibility to deliver on that mandate and secure the right deal for the whole of the UK. We all have a part to play in providing certainty and leadership so that together we can make a success of the opportunities ahead.
The Prime Minister met all the heads of the devolved administrations within her first month of taking up office, and has made it a priority of the UK government to fully engage with them on the UK’s exit from the EU.
Since the referendum the UK government has continued discussions with the devolved administrations both at ministerial and official level, including a direct line to the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU through the JMC(EN).
There have been 3 JMC(EN) meetings to date. There will be further meetings including the JMC(EN) as the UK government continues discussions with the devolved administrations on this important issue.