The First Secretary of State Damian Green MP has expressed confidence that progress can be made today (Monday, 4th September) in talks with the Welsh Government on delivering a successful exit from the European Union.
Mr Green will be in Cardiff with the Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns for discussions with the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones on arrangements under the EU (Withdrawal) Bill for distributing powers returned from the European Union.
The Secretaries of State will also visit Cardiff University and host the first meeting of the Expert EU Exit Implementation Panel for Wales at Caspian Point.
There is a need to identify policy areas where common UK frameworks will be required as well as those areas that can be devolved to the Welsh Assembly. The EU (Withdrawal) Bill is scheduled to begin its 2nd Reading in the House of Commons on Thursday (7th September).
Speaking ahead of the meeting with the First Minister, Mr Green said there was a lot of common ground between the UK and Welsh governments. He said both governments agreed on the need to protect the benefits of the UK single market and to see more EU powers transferred to Cardiff. He said this was ‘a recipe for progress’ in these important talks.
Damian Green, First Secretary of State, said:
This is about ensuring we are ready for leaving the EU. The UK single market is one of our biggest assets, ensuring different parts of the UK can trade easily with each other.
“The Welsh Government agree that we will need a UK-wide approach in certain areas to maintain the benefits of the UK market.
The UK Government has a strong record on devolving powers to Wales and we have said repeatedly that Wales will likely end up having more powers at the end of this process.
I am confident that we can make progress through these talks. I want us to agree on a way to take things forward and I believe that should be readily achievable.
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:
The European (Union) Withdrawal Bill will deliver the certainty and continuity on exit day that businesses across Wales and the rest of the UK need. It is also our expectation that the outcome of this process will provide a significant increase in the decision-making power of each devolved administration.
The UK Government is committed to positive and productive engagement going forward and I look forward to a constructive meeting with the First Minister on these important matters today.
The Secretaries of State will later gather representatives from the business, agriculture and third sectors in Wales together for the first meeting of the Expert Implementation Panel for Wales.
The Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns has established the group to work with him to deliver a smooth and orderly exit from the EU in Wales.
The panel will provide direct, two-way lines of communication - from the panel directly into the heart of UK Government through the Welsh Secretary, and from the UK Government to stakeholders throughout Wales who have an interest in ensuring a successful EU exit for all sectors across Wales.
The Ministers will also take the opportunity to underline the UK Government’s commitment to supporting the burgeoning compound semiconductor industry during a visit to the Institute of Compound Semiconductors at Cardiff University.
Last year, the UK Government announced that it will invest £50 million to establish a new Compound Semiconductor Catapult Centre of Excellence in South-East Wales. This new Catapult will be delivered as part of the £1.2 billion City Deal to unlock significant economic growth across the Cardiff Capital Region.