Welsh Brexit minister in Strasbourg for talks
Ahead of another crucial week in the Commons, Welsh Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles will travel to Strasbourg today to make clear Welsh Government’s position on the current negotiations and set out the kind of relationship Wales would like once the UK leaves the EU.
It comes as the Welsh Government announced a further £4m of new funding to help organisations prepare for Brexit.
Later this week, MPs in the Commons will have another opportunity to vote again on whether or not to back the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, with additional votes on removing the threat of a no deal, and extending Article 50, also possible.
The Minister heads to the European Parliament in Strasbourg ahead of tomorrow’s meaningful vote in the Commons to meet MEPs to emphasise the Welsh Government’s distinct position on Brexit and its ambitions for the future UK-EU relationship.
Jeremy Miles said, “There are less than three weeks until we are scheduled to leave the European Union and we are no nearer understanding just how that is meant to happen. This uncertainty can go on no longer. The Prime Minister and the UK Parliament must now surely show they have listened to the warnings of the Parliaments of Wales, and Scotland, rule out no deal at any time and request an immediate extension of Article 50”.
“I am travelling to Strasbourg this week to get a better understanding of the views of colleagues across the EU; to explain our views on how a sustainable majority in the UK Parliament could be found for a form of Brexit that reflects Welsh priorities; and to urge the European Parliament to support our efforts to avert a catastrophic no deal Brexit, despite the way in which the Prime Minister has squandered the goodwill of our partners by seeking to renegotiate the deal she had already agreed.
“I also want to make it clear that Wales values its relationships with our closest neighbours. Our histories have been interwoven for many years, and although all that is about to change, we believe the future of Wales can and must remain closely linked with the future of friends across Europe.”
Before he sets off for Strasbourg, Mr Miles has announced four new projects set to benefit from funding from the EU Transition Fund (ETF).
The £50m fund has been developed in partnership with Welsh businesses, public services and other key organisations, to provide tailored support as the UK prepares to leave the EU.
The latest four projects are:
- UK field epidemiology – Once we leave the EU, we will lose access to epidemiology training through the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET). £180k has been awarded through the ETF to fund a place on the UK FETP in Wales, so that we can host fellows and participate in the training and network for this UK-wide programme.
- Settled Status and Immigration Advice - £500k to expand the provision of information and support, including immigration advice, to help EEA citizens living in Wales and reassurance for them to apply successfully for settled status.
- Local Resilience Forums (LRF) Civil Contingencies Support – we are providing £500k to help support LRFs fulfil their roles in the command, control and co-ordination arrangements for Operation Yellowhammer in Wales. Most LRFs employ just a single person to co-ordinate civil contingencies across large areas and they do not have any support to deliver out-of-hours services. £500k will enable them to increase staff numbers to co-ordinate the planning and to fulfil the reporting commitments required from them under Operation Yellowhammer. The additional staff will also provide support to any emergency response required during the period of leaving the EU when concurrent operations may be required.
- Building resilience in farming communities - to determine the impact of Brexit on the health and well-being of rural farming communities in Wales, and produce an evidence-based model of support co-produced with farming communities. This project has been awarded £28,000.