A National Assembly for Wales committee is calling on the Welsh Government to urgently examine the likely parameters of various Brexit scenarios
The External Affairs Committee heard the Welsh Government had examined a number of scenarios of how Brexit could affect Wales, but had not devised a response to the possibility of there being 'no deal' between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
When questioned as to why during evidence the Committee was told by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance that "no amount of public money or preparation will avoid the harm that will be done to Wales."
"We are clear, that whilst we agree with the Welsh Government that a 'no deal scenario' is undesirable, more needs to be done in terms of scenario planning, including for such a 'no deal' outcome". said David Rees AM, Chair of the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee.
"We were surprised to learn that no plans were being put in place in the event of a 'no deal scenario'. We accept the Welsh Government is working to infuence its counterparts in the UK Government to strike a deal with the European Union, but do not accept there is no planning that can be done if we were to leave without one."
The Committee also found that many public sectors would welcome clear guidance and leadership from the Welsh Government on preparations for Brexit.
Members were told that the health, higher education, agriculture and business, including advanced manufacturing, could feel more of an impact than others.
David Rees said: "Sectors and organisations are looking to the Welsh Government for leadership and it is imperative that they are able to start making their own plans for life outside the EU.
"We are calling on the Welsh Government to give a stronger steer to these sectors to ensure we are all set on the same path when we leave at the end of the negotiations."
The Committee makes seven recommendations in its report, including:
- That the Welsh Government urgently examines the likely parameters of various Brexit scenarios, including a 'no deal scenario', and reports on progress within 6 months;
- That the Welsh Government publish both the nine sectoral analyses described by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure and the outcome of the forthcoming research being undertaken by Cardiff Business School; and,
- That the Welsh Government improves communication with individual organisations through greater encouragement of representative bodies to cascade information to those organisations.