Brexit update
Pwyllgor Materion Allanol a Deddfwriaeth Ycwhanegol | 5 June 2017
 External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee | 5 Mehefin 2017




Research Briefing:

1.       Introduction

This paper provides an update on the most recent developments on Brexit of relevance to Wales. It includes sections on the work of the Assembly and Welsh Government; EU; UK; and Scotland and Ireland. The period covered is 17 – 31 May, although reference is made to later events where information is available at time of final drafting.

2.       Developments in Wales

National Assembly for Wales

External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee

The External Affairs and Additional Legislation (EAAL) Committee is the lead Committee in the Assembly for co-ordinating the Brexit-related activities of Committees. The Committee has completed an inquiry into the Potential Implications of Leaving the EU in Wales.

The most recent session of the EEAL Committee inquiry was:

§    22 May: The Committee held a private session to consider: an update from officials on activities in Brussels; its forward work programme; and a draft of its report on the Future of Regional Policy. The Committee Chair, David Rees AM, also paid tribute to the work of the former First Minister for Wales, Rhodri Morgan on European and External Affairs issues following the sad news of his death.

Regular updates on the work of the EAAL Committee are posted on the Assembly Blog: https://assemblyblog.wales/tag/european-union/.

The Research Service’s own blogs are published on In Brief. The latest Brexit blogs are Estimating the timeline for Brexit Legislation, “The Great Repeal Bill”: What will it mean?, and Brexit: What would trading under “WTO terms” mean for the Welsh economy?.


The Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee is drafting its report on an inquiry into Marine Protected Areas in Wales, and has published its report into the Future of Agricultural and Rural Development Policies in Wales.

The Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee is carrying out an inquiry: What will human rights in Wales look like after Brexit?

‘The implications of Brexit for the medical workforce’ is explicitly included in the terms of reference for the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s current inquiry on medical recruitment.


18 May: Welsh Laverbread achieves protected status.

22 May: FUW outlines agricultural priorities to General Election candidates.

25 May: Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford AM welcomed Mike Russell MSP to Wales for Brexit discussions.

30 May: Free trade must be maintained in Brexit (NFU)

3.       EU developments

European Council

17 May: President Tusk at the European Parliament on Brexit: "Time is of the essence here, and much is at stake".

22 May: Council (Art 50) authorises the start of Brexit talks and adopts negotiating directives.

25 May: EU and US leaders met in Brussels.

27 May: G7 Taormina Leaders’ Communiqué.

29 May: EU-US insurance agreement: Council agrees to signing.

29 May: Conclusions on a future EU industrial policy strategy.

29 May: Remarks by President Donald Tusk at the panel discussion called "European (Dis)Union?" during the Globsec forum in Bratislava.

European Commission

17 May: Speech by President Juncker at the European Parliament Plenary session on the conclusions of the Special European Council (Article 50) of 29 April 2017.

17 May: May infringements - Commission calls on the UK to transpose new rules on recreational boats and their engines, and the Commission has opened infringement proceedings against 14 Member States (inc. UK) for failure to report on the implementation of several EU waste rules.

17 May: State aid: Commission simplifies rules for public investment in ports and airports, culture and the outermost regions.

18 May: European Commission reports on the application of the Charter of fundamental rights in the EU in 2016.

22 May: Statement by Michel Barnier at the press conference following the General Affairs Council (Art. 50).

22 May: European Commission receives mandate to begin negotiations with the UK. The Commission has published its approach to transparency, which includes publishing: agendas for negotiating rounds; EU position papers; non-papers; EU text proposals.

22 May: Negotiating directives for Article 50 negotiations.

22 May: European Semester 2017 Spring Package: Commission issues country-specific recommendations.

23 May: Statement by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker following the attack in Manchester.

Consultation - Evaluation of the TEN-E regulation (closes 4 September).

29 May: Commission welcomes adoption of new rules to block tax avoidance.

29 May: Speech by Michel Barnier at the 57th COSAC (Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union) – Malta.

29 May: Draft EU position papers on Article 50 negotiations: Citizens rights and the financial settlement.

European Parliament

17 May: MEPs welcome unity on Brexit and call for reform of the EU - MEPs debated the guidelines for the negotiations with the UK on the terms of its withdrawal, adopted by the April EU Summit, with European Council President Donald Tusk and the Commission.

17 May: A strong and united EU is fundamental to a strong UN - António Guterres, UN Secretary-General.

18 May: Brexit and the EP: what does it mean for free movement? – Debate at the European Parliament Office in London.

24 May: Minute of silence at the EP for the victims of the Manchester attack.

30 May: MEPs quiz Jean-Claude Juncker on change of heart in fight against tax avoidance.

European News

23 May: Brussels releases criteria to host EU agencies after Brexit. (Politico)

4.       UK developments

UK Government

26 May: Prime Minister’s statement at the G7 Summit in Sicily.

House of Commons

The Houses of Parliament are in recess until the General Election.

House of Lords

The Houses of Parliament are in recess until the General Election.


26 May: Britain’s farmers get £3bn a year from the inefficient CAP. That has to change. (LSE)

30 May: Economic consequences of limiting migration are shocking. (LSE)

5.       Northern Ireland

The Assembly has published EU Matters: BREXIT Negotiation Focus, which includes a summary of the UK government, European Council and European Parliament negotiating positions.

6.       Reports published

Red, Yellow and Blue Brexit: the manifestos uncovered (UK in a Changing Europe)