Brexit update
Y Pwyllgor Materion Allanol a Deddfwriaeth Ychwanegol | 3 Gorffennaf 2017
 External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee | 3 July 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 14-28 June, 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 most recent sessions of the EAAL Committee inquiry were:

§    19 June: A rapporteur group from the Committee visited Dublin to hold discussions with stakeholders as part of its inquiry into the implications of Brexit for Welsh and Irish Ports.

§    26 June: The Committee visited to Brussels to speak to stakeholders and counterparts about the implications of the UK leaving the EU including meetings with EFTA, Committee of the Regions, MEP colleagues in the European Parliament, the Flemish Parliament and representatives from English regional representatives in Brussels.

16 June: The Committee published its report on its Inquiry into the Great Repeal Bill and its implications for Wales. News item - UK Government must improve its engagement with Wales if its legislative proposals for Brexit are to succeed.

22 June: The Committee published its report on its Inquiry into the future of regional policy - what next for Wales? News item - Wales needs certainty on EU funding replacement post-Brexit.

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 The Welsh Government’s proposals for new laws and What might a Great Repeal Bill mean for Wales? The Assembly’s External Affairs Committee has set out its view on the Legislating for Brexit White Paper.


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 Constitution and Legislative Affairs Committee has published a declaratory statement on the UK Repeal Bill. News item- Brexit cannot be imposed on devolved nations

‘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.

14 June: Plenary short debate: Wales in the World – developing Wales' international links.

20 June: Statement by the First Minister: Brexit and Devolution: Securing Wales's Future, followed by questions.

21 June: Plenary debate on Brexit and the National Assembly for Wales.

21 June: Plenary debate on the future UK immigration system.

28 June: Plenary debate on the report by the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee: future of agricultural and rural development policies in Wales.

Welsh Government

15 June: The Welsh Government published the first in a series of papers, Brexit and Devolution, leading on from Securing Wales’ Future.

23 June: Focus of Brexit negotiations must be on securing transitional deal – First Minister Carwyn Jones.

24 June: Brexit a year on:  Devolved Administrations must play a key part in negotiations.


19 June: FUW President calls for fresh approach to Brexit at AGM.

21 June: Commitment to agriculture in Queen’s speech cautiously welcomed by FUW.

21 June: CLA statement on the Queen’s Speech.

22 June: EU ruling to protect dairy produce labels, a welcome move FUW says.

22 June: NFU Cymru Deputy President calls on MPs to back Welsh farming.

23 June: EU Referendum: One year on – The repatriation of competences (Welsh Brexit blogs)

26 June: NFU Cymru launches vision for a new Domestic Agricultural Policy post-Brexit.

3.       EU developments

European Council

19 June: Climate Change: the Council reaffirms that the Paris Agreement is fit for purpose and cannot be renegotiated.

21 June: Invitation letter by President Donald Tusk to the members of the European Council.

22 June: Remarks by President Donald Tusk ahead of the European Council meetings.

22-23 June: European Council. The Council discussed migration; security and defence; the Paris agreement on climate change; jobs, growth and competitiveness; and (without the UK) Brexit. Detailed Council conclusions.

23 June: Remarks by President Donald Tusk after the European Council meetings on 22 and 23 June 2017.

European Commission

14 June: Speech by President Juncker at the European Parliament on the preparation of the European Council of 22 and 23 June 2017.

16 June: Agenda of 19 June meeting between the EU and the UK on Article 50 negotiations.

19 June: Terms of Reference for the Article 50 TEU negotiations.

19 June: Speech by Michel Barnier, the European Commission's Chief Negotiator, following the first round of Article 50 negotiations with the UK.

23 June: Commission Position paper transmitted to EU27 on nuclear materials and safeguard equipment (Euratom). For discussion at the Council Working party (Art. 50) of 27 June 2017.

European Parliament

14 June: MEPs lay out their priorities for the upcoming European Council.

14 June: Paris agreement: Parliament backs new carbon cuts, debates U.S. withdrawal.

19 June: Brexit negotiations kick off – European Parliament reactions.

20 June: Publication of The Feasibility of Associate EU Citizenship for UK nationals post-Brexit – report prepared for Jill Evans MEP.

European News

14 June: EU tells UK its door still 'open' (EU Observer)

26 June: Michel Barnier calls for ‘more ambition’ from UK on citizens’ rights (Politico)

27 June: German industry warns ‘both sides underestimating’ Brexit talks (Euractiv)

4.       UK developments

UK Government

14 June: Prime Minister Theresa May made some further ministerial appointments following the general election 2017. Former Assembly Member the Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth joins the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Northern Ireland Office. Former Assembly Member the Rt Hon David Jones MP has left the government.

15 June: PM call with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

17 June: Government to confirm two-year Parliament to deliver Brexit and beyond.

19 June: PM press conference with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

19 June: PM call with Prime Minister Szydło of Poland.

19 June: Terms of Reference for the Article 50 TEU negotiations, agreed between the UK and European Commission. Also David Davis' opening and closing remarks at the start of EU exit negotiations in Brussels.

20 June: Mansion House 2017: Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

20 June: A Fine Balance: Mansion House speech by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England.

20 June: PM call with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau.

21 June: Queen’s Speech 2017: what it means for you.

21 June: Queen’s Speech 2017: background briefing notes.

21 June: PM statement following Queen's Speech.

23 June: European Council June 2017: Prime Minister's press statement.

24 June: Government pledges to help improve access to UK markets for world’s poorest countries post-Brexit.

26 June: Conservative and DUP Agreement and UK Government financial support for Northern Ireland.

26 June: PM Commons statement on European Council.

26 June: Safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU.

26 June: Status of EU citizens in the UK: what you need to know (updated)

26 June: Example case studies: EU citizens' rights in the UK.

26 June: UK nationals in the EU: what you need to know.

26 June: David Davis' opening statement from the Queen’s Speech Debate ‘Brexit and Foreign Affairs’.

27 June: PM call with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

27 June: David Davis' speech from The Times CEO Summit.

House of Commons

14 June: Westminster committees might not be set up until October (BBC report)

14 June: The House of Commons went to the House of Lords to receive Royal approbation for John Bercow as Speaker.

14-15 June: Swearing in of Members of the Commons.

21 June: State Opening of Parliament, Queen’s Speech. Start of the Debate on the Address.

26 June: Debate on the Address - Brexit and Foreign Affairs.

House of Lords

13-14 June: Oaths and Affirmations.

21 June: Queen’s Speech.

27 June: Oral Question - Brexit: Nursing Staff.

27 June: Debate on the Address – incl. constitutional affairs, devolved affairs.

28 June: Oral Question - Agriculture: Foreign Workers.

28 June: Debate on the Address - Exiting the European Union.


18 June: Redefining the UK's Relationship with the EU: Principles for economic success and prosperity- A statement from the UK's Leading Business Organisations. (BCC)

19 June: Brexit and weak government: a drama lesson from the Greek economy (The Conversation)

22 June: Manufacturing demand strengthens (CBI).

22 June: Six graphs showing the state of the UK economy a year after Brexit referendum (The Conversation)

23 June: May defends Brexit rights offer in face of EU doubts(Reuters)

26 June: Britain and EU clash as May outlines Brexit proposals for Europeans (Euractiv)

26 June: EEF comment on EU citizens' rights paper.

5.       Scotland

Scottish Parliament

21 June: The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee seeks views on the implications of the Article 50 negotiations for Scotland.

22 June: Members of the European Committee of the Regions had discussions with the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee.

Scottish Government

14 June: First Minister writes to Prime Minister ahead of Brexit negotiations.

14 June: Brexit threat to business funding.

15 June: Scottish and Welsh Governments write to Brexit Secretary David Davis.

20 June: Rural and Environment Secretaries write to Defra ministers.

21 June: Call for clarity over EU citizens’ future.

21 June: Queen’s Speech – more Brexit clarity needed.

23 June: Agricultural powers must return to Holyrood.

27 June: UK Government/DUP deal - Call for urgent meeting to discuss full implications of the funding agreement.

6.       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.

7.       UK-Ireland relations

14 June: Appointment of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

18 June: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street.

21 June: Pre-European Council: Statements.

22 June: Taoiseach attended European Council meeting in Brussels.

26 June: Minister Coveney on Conservative and DUP Agreement.

8.       Reports published

House of Commons Library

Brexit: next steps of UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Includes reports on farming and fishing, and economy, business and trade.


The Brexit negotiations: Issues for the first phase (European Parliamentary Research Service)

The Future of Europe: Comparing Public and Elite Attitudes (Chatham House) European disunion  - Politico article on the report.

Start of Brexit negotiations [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Defying Gravity: A critique of estimates of the economic impact of Brexit (Policy Exchange)