Brexit update
Y Pwyllgor Materion Allanol a Deddfwriaeth Ychwanegol | 17 Gorffennaf 2017
 External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee | 17 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 28 June – 12 July, 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:

§    3 July : The Committee visited the EU institutions in Brussels. The Committee met representatives from English regional offices in Brussels, EFTA Secretariat, President and Vice-Presidents of Committee of the Regions, MEP’s in the European Parliament including Mairead McGuiness MEP, Danuta Hübner MEP, Guy Verhofstadt MEP, Richard Corbett MEP and representatives from the Flemish Parliament including the speaker of the Parliament and members from the Foreign Affairs Committee.

§    10 July: The Committee took evidence from the First Minister. The session considered the on-going negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the Welsh Government’s role within them; the preparedness of the Welsh Government for different scenarios and outcomes from the negotiations, the First Minister’s response to the Queen’s Speech and the Repeal Bill. 

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 Safeguarding the position of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU – what does the UK propose?, Safeguarding the position of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU – what does it mean for Wales?, 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.

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.

3 July: The Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee took evidence from the Llywydd on ‘A Stronger Voice for Wales’, which touched on Brexit.

Welsh Government

29 June: First Minister in Gibraltar to discuss common Brexit priorities.

30 June: €1.5m EU investment helps Welsh company fight global infections.


4 July: CLA Cymru responds to the Rural Wales – Time to Meet the Challenge 2025 Report.

3.       EU developments

European Council

1 July: Estonia begins its 6-month presidency of the Council of the EU.

6 July: Statement following the 24th EU-Japan Summit, Brussels.

6 July: Remarks by President Donald Tusk at the press conference of the EU-Japan summit in Brussels.

8 July: G20 Leaders' Declaration - Shaping an interconnected world.

11 July: Recommendation for a Council Recommendation on the 2017 National Reform Programme of the United Kingdom and delivering a Council opinion on the 2017 Convergence Programme of the United Kingdom.

12 July: Council agrees its position for the 2018 EU budget and backs increase of 2017 EU budget.

European Commission

28 June: Reflection paper on the future of EU finances. Politico article: Commission looks to sacrifice agriculture to plug Brexit budget hole.

29 June: The Commission published more position papers which were discussed by the EU27 after European Council on 29 June: Judicial Cooperation in Civil and Commercial Matters; Ongoing Union Judicial and Administrative Procedures; Ongoing Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal matters; Issues relating to the Functioning of the Union Institutions, Agencies and Bodies; Governance: Goods placed on the Market under Union law before the withdrawal date.

6 July: Speech by Michel Barnier at the European Economic and Social Committee, he talked about the consequences of being in or out of the internal market or the customs union, and ‘no deal’.

6 July: EU - Japan Summit: leaders give green light to landmark economic and strategic partnership agreements. Politico article: EU and Japan hit back at protectionism with trade deal.

6 July: Fishing opportunities for 2018 under the common fisheries policy (closes 15 September)

6 July: Remarks by European Commission President Juncker at the joint press briefing with Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, on the occasion of the EU-Japan Summit.

6 July: EU and Japan reach agreement in principle on Economic Partnership Agreement.

6 July: Member States compliance with EU law: not yet good enough.

7 July: Public consultation identifies challenges for future Common Agricultural Policy.

8 July: EU and Canada agree to set a date for the provisional application of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

11 July: The future of EU finances: High Level Group presents proposals to simplify access to EU funds.

12 July: Speaking points by Michel Barnier after the College meeting, Factsheet: State of play of Article 50 negotiations.

13 July: Michel Barnier met the Labour leader Jeremy Corby, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, and the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones.

European Parliament

28 June: Organic food: new rules for EU label agreed.

30 June: Border control: political agreement on new Entry-Exit system.

5 July: Estonia’s EU Council Presidency and G20 priorities debated in plenary.

9 July: Improve the Brexit offer to EU citizens, or we’ll veto the deal - Guy Verhofstadt and party leaders.

11 July: Airline and airport bosses sound alarm on impact of Brexit to MEPs.

12 July: Constitutional affairs MEPs discussed Brexit negotiations with Guy Verhofstadt.

12 July: North Sea plan: ensuring sustainable stocks and security for fishermen.

European News

6 June: Welsh Water invests £250m to produce green energy – part financed by the European Investment Bank (BBC)

4.       UK developments

UK Government

29 June: PM meetings with EU leaders ahead of G20 summit.

30 June: Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with DUP leader Arlene Foster and Sinn Fein leader Michelle O’Neill about discussions to restore an Executive.

5 July: Theresa May spoke with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsiprasto discuss the ongoing Cyprus settlement.

7 July: Prime Minister Theresa May held a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Gentilonito discuss the migration crisis in the Mediterranean.

8 July: G20 Summit July 2017: Prime Minister's press statement.

10 July: Theresa May and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gave a press conference.

10 July: Ministers step up engagement with small businesses.

13 July: The Great Repeal Bill is published.


House of Commons

28 June: In Northern Ireland questions on Leaving the EU: Free Movement of People and on Leaving the EU: Border.

4 July: Debate on the European Union (Approvals) Bill.

6 July: Oral Questions on International Trade.

6 July: The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade (Dr Liam Fox) led a debate on Exiting the European Union and Global Trade.

10 July: The Prime Minister made a statement on the G20 in Hamburg, followed by Questions.

House of Lords

28 June: Oral Question - Agriculture: Foreign Workers.

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

3 July: Oral Question - Inshore Fisheries.

4 July: Oral Question – Brexit objectives.

4 July: Debate on the Report from the European Union Committee Brexit: acquired rights.

6 July: Oral Question - Brexit: EU Institution Relocations.

6 July: First Reading of the EEA Nationals (Indefinite Leave to Remain) Bill.

10 July: Statement on G20 and Questions.

30 June: Chief Executive of Ombudsman Services gives evidence on Consumer Protection to the EU Justice Sub-Committee.

6 July: Post-Brexit foreign and defence co-operation with the EU explored by the EU External Affairs Sub-Committee.

10 July: Overseas Territories give evidence on Brexit implications to the European Union Committee.

11 July: The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee launched an inquiry into the implications of Brexit for energy security in the UK.

11 July: David Davis MP questioned on Brexit negotiations by the European Union Committee.

11 July: Regulators advise on Brexit and consumer protection rights - EU Justice Sub-Committee.

12 July: Brexit: EU Select Committee visited Brussels to meet Michel Barnier and Guy Vehofstadt.

12 July: The King of Spain, King Felipe, visited the UK Parliament and addressed members of both Houses of Parliament in the Royal Gallery of the House of Lords.

5.       Scotland

Scottish Parliament

29 June: His Excellency Norman Hamilton (High Commission of Malta in the United Kingdom) answered questions from the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee, on the penultimate day of the Maltese presidency of the Council of the EU.

Scottish Government

10 July: Call for Scotland’s voice to be heard on Brexit - External Affairs Secretary meets EU Ambassadors.

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.       Reports published

House of Commons Library

Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture

Security of UK Food Supply

Brexit: Agriculture and trade

EU State Aid rules and WTO Subsidies Agreement


Living abroad: migration between Britain and the EU8 - Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic,

Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia and Latvia (Office for National Statistics)

Living abroad: migration between Britain and Spain (Office for National Statistics)

The Repeal Bill - Legal and Practical Challenges of Implementing Brexit (Scottish Centre on European Relations)

European law expert: UK has sparked race to the bottom that will strip citizens of their rights (The Conversation)

EU citizens proposal: a lawyer examines the detail (The Conversation)

What’s now at stake for UK citizens living in the rest of the EU (The Conversation)

Fishing and Brexit (UK in a changing Europe)

Taking back control? – withdrawing from the 1964 London Fisheries Convention (UK in a changing Europe)

A hard Irish border is quite possible, a frictionless one is an oxymoron (LSE Brexit blogs)

When EU laws are repatriated, will all the power go to Westminster? (LSE Brexit blogs)

Post-Brexit Regional Policy for Wales – top down or bottom up? (Welsh Brexit blogs)