Brexit update
Y Pwyllgor Materion Allanol a Deddfwriaeth Ychwanegol | 2 Hydref 2017
 External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee | 2 October 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 13-27 September, 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 were:

§    18 September: Private stakeholder event on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

§    25 September: Evidence session with Mark Drakeford, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government, on progress on the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the implications for Wales of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

On 27 September a debate was held in Plenary on the EAAL Committee Report on the Future of Regional Policy and the Welsh Government’s response to it.

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

External Affairs and the Additional Legislation Committee and the Constitution and Legislative Affairs Committee

The External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee and the Constitution and Legislative Affairs Committee have a joint-consultation on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

The Research Service’s own blogs are published on In Brief. The latest Brexit blogs are Estimating the timeline for Brexit Legislation, What does the EU Withdrawal Bill mean for devolution? A visual guide, and The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: An introductory guide.


19 September: Statement and Debate on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.

19 September: Statement and Debate ‘Brexit and Fair Movement of People’.

The Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee has published its reports on Marine Protected Areas in Wales, and the Future of Agricultural and Rural Development Policies in Wales.

The Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee is considering the use made of support from the EU and the impact of Brexit as part of its inquiry into Selling Wales to the World.

Welsh Government

12 September: First Minister takes step to protect Wales post-Brexit. First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has today formalised the Welsh Government challenge against the UK government’s EU (Withdrawal) Bill to protect devolved powers.

19 September: First Ministers call on the Prime Minister to work with, not against, the devolved nations.

The Government has produced a Legislative Consent Memorandum on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. The conclusion is ‘This memorandum sets out the Welsh Government’s view of the requirement for the legislative consent of the Assembly in respect of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, and confirms that we will not be in a position to recommend consent unless the Bill is amended to address our concerns’.


14 September: CLA statement on Efra inquiry into food trade post-Brexit.

15 September: Podcast – EU (Withdrawal) Bill and implications for Wales – the view from the experts (Welsh Brexit blogs)

19 September: With or without you….? The EU Withdrawal Bill, the devolved administrations and legislative consent.

22 September: CLA statement on confirmation of a two-year Brexit transitional deal.

22 September: FUW response to PM's Florence Speech.

25 September: £4.5m boost for Anglesey tidal energy development (£4.2m from the EU).

3.       EU developments

European Council

14 September: EU-Japan trade negotiating directives made public.

20 September: Address by President Donald Tusk at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.

21 September: Letter from President Donald Tusk to EU leaders ahead of their informal dinner in Tallinn.

25 September: General Affairs Council (Art. 50). The Council, in an EU 27 format, took stock of progress in the Brexit negotiations.

26 September: Remarks by President Donald Tusk after his meeting with Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May.

European Commission

13 September: President Jean-Claude Juncker's State of the Union Address 2017. Factsheets.

14 September: Eurostat regional yearbook 2017 - How is my region doing within the European Union?

14 September: State of the Union 2017 - Trade Package: Commission unveils initiatives for a balanced and progressive trade policy; European Commission proposes framework for screening of foreign direct investments.

15 September: Juncker: ‘I don't intend to force countries to join the euro if they are not willing or not able to do so'.

15 September: State of the Union – Democracy Package: European Citizens' Initiative and Political Parties Funding – Q&A, Reform.

18 September: State aid: Commission approves alternative to divestment commitment for Royal Bank of Scotland.

20 September: Factsheet: Overcoming cross border obstacles to boost growth in EU border regions.

21 September: EU-Canada trade agreement enters into force.

21 September: Guiding principles for the Dialogue on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

21 September: Position papers: On-going Public Procurement Procedures; Intellectual property rights (including geographical indications); Customs related matters needed for an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the Union; Use of Data and Protection of Information Obtained or Processed before the withdrawal date.

21 September: Speech by Michel Barnier in front of the Committees of Foreign Affairs and the Committees of European Affairs of the Italian Parliament.

22 September: Statement by Michel Barnier after Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech in Florence.

25 September: Introductory remarks by Michel Barnier at the press conference following the General Affairs Council (Article 50).

25 September: Agenda of the 4th round of EU-UK Article 50 negotiations.

European Parliament

13 September: State of the Union: Let’s make the most of the momentum to shape an ambitious future.

25 September: Ireland must not pay the price for Brexit, said Guy Verhofstadt.

25 September: Guy Verhofstadt speech to the Houses of the Oireachtas.


13 September: Member States may not adopt emergency measures regarding genetically modified food and feed unless it is evident that there is a serious risk to health or the environment. (European Court of Justice)

4.       UK developments

UK Government

12 September: PM statement on EU Withdrawal Bill.

12 September: Landmark Brexit legislation passes Second Reading.

6 – 18 September: Future Partnership papers: Collaboration on science and innovation (press release); Foreign policy, defence and development (press release); Security, law enforcement and criminal justice (press release).

18 September: PM heads to Canada to secure ambitious future trade and investment relationship.

18 September: PM press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

19 September: Prime Minister hosts major US investors in New York and says “business is booming”.

19 September: PM speech at Commonwealth leaders reception at the UN.

20 September: PM meeting with President Trump at the UN.

20 September: Theresa May's speech to the UN General Assembly 2017.

21 September: Minister wraps up two day tour of North East.

22 September: PM's Florence speech: a new era of cooperation and partnership between the UK and the EU.

22 September: PM meeting with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

25 September: Fourth round of UK-EU Article 50 negotiations: Programme, David Davis’ opening remarks.

26 September: PM meeting with Donald Tusk.

House of Commons

12 September: Westminster Hall debate: UK Nationals in the EU: Rights.

13 September: In Northern Ireland questions, questions on Brexit.

13 September: The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee held an oral evidence session on the work of Defra with the Secretary of State.

13 September: The Health Committee has started an inquiry into the shortage of nursing staff in England.

14 September: The Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee invited evidence on the impact on the UK food and farming sectors of potential new trading arrangements with the EU after Brexit.

14 September: The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee has re-launched the inquiry into the future of the Irish land border.

14 September: The Exiting the EU Committee will undertake an inquiry into the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. They will also undertake an inquiry into the progress of the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

15 September: The Procedure Committee started an inquiry into Exiting the EU: scrutiny of delegated legislation.

18 September: The Chair of the Treasury Committee has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the treatment of cross-border pensions and insurance contracts written prior to Brexit.

20 September: The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee launches an inquiry on the implications of leaving the European Union for British business.

20 September: Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee to examine the ability of a reduced-size Civil Service to implement Brexit reforms.

21 September: The Health Committee launched an inquiry into regulatory arrangements needed to guarantee safe and effective supply of medicines, medical devices and products post-Brexit.

21 September: Brexit's impact on agriculture, trade, and the repatriation of powers inquiry launched by the Welsh Affairs Committee.

25 September: Hilary Benn, Chair of the Exiting the EU Committee, commented on the Prime Minister's speech in Florence.

House of Lords

13 September: A question on Brexit: Negotiations.

14 September: Questions on Brexit: Northern Cyprus.

12 September: During evidence to the Select Committee on Economic Affairs the Chancellor of the Exchequer answered questions on the possible post-Brexit transition period.

12 September: The EU Justice Sub-Committee continues its inquiry into Brexit: consumer protection rights.

13 September: Brexit: Overseas Territories concerns must be taken in to account – Letter to the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union from the European Union Committee.

13 September: Academics give evidence on financial regulation and supervision – EU Financial Affairs Sub Committee.

13 September: The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee questioned experts on the implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland's energy supply, and on the UK's planned withdrawal from the Euratom Treaty.

13 September: The EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee took evidence from the Department of Health and Nuffield Trust on the reciprocal healthcare implications of Brexit.

14 September: The EU External Affairs Sub-Committee took evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as part of its inquiry Brexit: sanctions policy.

14 September: The EU Internal Market Sub-Committee held evidence sessions launching its new inquiry on Brexit: competition.

14 September: The Government has responded to the report of the European Union Committee on Brexit: devolution.

14 September: The Constitution Committee invited contributions to its inquiry on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

19 September: The Chair of the EU Internal Market Sub-Committee wrote to the government about its response to the committee’s report Brexit: trade in non-financial services.

26 September: The European Union Committee launched a new inquiry into Brexit: deal or no deal.

5.       Scotland

Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament Brexit Updates: 14 September; 20 September.

14 September: Withdrawal from the European Union (Negotiations) – Evidence session on the article 50 withdrawal negotiations and the role of the European Court of Justice and options for dispute resolution post-Brexit.

Scottish Government

12 September: EU Withdrawal Bill - Scottish Government says devolution must be defended.

14 September: Future CAP support - Ewing: Future planning virtually impossible.

19 September: Defending devolution - Justice, farming, fishing, environment and rail among “power grab” list.

24 September: Clarity on Brexit Bill vital.

25 September: Devolution must be protected - EU Withdrawal Bill talks continue.

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

21 September: Special Meeting of the Joint Committee on European Union Affairs meeting with the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence and the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement Engagement with Mr. Guy Verhofstadt MEP, European Parliament Brexit Co-ordinator.

25 September: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meets PM May in London.

26 September: Two-day debate on the UK Withdrawal from the EU.

8.       Reports published

Juncker, Euroscepticism and the guinea pig: how other Europeans assess the dangers of leaving the EU (LSE Brexit Blog)

With or without you….? The EU Withdrawal Bill, the devolved administrations and legislative consent (Welsh Brexit Blogs)