Welsh Government accused of ‘negligence’ as Brexit looms

A report by Assembly Members has heaped criticism on Welsh Labour Government ministers for failing to meet with Irish counterparts to discuss the effects of Brexit on Welsh ports.

The report by the cross-party External Affairs Committee says members are “extremely concerned” by the failure of the Cabinet Secretary for Economy to meet with the Irish Government, and recommends that Welsh Government “urgently addresses” that lack of engagement.

The Report said:

“We are extremely concerned that the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure has not yet met with counterparts in the Irish Government to discuss the implications of Brexit for Welsh ports and Ireland-Wales transport links. We note that his counterparts in Ireland were keen to facilitate meetings with us and that securing those meetings was relatively straightforward. We are confident from the response we received from our colleagues in Ireland would mean that the Welsh Government would be similarly accommodated.”

It goes on to recommend that the Welsh Government “urgently addresses the lack of engagement it has had with counterparts in Ireland and other EU member states on the issue of ports.”

Responding to the report’s findings, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives – Andrew RT Davies – said:

“The most damning finding of this report is the revelation that the Cabinet Secretary for Economy & Infrastructure hasn’t even bothered to meet with his Irish counterparts to discuss a way forward.

“Our ports are the frontline in British trade and we have less than two years to prepare for Brexit.

“We need to be ready on day one, and this is negligence on the Cabinet Secretary’s part.

“It’s yet more evidence of a Labour Government which is happy to sit on the side-lines complaining – rather than taking a positive and proactive approach to making Brexit work for everyone.”

 

Notes to Editors:

Please see the report attached to this email.