Wales politics

Concerns Welsh Government 'frozen out' of EU talks

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Media captionCarwyn Jones said the UK and the EU were "circling" each other

The Welsh Government is concerned it is being "frozen out" of talks with the European Commission about how EU grant money is being spent in Wales.

Commission officials did not attend a key meeting with Welsh officials in Brussels, according to Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "At the moment we're at an impasse".

The commission, responsible for the day-to-day running of the EU, declined to comment.

Mr Drakeford wrote to the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu, saying he was disappointed with the outcome of the EU referendum and that the relationship between the EU and the UK will have to change in future.

He added: "In the meantime the UK remains a full member of the European Union and it is a matter of the highest importance that the European Commission and the Welsh Government continue to conduct business together in the collaborative spirit that has always characterised our relationship.

"Any sense that, in the short term, we are being 'frozen out' by the European Commission would be unfortunate and misplaced.

"It would also send entirely the wrong signal to our partners and stakeholders who have worked tirelessly to make a success of EU programmes in Wales over many years."

Mr Jones told BBC Wales' Sunday Politics Wales programme: "There's no doubt that the commission has decided that it's no longer going to play a part in these meetings from now on.

"I think we're in a period at the moment of two sides who are almost circling each other.

"The UK has said that it won't trigger article 50 until there are informal negotiations, the EU has said there won't be any informal negotiations until article 50 is triggered.

"So at the moment we're at an impasse and over the next few weeks that will need to be resolved."

Asked if he was concerned about what would happen next, Mr Jones said: "I've long given up on trying to predict what's going to happen next to be honest with you.

"Nobody knows, this is so new that nobody knows what will happen next, nobody knows when article 50 will be triggered to start the process of the UK leaving the EU and nobody knows, and this is the really absolutely crucial bit, nobody knows what the trade deal might be on the table."

  • Sunday Politics Wales, BBC One Wales, 11:30 BST

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