Wales politics

No UK-devolved nations meeting 'before Brexit is triggered'

David Davis

A forum that brings together ministers from UK and devolved governments may not meet again before the formal process to leave the EU is triggered.

Brexit Secretary David Davis told MPs a meeting will be called once there is a resolution on Northern Ireland following earlier elections.

Mr Davis said that does not meant there will not be "further discussions".

He hinted the devolved administrations would get notice of the triggering of Article 50.

He told the Brexit committee: "We will be having conversations with them beforehand".

Mr Davis told MPs that a meeting of the joint ministerial committee (JMC) on European negotiations would be held "as soon as we can once we have a resolution on Northern Ireland."

An executive has yet to be formed after elections to Stormont earlier this month.

Mr Davis confirmed that the Brexit bill, which allows the prime minister to trigger Article 50 and begin the formal Brexit process, is expected to become law on Thursday.

'Huge implications'

Asked if the JMC would meet before the end of March - Theresa May's self-imposed deadline for triggering Article 50 - he said: "It may not be but that does not mean we won't have any further discussions with the relevant governments."

The minister sidestepped calls to publish a formal written response to official documents produced by the Welsh and Scottish governments.

He said they had been discussed in some detail at the JMC.

Plaid Cymru committee member Jonathan Edwards said: "The Article 50 letter and accompanying documents sent by the British government to the European Union will potentially have huge political and economic ramifications for Wales.

"In choosing the most extreme Brexit option possible the prime minister is recklessly gambling with people's jobs and wages."

On Tuesday Welsh Government minister Jane Hutt told the Senedd that ministers in Cardiff would expect to be consulted on any Article 50 letter before it is issued.

"The first minister made it very clear to the UK government that anything less would be totally incompatible with the approach that they agreed at the Joint Ministerial Committee after the referendum result," she said.

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