Wales politics

Brexit: Time to sell Wales to the world - Carwyn Jones

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Media captionCarwyn Jones: "Absolutely fundamental" the UK gets access to the single market

Brexit means it is time to sell Wales to the world like "never before", Carwyn Jones has said.

Mr Jones announced the Welsh Government had appointed officials to represent Wales in EU negotiations.

He reiterated his support for the UK remaining in the single market - but said he was not making the same demands on Europe's system of freedom of movement.

Opposition parties have accused him of being slow to respond to Brexit.

American trip

"We've got to sell Wales to the world... like never before," Mr Jones said, speaking at Cardiff's Cathays Park.

"We need to reassert our confidence and we need to do it now."

Mr Jones revealed he is visiting the US next week as part of his drive to drum up business, while Economy Secretary Ken Skates is heading to Japan in October.

Mr Jones said the Welsh Government had "appointed a team of senior government officials to represent Wales in the forthcoming EU negotiations and to fight for Wales' best interests on an international stage".

Asked for further detail, a Welsh Government spokesman said the "European Transition Team", had been set up as part of the office of the first minister to support him in co-ordinating the Welsh Government's negotiating strategy.

Calling for the UK to stay in the single market, Mr Jones told the press conference: "I don't advocate that things should stay as they are for the free movement of people.

"What I advocate is that things should stay as they are regarding the free movement of goods and services."

But he said it was "right to say the only model at the moment that exists involves accepting both".

New laws

Mr Jones also set out Welsh Labour's law-making priorities at the press conference, called to mark 100 days since he was reinstated as first minister.

He said an assembly bill on what will replace stamp duty in Wales - Land Transaction Tax - would be introduced next month, followed "swiftly" by a new public health bill, a law on landfill disposal tax, a trade union bill and legislation to abolish the Right to Buy.

A law to amend the Welsh Language measure will be introduced in the new assembly term and a development bank for businesses in Wales would be operational by the second quarter of 2017, he said.

News earlier in August of a committee to advise on Brexit was dismissed by Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies as a "last-minute scramble for ideas".

A spokesperson for the Welsh Conservatives said: "Catch-up Carwyn's approach to governance has to date been defined by a distinct lack of proactivity and a drought of ideas - and this announcement is more evidence of that."


Analysis by BBC Wales political editor Nick Servini

It has become clear that Carwyn Jones will define his approach to Brexit negotiations around the need for the UK to remain in the single market.

The problem is that the free movement of goods and services may be entirely connected to the free movement of people, which could be unacceptable to many of those who voted to leave.

He is banking on access to the single market still being possible at the same time as the UK regains more control of its borders. That could be a big ask.

His tone was markedly different to the Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, who will represent Wales at the cabinet, where the big early decisions on Britain's negotiating position will be made.

Mr Cairns talked about opportunities and entrepreneurs thriving on change, while Mr Jones spoke of investments being put on hold and potential problems for attracting investment.

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