The tricky politics of pro-Brexit Wales

Carwyn Jones

Wales voted for Brexit - the result here roughly mirrored the UK result with 52.5% of people in Wales voting for the UK to leave the EU and 47.5% to remain.

That result left First Minister Carwyn Jones - a staunch Remainer - in a tricky situation.

Despite the first minister's pre-referendum position, the Welsh Government has accepted the referendum result - but argued that Wales must retain full single market access.

Both the Labour Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru published a Brexit White Paper setting out what Wales wants post-Brexit.

They feel there are still plenty of battles left to fight.

Tin hat

Mr Jones' latest concern is over the future of economic aid (worth £2bn to Wales between 2014-20) and farming subsidies (£250m a year) - the concern being that there may be no money at all after 2020.

But the first minister does not think Prime Minister Theresa May is listening to him, accusing her in an article in the Guardian newspaper of having a "tin ear" on matters of devolution.

But Mrs May is more likely to need a tin hat when it comes to her relationship with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the relationship between the prime minister and the Welsh first minister is not so tense.

Image caption Andrew RT Davies was a vocal Brexit campaigner in Wales

The number 50 has been prominent in Carwyn Jones's thoughts in recent weeks.

Last week he turned 50 - eight days ahead of the triggering of Article 50.

He told me at the Welsh Labour Conference in Llandudno on Sunday that despite rumours he will step down before the next Welsh election in 2021 he had given "no thought" to the idea.

"I just turned 50," he said. "I'm still much younger than Theresa May, younger than David Cameron.

"There's a lot of work to do, particularly with Brexit."

There is support for Brexit in the assembly - the Conservatives have 11 seats and their leader Andrew RT Davies was arguably the loudest pro-Brexit voice in Wales during the referendum campaign.

UKIP entered the Senedd in Cardiff Bay for the very first time last May after winning seven seats in the assembly election.

There is no doubt Carwyn Jones would rather the UK was not leaving the EU- but his top priority in the post-Article 50 discussions will be to secure Welsh access to the single market.

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