Brexit dynamics in Cardiff Bay

Amid all the furore around the Carwyn Jones versus Adam Price spat over the Hywel Dda re-organisation, there has been one thing they agreed on this week - the potential impact of Brexit on Welsh farming.

Carwyn Jones said it could be "destroyed" by free trade deals with New Zealand, while Adam Price said Welsh agriculture would be "decimated" by leaving the customs union.

So no holding back then. One of the dire warnings came in the chamber and another in a press briefing.

The point is that the language on Brexit at the assembly, like opinions more broadly, have become so polarised it is difficult to see how people will ever change their minds, and First Minister's Questions is no exception.

I never thought I would say this, because of the passions on Brexit, but it has a tendency to slow down the pace of FMQs.

Scenario planning

When Leanne Wood raises it, Carwyn Jones tends to spend a lot of time trying to persuade her they actually agree with each other, and then with Neil Hamilton the subject area often flows into geopolitical areas that do not have much to do with devolved subjects.

This free-flowing element is the reason why Andrew RT Davies does not bring it up because the Welsh Conservatives feel it gives Carwyn Jones too much wriggle room.

The subject of scenario planning in the event of a no-vote was the latest Brexit subject to come up, after an assembly committee criticised ministers earlier this week for not doing enough.

Both Leanne Wood and Neil Hamilton both, for different reasons, also want more work to be done.

But they got no change from the First Minister who believes there is nothing that can be done in the event of a no-deal scenario because there is no mitigation to replace what he believes will be lost markets in areas like agriculture.


Here are two more examples from today of polarisation on Brexit, firstly from Plaid Cymru, who floated the possibility of an advisory referendum in Wales on various types of Brexit.

While in stark contrast, Andrew RT Davies wrote an article saying that remaining in the single market and customs union would "betray every principle" of the Leave campaign.

Clearly these two sides are not going to agree on Brexit but the degree to which they are on different planets on this debate tells its own story.

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