Damning report

Devolved nations ‘sidelined’ in Brexit talks says Cherry

Joanna Cherry

Joanna Cherry: ‘need for proper consultation’ (pic: Terry Murden)

The UK government has been accused of sidelining the devolved governments in the negotiations with the EU over Brexit.

A cross-party committee of MPs has recommended Tory ministers at Westminster engage with the other legislatures.

In a new report today, the Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union, which has a majority of Tory MPs, notes that there has been just one meeting of the joint ministerial committee (EU Negotiations) since the UK left the EU on 31 January.

That was on the 21 May – and the meeting before that was on 28 January.

“These simple facts illustrate plainly that the JMC (EN) is not being used as a serious forum by the UK government and that the devolved administrations have had no genuine opportunity to input to the overall strategy of the talks,” says the report.

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SNP MP Joanna Cherry, who is a member of the committee, called for the Prime Minister to agree an extension to the transition period to ensure the devolved nations are “properly consulted” and to avoid a devastating bad-deal or no-deal outcome.

Last week the Scottish and Welsh Governments pulled out of a meeting with the UK Government.

In a joint statement they said: “We cannot accept a way of working in which the views of the devolved governments are simply dismissed before we have had a chance to discuss them.

“In reality, the meetings we have had have simply been an opportunity for the UK Government to inform us of their views, not to listen or respond to ours.”

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