Shadow Secretary for Europe Mark Isherwood AM has criticised the First Minister Carwyn Jones for failing to answer his question on Brexit discussions in the Assembly Chamber yesterday.
Mr Isherwood said Carwyn Jones used his reply as an opportunity to knock the UK Government instead of actually answering the question.
Questioning the First Minister, Mr Isherwood said:
“In his letter yesterday to the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee, the UK Parliament's Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union said ‘The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union has held numerous discussions with the Welsh Government - including a number of bilateral discussions with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government’ that ‘There is agreement between the Scottish, Welsh and UK Governments that common frameworks will be necessary in some areas and we have together agreed a set of principles that will underpin our work’, and that ‘We have agreed a programme of intense discussions with the Welsh Government, led by the First Secretary of State, to take this forward’. Could you tell us a little bit more about what that programme of discussions is and how you'll be informing this Assembly about the developments that arise from them?”
The First Minister replied:
“The discussions are not with the Secretary of State, particularly, for Wales, but the different Secretaries of State who have portfolio responsibilities in Whitehall. They are called 'deep dives', for reasons that escape me, actually, but what they are looking to do is to see where there is a need—first of all, is there a need for a common framework, secondly, what should that common framework look like. But key to this all, of course, is that any common framework in any area must be agreed and not imposed by the UK Government.”
Mr Isherwood added: “So he won’t tell us what programme of discussions has been agreed or whether he will be briefing the Assembly on them! Yet again, he was more interested in milking every opportunity to carp than in actually answering a question and showing respect to the Assembly”.