Welsh Assembly

Exiting the European Union – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th December 2018.

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Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

No unexpected question pairings this time, Mr Speaker.

I have appeared twice in front of the Assembly’s External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee this year, most recently on 11 October, to provide evidence on the UK’s exit from the European Union. I also regularly engage with the Welsh Government, with whom I had a call this morning. Earlier this week, I co-chaired the sixth meeting of the ministerial forum for EU negotiations, which three Welsh Ministers attended. We remain committed to engaging fully with the devolved Administrations and legislatures.

Photo of Hywel Williams Hywel Williams Shadow PC Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Brexit), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow PC Spokesperson (International Trade)

I thank the Minister for that answer. In the Exiting the European Union Committee on Monday, the Government’s chief Brexit adviser told me that Welsh representatives will not sit on the new joint committee of five. He said that the Joint Ministerial Committee might be used, or

“other structures that may be invented in due course.”

The JMC is widely seen as not being fit for purpose—for example, by the recent inter-parliamentary forum on Brexit, which I attended. What are those proposed invented structures, and when and how will they be activated?

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

This is an issue that we take very seriously. The ministerial forum, which I co-chair with the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, my hon. Friend Chloe Smith, who is the Minister for the constitution, has had some very useful engagement, in addition to the JMC structure. My new Secretary of State has already attended his first meeting of the JMC. We intend to keep moving forward and talking to and including the devolved Administrations in our approach.

Photo of Wayne David Wayne David Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement)

Under the Government’s post-Brexit UK prosperity fund, will funds be allocated on the same basis and to the same areas as under the current European structural funds?

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

The hon. Gentleman asks an interesting question. Clearly, work is still ongoing on the UK shared prosperity fund. There is a huge opportunity to do better than the European structural funds. Our country sends millions of pounds into the European structural fund system, and they never return to our country. In the future, the UK shared prosperity fund can deliver more effectively for every part of the United Kingdom.