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Welsh Government should plan for ‘no deal’ Brexit, says committee

The Welsh Assembly committee is calling on the Welsh Government to urgently examine the likely parameters of various Brexit scenarios.

The Welsh Government needs a plan for a “no deal” Brexit scenario, according to a National Assembly for Wales committee.

The External Affairs Committee heard the Welsh Government had examined a number of scenarios of how Brexit could affect Wales, but had not devised a response to the possibility of there being “no deal” between the UK and the EU.

The committee is calling on the Welsh Government to urgently examine the likely parameters of various Brexit scenarios, including a “no deal scenario”.

“We are clear, that whilst we agree with the Welsh Government that a ‘no deal scenario’ is undesirable, more needs to be done in terms of scenario planning, including for such a ‘no deal’ outcome,” said David Rees AM, chairman of the external affairs and additional legislation committee.

“We were surprised to learn that no plans were being put in place in the event of a ‘no deal scenario’.

“We accept the Welsh Government is working to influence its counterparts in the UK Government to strike a deal with the EU but do not accept there is no planning that can be done if we were to leave without one.”

The committee also found that many public sectors would welcome clear guidance and leadership from the Welsh Government on preparations for Brexit.

AMs were told that the health, higher education, agriculture and business, including advanced manufacturing, could feel more of an impact than others.

Mr Rees added: “Sectors and organisations are looking to the Welsh Government for leadership and it is imperative that they are able to start making their own plans for life outside the EU.

“We are calling on the Welsh Government to give a stronger steer to these sectors to ensure we are all set on the same path when we leave at the end of the negotiations.”

The committee has made seven recommendations in its report, including that the Welsh Government urgently examines the likely parameters of various Brexit scenarios, including a “no deal scenario”, and reports on progress within six months and publishes both the nine sectoral analyses and the outcome of the forthcoming research being undertaken by Cardiff Business School.

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