Former Welsh Secretary David Jones, who led the Vote Leave campaign in Wales, says Carwyn Jones and Leanne Wood should both support making Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies the chair of a committee in charge of shaping Wales' response to the Brexit vote.
The result of the referendum highlighted just how out of step the First Minister and Leader of the opposition were with the people they represent on this issue.
That’s why I would urge the First Minister to be gracious in defeat, and establish an advisory committee of AMs to drive forward Wales’ response to the referendum result.
Andrew RT Davies could potentially be an ideal candidate to chair such a committee, having taking the brave step of backing the campaign to leave the EU, and I’m sure that he would have the support of other leave campaigners here in Wales – including those in UKIP who also played such an influential role in the campaign.
David Jones says Mr Davies could complement "rather than seeking to usurp" the role of the Welsh Government. Meanwhile the First Minister has demanded assurances that the Leave campaign's promise to safeguard aid to Wales will be kept.
One of the most immediate concerns facing us as a government is the future of around half a billion pounds a year which Wales currently receives from the EU to support our farming industry and to bring greater prosperity to some of our most deprived communities.
During the referendum campaign, the Leave side made cast iron promises that this money would continue to come to Wales in the event of a vote to leave the EU. I have today written to the Prime Minister asking him to confirm that every penny of this funding is safe.
We require this funding assurance immediately, as there are hundreds of vital EU-funded projects right across Wales whose future is now in the balance unless that funding guarantee is given. Let me be absolutely clear. These projects are designed to improve people’s lives, their environment and the infrastructure they rely on every day, and we are proud of what they have already delivered. But if that pledge is not honoured by the UK Government, it will have a devastating effect on our budgets, already stretched through years of austerity, and facing billions more in cuts as a result. It will make the difficult decisions we already face even harder. So it is critical there is a positive response to my letter, and I will make it public as soon as receive it.
The First Minister said that the Wel;sh Government would base a team of civil servants in Brussels to explore independently of the UK Government how Welsh priorities can be taken forward directly with the EU. He said he also expected Welsh Government participation in the UK Government’s Brexit negotiations.
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