1. ITV Report

First Minister writes to Theresa May urging her to 'put country before party' ahead of Brussels talks

Credit: PA Images

The First Minister has written to Theresa May urging her to put "country before party" as she arrived in Brussels for talks with EU leaders to appeal for a delay to Brexit.

Mark Drakeford told the prime minister he is "deeply concerned" by her refusal to "engage with meaningful discussions with other parties" after her Withdrawal Agreement was rejected on two occasions.

Theresa May speaking to reporters as she arrives in Brussels for talks with EU leaders.

On Thursday night EU leaders were locked in discussions over proposals to postpone Brexit.

Emerging plans suggest the EU could offer Theresa May an extension until May 22 - short of the June 30 she was hoping for - so long as her Withdrawal Agreement is passed by April 12.

In his letter, Mr Drakeford said the "only approach" if a third meaningful vote fails to get Mrs May's Withdrawal agreement passed would be:

  • "Holding immediate discussions with all opposition parties without preconditions and on the explicit basis that your red lines do not apply"
  • "On the basis of these discussions, entering negotiations with the EU to rewrite the Political Declaration to focus it more narrowly on working towards a very close future economic relationship, reflecting the principles set out in our White Paper'Securing Wales' Future'
  • Seeking the approval of the House of Commons for the current Withdrawal Agreement and the rewritten Political Declaration and anchoring commitments in the latter in our domestic legislation

The letter can be read in full here:

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In response, a UK Government spokesperson said: "We have worked closely with the Welsh Government to engage with them on negotiations".

Throughout the Brexit process we have worked closely with the Welsh Government to engage with them on negotiations and ensure views from across the political spectrum are heard.

The UK government's deal will deliver on the result of the referendum and what the people of Wales voted for in 2016, and will take back control of our money laws and borders.

– UK Government Spokesperson