Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

First Minister writes to PM and EU in joint letter with Nicola Sturgeon urging Brexit extension

Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon wrote two joint letters to the EU and the prime minister urging them to secure an extension to Brexit Credit: PA Images

The First Minister for Wales has written a joint letter to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk asking him to approve a Brexit extension so a referendum can take place.

It follows a letter written by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday where he was legally obliged to ask for an extension in Brexit talks, but did not sign the letter making this request from the EU.

He also sent a second one - which he did put his name to - that said a delay would be a mistake.

In a joint letter with the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Mark Drakeford said it is their joint view that the ultimate result of the Parliamentary process "should be a referendum on EU membership."

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

As you are aware, the Withdrawal Agreement cannot come into effect before the UK Parliament has passed the legislation allowing UK ratification.

This Bill will be among the most important piece of legislation ever considered by the UK Parliament - with far-reaching implications for the whole of the UK and indeed the European Union.

– Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon

With ten days to go until the Brexit deadline of October 31st, Mr Drakeford said Parliament could "not in any way adequately undertake the scrutiny of the Bill in 1 0 day period".

"This is a concern we fully share. It is simply impossible for us to fulfil our constitutional responsibilities in this timescale.

"An extension would allow us to adequately scrutinise the agreement."

They also wrote a joint letter to Boris Johnson urging him to secure an extension saying the deal he has negotiated with the EU will be "even more damaging to Wales, Scotland and the United Kingdom than the previous unacceptable agreement made by your predecessor."

"It is essential that your government respects devolution, the legislative consent process... and secure such an extension from the EU to enable all three legislatures to carry out their proper constitutional and democratic functions"

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

Credit: PA Images

Mr Johnson abandoned plans for a meaningful vote on a Saturday sitting of the Commons after suffering an embarrassing defeat at the hands of former Tory minister Sir Oliver Letwin.

After losing the vote, Mr Johnson had no option but to write to European Council President Donald Tusk, as Parliament demanded, requesting a three-month extension to the end of January.

Mr Johnson had been legally required to send the letter as he had not gained the backing of MPs for his plan, but in it he stressed to Brussels he was only sending the document at Parliament’s bidding.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell accused Mr Johnson of “behaving a bit like a spoilt brat” in the way he communicated with Brussels over the extension request.