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  1. ITV Report

Stay close to Europe, except where we want to go our own way, says First Minister

Mark Drakeford was holding his first news conference since Brexit. The EU flag had been removed from the backdrop before he spoke.

The First Minister has responded to the Prime Minister's pledge not to do a deal with the European Union that ties the UK to EU rules and regulations.

Mark Drakeford said Welsh business needed "free and unfettered" access to its biggest market as he criticised Boris Johnson's negotiating stance.

The red line approach to negotiations did not serve us well during the first phase of leaving the European Union. It seems to me that it doesn't help to create the flexibility and compromise that any negotiation is bound in the end to involve.

– First Minister Mark Drakeford AM

But the First Minister added that the Welsh Government would not automatically adopt new EU rules in devolved areas, although he expected that the Scottish Government would want to stay in line with Brussels.

Where it is in our interests, we will look for alignment. We don't make the assumption that will always be inevitably the right thing to do in every case.

– First Minister Mark Drakeford AM

He was asked if, like the Prime Minister, he could be accused of "cakeism", when he wanted Wales to stay in an EU project that promotes Welsh-Irish trade links but reserved the right deviate from the EU on issues like government support for business.

That would be no different to the UK government's position in saying that it wants to remain part of... programmes always available to countries outside the EU. I think the UK government's position on this is sensible and pragmatic.

– First Minister Mark Drakeford AM

Several European countries outside the EU are part of projects like the one that links Ireland and Wales, but they are either candidates for European Union membership, or have separately agreed to fully align with EU rules.