Immediately after the UK’s EU referendum, the WLGA along with the three other UK local government associations called for the voice of local government to be heard during the exit negotiations.
Since then, we have had a number of meetings with the UK Government and will continue to have these meetings as the Brexit negotiations progress. Our discussions with the UK Government are focused on the following areas, where it is important local authorities have information and assurances:
- Future Funding arrangements
- Ensuring local government is involved in developing all the necessary legislative arrangements across key areas of interest to local government (procurement, state aid, environment, waste, consumer protection, consumer rights etc) and is consulted on proposed new UK legislation during the pre-legislative period
- The devolution of EU powers to the local level
- Place based impact of Brexit
- Employment and community cohesion
The UK local government associations can provide the UK Government with essential evidence on the local impact of Brexit. The WLGA has already published two Brexit surveys to Welsh local authorities and will publish future calls for evidence, in order to provide the UK Government with the evidence base required for its Brexit planning.
The WLGA is simultaneously working to influence the Welsh Government’s Brexit planning. We coordinated an all- Wales response[LS1] to their consultation on Regional Investment in Wales after Brexit (March 2018). WLGA is represented on the First Minister’s EU Advisory Group and the Welsh Government’s environment, agriculture & rural affairs working groups. WLGA has also responded to a number of National Assembly for Wales inquiries relating to Brexit, since the referendum result.
All of the WLGA’s Brexit work is overseen by our Elected Members’ Brexit Group. The membership is as follows:
- Chair: Councillor Rob Stewart, WLGA Deputy Leader and Economic Development, Europe and Energy Spokesperson
- Labour Group: Councillor Anthony Hunt, WLGA Finance and Resources Spokesperson
- Plaid Cymru Group: Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, WLGA Welsh Language Spokesperson
- Independent Group: Councillor Hugh Evans, WLGA Independent Group Leader and Improvement Spokesperson
- Conservative Group: Councillor Peter Fox, WLGA Conservative Group Leader and Digital and Innovation Spokesperson
The WLGA also has an internal Brexit Group, which brings together experts from each of the WLGA’s policy teams on the issues of Brexit.
The WLGA has a crucial role to play in keeping Welsh Local Authorities informed on how the Brexit negotiations are progressing and how the WLGA is representing them in these negotiations. We publish a monthly Brexit update, which can be received by any elected member or officers from a Welsh local authority (Contact: Lucy Sweet, WLGA EU Communications and Policy Officer). In addition to this, regular Brexit briefings are prepared for local authority leaders (often to coincide with the WLGA’s Executive Board meetings but also at other opportunities). The WLGA takes opportunities to brief other Elected Members and officers by attending key regional or network meetings.
Open link here for more WLGA Consultation Responses.
Links: Brexit - Securing Wales' Future (Welsh Government) / Brexit - Research and Analysis (UK Parliament) / Brexit - Newsroom (European Union) / Brexit (Local Government Association) / Brexit and Wales (National Assembly for Wales)
For more information contact: Lucy Sweet