Report On JMC Meeting In Downing Street Over Brexit

Following the joint meeting with devolved administrations in Downing Street yesterday,
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s office said that Prime Minister Theresa May  told the devolved administrations she would strike a bespoke Brexit deal that works for the whole of the UK.

dn_screenSpeaking at the first meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council for two years, the PM told leaders from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that how the UK leaves the EU should not be seen as a series of binary choices.

The PM also told the devolved administrations that she wanted their input in shaping the negotiations to leave the EU – and that the final agreement will make a success of Brexit for everyone in the Union.

Following a constructive meeting lasting two hours, a new cross-nations forum on Brexit talks will be set up, to be chaired by Brexit secretary David Davis.

It was agreed that by the time of its first meeting in November a work programme would be established for this Joint Ministerial Committee on EU Negotiations to integrate it with the wider process of exiting the EU.

The Prime Minister also said she wanted the JMC meetings to take place more regularly and would set up another session early next year.

The PM set out her commitment to the Union at the meeting, and said her vision for working with the devolved governments was for a relationship built on principles of mutual understanding and consensus and cooperation.

Following the meeting, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Working together, the nations of the United Kingdom will make a success of leaving the European Union – and we will further strengthen our own unique and enduring union as we do so.

“The great union between us has been the cornerstone of our prosperity in the past – and it is absolutely vital to our success in the future.

“The country is facing a negotiation of tremendous importance and it is imperative that the devolved administrations play their part in making it work.”

The PM told Nicola Sturgeon, Carwyn Jones, Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness that how the UK leaves the EU should not be seen as a series of binary choices and will instead amount to a bespoke agreement for the UK.

She said: “We have important work to do for the UK in terms of negotiating a smooth exit from the EU and getting the best possible deal for the whole of the UK.

“The UK has chosen to leave the EU and we’re going to make a success of it.”

The JMC was also attended by David Mundell, James Brokenshire and Alun Cairns – the secretaries of state for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The group held constructive discussions on the possibility of a new Memorandum of Understanding to put the JMC on a new formal footing, with guaranteed annual meetings.

There was also agreement among the four administrations that with the MOU having been drafted before the outcome of the referendum was known, it would need further work to make sure it reflected the result.

It also heard from Business Secretary Greg Clark, who outlined the government’s new industrial strategy and called upon the devolved administrations to play a part in helping to shape it.