A cross-party group of MPs have written to Hilary Benn, Chair of the House of Commons Committee on Exiting the EU, calling on him to ensure the Committee has a comprehensive focus on the wishes and interests of the devolved nations in its scrutiny of the UK government’s Brexit negotiations.
The letter sent today (Monday 31st October) by the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish members of the committee comes ahead of its first meeting on Wednesday.
In the letter, the MPs call for evidence sessions to be held in each of the devolved nations, for the committee’s agenda to be fully inclusive of the wishes and interests of the devolved nations, and to ensure full scrutiny of how Prime Minister Theresa May is implementing her commitment to involve the devolved administrations in the negotiations.
Commenting, Wales’ Member on the Committee, Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards MP, said:
“Wales has unique needs that must be recognised and protected by the Government as it approaches its negotiations with the European Union.
“The devolved nations must be fully involved in the negotiations with the EU and the discussions that inform the UK’s negotiating position, to ensure that our voice is heard and our distinct interests are represented.
“The Prime Minister has agreed to involve the devolved nations in the negotiations so the Committee must hold her to account and scrutinise the Brexit department on how it is implementing this commitment.
“Wales’ economy is heavily driven by its exports and our membership of the single market is crucial to our future prosperity. Wales voted to leave the European Union and leave it we must do, but I will do everything I can to make sure the Welsh national interest is represented on the committee and that includes ensuring Wales does not lose its membership of the single market.”