Attendees and apologies
From HM Government
- the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Theresa May, MP
- the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rt Hon David Lidington MP
- the Secretary of State for Wales, Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP
- the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Shailesh Vara MP, and
- the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the EU, Steve Baker MP;
from the Scottish Government
- the First Minister, Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP;
from the Welsh Government
- the First Minister, Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM.
Dr Andrew McCormick, Director General, the Executive Office, attended the meeting in the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive.
Items and actions
The three principal agenda items at the meeting were UK security, exiting the European Union, and intergovernmental relations.
On the first item, the Prime Minister provided an update on UK security issues following the recent events in Salisbury. Ministers agreed on the need for all parts of the UK to continue to work together on security issues.
On the second item, the Prime Minister provided an update on the objectives for the UK’s exit from the EU ahead of European Council and an update on the negotiations with the EU. Ministers discussed the implementation period, noting that all administrations were working to provide maximum legal certainty for businesses and consumers across the UK. Ministers agreed on the continued importance of Northern Ireland within discussions and agreed that the Joint Ministerial Committee for EU Negotiations (JMC(EN)) would continue to consider relevant issues.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster provided an update on the work of JMC(EN) to date. Ministers noted the progress that had been made in recent meetings of JMC(EN) but agreed on the need to undertake further work with regards to the role of the devolved administrations in the next phase of negotiations with the EU. Proposals will be presented by the UK Government for discussion at the next meeting of JMC(EN). Ministers also discussed the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, agreeing that further work would be required at JMC(EN) and via further Ministerial discussions, with all administrations reiterating their preference to reach agreement on an amendment to Clause 11.
On the final item, Ministers agreed that officials should review and report to Ministers on the existing intergovernmental structures, including the Memorandum of Understanding, to ensure they are fit for purpose in light of the UK’s exit from the EU. Ministers agreed to publish the latest intergovernmental annual report.