5 Dec 2016

WCVA has gauged sector views to inform our response to the National Assembly for Wales’ consultation on the implications for Wales of Britain exiting the European Union (EU)

The consultation posed two questions:

1. What should be the top priority for Wales in advance of the UK Government triggering of Article 50 (which starts the formal process of exiting the EU)?

2. Can you provide examples of where the UK's proposed approach to transferring the acquis communautaire (the body of European law), through the proposed Great Repeal Bill, into domestic law might have particular implications for Wales?

We conducted a poll amongst third sector organisations and asked them to rate nine predefined areas in order of importance to Wales' negotiating position, and to report any other areas of concern. Of the 77 responses received, 27% deemed the Economy and jobs as the top priority. The priorities were ranked as follows:

1. Economy and jobs (27%)
2. Equality, justice and human rights (23%)
3. Access to funding (22%)
4. Environment (6%)
5. Children and young people (3%)
6. Third sector workforce (3%)
7. Culture (3%)
8. Migration (3%)
9. Welsh language (1%)

Based on the results of this poll, WCVA has made the following recommendations to the National Assembly for Wales:

  • Prior to starting formal negotiations under Article 50, the elected governments of the four UK Nations should seek agreement on the fundamental aims of the negotiations and what the redlines of this process should be.
  • The National Assembly for Wales, Welsh and UK Governments should create regular opportunities for dialogue with Welsh stakeholders throughout the negotiation process, and WCVA has offered to support to facilitate engagement with the third sector on this matter.
  • As part of future negotiations with UK Government around funding for regional development, the Welsh Government should maintain its long standing commitment to the 'Partnership Principle' that builds upon our distinct experience of involving the public, private and third sectors in the design, management and delivery of EU Structural Funds.
  • The Welsh Government must undertake equality impact assessments on any major funding decisions leading up to and after leaving the EU.
  • To ensure a continued global outlook for our Nation, and mutually beneficial collaborations with European partners, a mechanism for continued participation in EU funded programmes including Erasmus+, LIFE, Creative Europe, DEA, Daphne, Horizon 2020 etc should be negotiated. 

This response (which you can read in full here) is the latest in a series of activities undertaken by WCVA since the result of the EU referendum which saw the UK vote to leave the European Union on 23rd June 2916. Since then, WCVA has:

  • Issued a statement  as an immediate response to the referendum result.
  • Delivered a webinar which updated the sector on events following the referendum result,
  • Published an FAQ section on our website.
  • Attended four meetings with the Secretary of State for Wales with a range of Third Sector organisations.
  • Secured the membership of Ruth Marks, WCVA's Chief Executive and Tom Jones, Vice President on the European Advisory Group established by the First Minister.

In order to inform WCVA's response, WCVA accepts that the UK is leaving the EU, and acknowledges that we remain part of the continent of Europe.  We are committed to continuing work around the European Transition process, which is in line with our mission to connect stakeholders and influence the process.