First Minister leads first meeting of EU Advisory Group

First Minister Carwyn Jones will lead the first meeting of the European Advisory Group today.

Wednesday 28 September 2016

The group, which will be chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government, Mark Drakeford, will provide advice to the Welsh Government on the challenges and opportunities arising from  the UK's withdrawal from the EU. It will also consider how Wales can continue to work positively with Europe.

The Advisory Group brings together people with experience and a detailed understanding of European issues, including Members of the European Parliament, business leaders and representatives from universities, colleges, trade unions, agriculture, public services and the third sector.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, the First Minister said:

"Wales, alongside all devolved nations, must play a full and active role in negotiations on the UK's withdrawal from  the EU to ensure our interests are fully protected. This includes safeguarding full and unfettered access to the Single Market in order to protect our economy, while also ensuring our departure from the EU is not used as an opportunity to row back on important issues such as protecting the rights of workers.

"Leaving the EU is unchartered territory for the UK and it is vital we consider a range of views about how we secure the best possible outcome for Wales."

Mark Drakeford said:

"The Advisory Group has a wealth of expertise and experience which will help us shape a positive future for Wales outside of the EU, but firmly within Europe.

"What is at stake is the future direction and prosperity of Wales. The issues go far beyond the interests of any particular party or Government. No single individual or group has a monopoly on good ideas and we welcome the opportunity to benefit from this group's advice."

European Advisory Group members:

Councillor Phil Bale, Leader of City of Cardiff Council
Kevin Crofton, President SPTS Technologies Ltd
Professor Richard B. Davies, Vice Chancellor, Swansea University
Jill Evans MEP, Member of the European Parliament
Nathan Gill MEP, Member of the European Parliament
David Jones OBE, Principal and Chief Executive, Coleg Cambria
Sir Emyr Jones Parry, President, Aberystwyth University 
Dr Hywel Ceri Jones, Former EU Funding Ambassador
Tom Jones OBE, European Economic and Social Committee 
Lord Kinnock, Former Vice President of the European Commission  
Martin Mansfield, General Secretary, Wales TUC
Ruth Marks MBE, Chief Executive, WCVA
Baroness Eluned Morgan AM, Former Member of the European Parliament 
William Powell, Chair of the Cross Party Group on Europe in the Fourth Assembly 
Professor Colin Riordan, President and Vice Chancellor, Cardiff University
Kevin Roberts, Chair of the Agriculture Partnership Board
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP, Member of the European Parliament
Derek Vaughan MEP, Member of the European Parliament
Emma Watkins, Director, CBI Wales