First Minister Mark Drakeford is to recall the Senedd next week to debate the implications of the post-Brexit trade deal agreed on Christmas Eve between the UK and the EU.
The deal was announced by the UK Government which said: “Everything that the British public was promised during the 2016 referendum and in the general election last year is delivered by this deal.”
It sets out the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU, following the decision by the British public in a referendum in 2016 that the UK should no longer be part of the bloc.
The UK has been in a transitional arrangement since it officially left the EU last January.
Members of the Senedd will meet to debate the deal at a virtual Plenary session on the morning of Wednesday, December 30, when they will also discuss a statement relating to Covid-19.
But Mr Drakeford has already described the post-Brexit trade deal as a “thin deal’ for Wales, saying it was not what Wales was “promised”.
Speaking to BBC Wales, he said it did give certainty for businesses, which was to be welcomed, but added that it was a difficult deal for Wales.
“It will still be a difficult deal for Wales but it provides a platform to which we can return to argue for improvements in the future,” he said.
Referring to the decision to recall the Senedd, he added: “I think it’s very important that before the Houses of Parliament vote on any deal they know the views of the devolved parliament here in Wales.”
He said Wales would see changes under the new relationship.
“It will not be as easy to travel into Europe as it has been. Welsh students will not have access to universities in Europe in the way that we have enjoyed.”
In a statement to MSs Mr Drakeford said: “We have not seen the text of the agreement and clearly will need to analyse and scrutinise the detail before we are able to take a considered view.”
“Faced by a binary choice of this deal or no deal, this deal, despite its very serious shortcomings, is the better outcome.”
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According to the UK Government the deal means: “We have taken back control of our money, borders, laws, trade and our fishing waters.
“The deal is fantastic news for families and businesses in every part of the UK.
“We have signed the first free trade agreement based on zero tariffs and zero quotas that has ever been achieved with the EU.
“The deal is the biggest bilateral trade deal signed by either side, covering trade worth £668bn in 2019.
“The deal also guarantees that we are no longer in the lunar pull of the EU, we are not bound by EU rules, there is no role for the European Court of Justice and all of our key red lines about returning sovereignty have been achieved.
“It means that we will have full political and economic independence on 1st January 2021.”
“A points-based immigration system will put us in full control of who enters the UK and free movement will end.
“We have delivered this great deal for the entire United Kingdom in record time, and under extremely challenging conditions, which protects the integrity of our internal market and Northern Ireland’s place within it.
“We have got Brexit done and we can now take full advantage of the fantastic opportunities available to us as an independent trading nation, striking trade deals with other partners around the world.”