Máirtín Ó Muilleoir: British Treasury failing to provide information of Brexit impact

Welsh finance minister Mark Drakeford, Stormont's Máirtín Ó Muilleoir and Scotland's Derek Mackay at a meeting in Newry last year
By Catriona Webster, Political Reporter, Press Association Scotland

The devolved administrations in Britain and the north have called for clarity over how Brexit will affect their economies and budgets after "disappointing" discussions with the Treasury.

Finance minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir along with the finance ministers of Scotland and Wales said British chief secretary to the treasury David Gauke failed to provide enough information on the impact of leaving the European Union (EU) during quadrilateral talks in Edinburgh.

"I have previously been on record saying that there is a lack of understanding of the calamitous effects that Brexit would have on our local economy and there has been no appreciation of the need for a special status for the north within the EU," Mr Ó Muilleoir said.

"Nothing I have heard today changes that."

The three ministers urged the British government to give "serious consideration" to proposals put forward for differentiated solutions and said negotiations must be stepped up as the deadline for triggering Article 50 approaches.

Scotland's finance secretary Derek Mackay said: "While I am disappointed about this lack of progress with the UK government, we will continue to work with the Welsh and Northern Ireland governments as it is essential for the devolved administrations to be at the heart of any decision-making.

"We need clarity from the UK government as we have the right to have our say on how devolved budgets and our economy will be affected by a hard Brexit.

"I asked again today that the UK government give serious consideration to the proposals the Scottish government has put forward in response to the outcome of the EU referendum and responds constructively, in the interests of the people of Scotland.

"We have been clear, keeping Scotland in the European single market is absolutely essential for Scottish jobs, investment and long-term economic wellbeing."

Welsh finance secretary Mark Drakeford said: "We have always been clear that a hard Brexit would be highly damaging to the Welsh and UK economy.

"That is why we have repeatedly called for full and unfettered access to the single market in our negotiations with the UK government.

"Our economy is closely integrated into the single market and our success in attracting foreign investment owes much to this access.

"The fact of Brexit is not in doubt but we need to ensure a good outcome for Wales.

"We will continue our discussions with the UK government through the [joint ministerial committee for EU negotiations] but we need to see these discussions intensify over the next few weeks as the triggering of Article 50 approaches.

"We need a clear signal from the UK government that the views of the devolved administrations are taken into account so we secure a future post-Brexit that works for Wales and works for the rest of the UK."

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