Wales Seeks Brexit-Deal Veto Along With Scots, Northern Ireland

  • Welsh first minister Jones joins Sturgeon in raising barriers
  • Wales stands to lose $800 million of EU funding from Brexit

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said the semi-autonomous legislatures in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as the U.K. Parliament should be able to veto any proposed deal on withdrawal from the European Union.

“I think the deal should be approved by all four parliaments,” Jones said in a BBC radio interview on Friday. “If you want buy-in, if you want to make sure a trade deal has wide support, then you make sure you get that support in the four parliaments.”

Jones’s call for a veto over any Brexit deal follows a statement by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that Scotland is in “a strong position” to block Britain’s exit from the EU. Prime Minister Theresa May met Sturgeon last week and said she would only trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, the legal mechanism for exiting the 28-nation bloc, once a U.K.-wide approach had been agreed.

Responding to questions in the House of Commons on Thursday, the U.K. government’s chief legal adviser, Attorney General Jeremy Wright, explicitly ruled out the prospect of a veto for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland over the Brexit process.

“It is perfectly right that all parts of the U.K., including the governments of the devolved administrations, should be able to participate in the process of developing the U.K.’s approach to these negotiations,” Wright said. “But this does not mean that any of the parts of the U.K. have a veto.”

Wales voted by 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent to leave the EU and Jones said he wants to get the best deal possible in the withdrawal negotiations. “Wales is going to lose 600 million pounds ($800 million) of European funding,” he said. “A promise was made by some in the ‘Leave’ campaign that that would be made up. We have not got that money yet nor a promise of it.”