The divorce that is Brexit

The First Minister alluded to his previous existence dealing with divorce law, presumably in his time as a barrister, when he faced questions from the Assembly's external affairs committee on Brexit.

His point being that the actual process of divorce is easy enough, the tough job is working out who gets what, and in particular who gets the money.

There was not anything dramatically new in what he had to say but it gave a snapshot of where he stands on how we approach Brexit.

The big question now is how much information the UK government will have to reveal regarding its negotiations.

The First Minister says he is not expecting a detailed strategy, but instead the main principles in terms of what sort of deal Theresa May wants to get.


At around the same time, the Brexit minister David Davis was addressing MPs, telling them that the broad principles had already been made public.

They are: to bring back control of laws to Parliament as well as control of immigration, to maintain security co-operation with the EU and to maintain the freest possible market in goods and services with the EU, and the rest of the world.

So there you go. The main aims are out there and unless the Supreme Court forces the UK government to listen to Parliament next month, then the demands for more information will fall on deaf years.

The First Minister also told AMs he believes there would have to be a compromise with the EU over immigration in order to protect jobs in Wales, like elsewhere in the UK.

In other words, a trade off between control of borders and growth of the economy.

One of his central lines is that investment decisions are being put on hold now by the private sector in Wales because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and if tariffs are introduced then it would harm the ability of Wales to act as a future gateway to the rest of the EU, and its ability to attract inward investment.


Carwyn Jones has been accused of inconsistency in his approach to Brexit.

A number of areas have been problematic for him.

One has been reconciling his twin demands that there can be no tariffs on trade with the EU, while at the same time accepting that something has to be done about immigration, in recognition of the Leave vote in Wales.

Another is how his initial call for Brexit to happen sooner rather than later marries with his calls for all four nations to endorse the UK's negotiating position -- something that is bound to slow the process up.

All eyes now will be on the Supreme Court next month. If Theresa May has to listen to Parliament, there will be a stronger chance that she has to take note of the Welsh Government as well.