PREPARATIONS for a no deal Brexit are being stepped up by the Welsh Government, Mark Drakeford the First Minister has stated.

He was speaking immediately prior to a Welsh Government cabinet meeting held in Llandudno Junction on Thursday February 21.

This was only the second time the cabinet has met in North Wales, the previous occasion was in 2011.

Mr Drakeford said: “I have always said a chaos shaped crash out Brexit is not a thing you can simply be prepared for as though it was just another point on a spectrum where a good plan would get you through. As we move closer and closer to moving towards the European Union my view of that has simply hardened.

“We will have to step up everything we do. That’s why we have a new cabinet member who is responsible for international relations, that’s why we will work as hard as we can to make sure the profile of Wales continues to be high and well respected in other parts of Europe and beyond. It’s absolutely essential we remain an open and outward looking nation that can trade with other parts of the world and where our reputation is high.”

“We will do everything we can, and we are doing everything we can, but a crash out Brexit will be catastrophic for Wales, and even the best of plans will not be sufficient hoik away the harm that will create.”

He added: “We will lose our European networks. It is vitally important to us those relationships we have built up over 40 years are not thrown away in Brexit.