SCOTTISH and Welsh Ministers have fired off an angry protest over the UK Government for failing to include them in the process of setting the UK’s negotiating position on Brexit.

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Constitutional Relations Michael Russell and Welsh Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford have sent a joint letter highlighting their concerns to David Lidington, Prime Minister Theresa May’s de facto deputy.

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It pointed out that, as of yesterday afternoon, the full draft White Paper on talks with the EU had not been shared with the Scottish and Welsh Governments ahead of today’s Joint Ministerial Committee on EU Negotiations and May’s Chequers summit with her Cabinet tomorrow.

Russell and Drakeford say that this is despite previous assurances that the devolved administrations would have a meaningful opportunity to contribute to negotiating position. It also follows a lack of “meaningful” Scottish input into the UK Government’s fisheries plan.

The letter says: “We are writing further to the unsatisfactory discussion of certain sections of the White Paper on the EU Negotiations at the Ministerial Forum on Wednesday.

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“We were not permitted to see a single word of the draft White Paper in advance of the meeting and could only make our contributions on the basis of a brief, oral summary of the relevant chapters. This in no sense lives up to the assurance that we would have a meaningful opportunity to shape negotiating positions as they are developed.”

The letter adds: “We wish to make it absolutely clear that we will not regard any discussion of the White Paper at Thursday’s JMC (EN) meeting as meaningful, unless we have been given prior access to the text of the draft White Paper as it currently stands.

“If we do not have this opportunity, we will have to make it very clear that we have had no real possibility to consider, let alone influence the content of a document which will purport to speak on behalf of the whole of the United Kingdom about matters of which many are devolved.”