Wales’ first minister Mark Drakeford to attend Boris Johnson chaired four nation ‘Covid recovery’ summit today
Boris Johnson will chair a coronavirus recovery summit today with first ministers from the devolved nations.
Following elections to the Senedd and Scottish Parliament last month, the prime minister wrote to the first ministers of Scotland and Wales and the first minister and deputy first minister of Northern Ireland to invite them to unite in a joint effort to overcome the shared challenges of COVID recovery, beginning with a high-level meeting.
The meeting was due to take place last week but was postponed after the first ministers of Wales and Scotland pulled out because they wanted it to be a “meaningful discussion with substantive outcomes”.
The pair criticised Boris Johnson’s office for sending ‘a very rough proposed agenda’ with issues in the discussions seemingly yet to be agreed.
They will now meet virtually this afternoon to discuss how they can work together to help all parts of the United Kingdom recover from the COVID pandemic and build back better across the whole country.
The NHS across the UK will be high on the agenda, have fought the pandemic it now faces a serious challenge with increased waiting times for elective procedures.
The necessary closure of schools has led to months of lost learning which have set the education of many of our young people back. Social distancing requirements have slowed down the operation of the justice system, leading to backlogs in our courts.
Many of these services are devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – but ministers across the UK face common challenges as they seek to rebuild in the years ahead.
“By working together and sharing experiences, each can learn from the other and deliver better outcomes for families across the UK.” A UK Government spokesperson said.
Adding: “The UK Government is undertaking detailed work on the scale of the COVID recovery challenge and the steps needed to address it through the National Economic Recovery Taskforce.”
“UK Ministers will share findings of this work with their devolved counterparts and Ministers in the Devolved Administrations will share their analysis.”
“Throughout the pandemic, the UK Government and devolved administrations have worked closely together, at official and ministerial level with dozens of meetings every month.”
“This has been illustrated in the UK’s world-leading vaccine rollout. The UK Government used its purchasing power to procure vaccines at scale for the whole UK, and health authorities across the UK rolled out delivery of the jabs. The British Armed Forces played a crucial supporting role across the country. Everyone, in all parts of the UK, has benefited.”
“The Prime Minister will propose that this close joint working and spirit of cooperation continues in the months and years ahead, as we begin the process of building a sustainable recovery.”
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