ON A MONDAY the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee, of which I am a member, meets mainly to discuss issues surrounding Brexit.

Our role is to hold to account the Welsh Government, particularly on preparations for Brexit and a potential ‘no deal’ scenario.

We are required to stay abreast of this fast moving process, keeping up with the negotiations and considering the relevant documents.

For example, within a matter of days, the political declaration on the future relationship between the EU and the UK went from being just 7 pages, and saying very little, to 26 pages, but padded with various incompatible options.

The nature of the Brexit process means that we must work hard to stay on top of such developments so we can scrutinise in an informed manner.

Today in the Assembly, there will be a debate and vote on the EU/UK Withdrawal Agreement and future relationship document.

Some would describe the debate and vote as grandstanding, since foreign relations, including Brexit, are not devolved to Wales.

While Welsh Government must be prepared for Brexit, the mandate for negotiations lies solely with the UK Government.

Mark Drakeford, the cabinet secretary for finance, said at our Brexit Committee last week that the Withdrawal Agreement, unlike the future relationship, did not affect devolved matters.

He said the reason for this vote in the Assembly was to make Members of Parliament aware of the views of the Assembly before they have their meaningful vote.

Mr Drakeford seemed content that the UK Government has the right to negotiate the Withdrawal Agreement independently of devolved parliaments, but wants the Welsh Government to be involved when the UK and EU consider the future relationship.

The current future relationship document is merely aspirational, and is not legally binding.

Aspects of the future relationship, and potentially aspects of trade deals with non-EU countries, will though affect devolved matters, e.g. mutual recognition of professional qualifications when health and education are devolved.

The Secretaries of State for health and education at Westminster are responsible only for health and education in England. Nonetheless, in the special circumstances of Brexit, Welsh Government does seem to be allowing them greater opportunity to assist across the UK.

For example, their departments and Westminster are revising statutory instruments, the detail of law, to be applied across the UK, where these are considered as technical.

It is good to see that, at least on this, the devolved institutions in Wales are working sensibly with Westminster.