WITH a no-deal Brexit looking more likely every day, first minister Mark Drakeford is meeting council leaders to discuss preparations for leaving the European Union.

Mr Drakeford, along with counsel general Jeremy Miles and local government minister Julie James, will meet local government leaders today, Thursday, to discuss the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

The extraordinary meeting of the Local Government Partnership Council will see representatives of local government, community and town councils, the Welsh Local Government Association, police and fire authorities and national park authorities get around the table.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Drakeford said leaving the EU without a deal would be "catastrophic".

"It could cause significant disruption and damage to our economy, jobs, trade and public services," he said.

“Every sector would be affected in some way and, while it is not possible to completely mitigate the effects, we must prepare and work to achieve the least damaging form of Brexit possible.

“All public sectors in Wales should now be well involved in contingency planning for a no deal scenario.

“Today’s meeting is another opportunity to discuss the potential impacts of a no-deal Brexit and discuss how we can reduce the impact this scenario will have on local services.”

The first minister has warned failing to reach a deal with the EU would place at risk funding for development projects, jobs, and ports.

He added: “It is extremely frustrating that we have been brought to this position by a UK Government that has continued to put the interests of its party ahead of the country it is supposed to serve."

Ms James said: “We are fortunate to have experience of working closely across the public sector in Wales and I am confident this will puts us in a strong position to deal with the challenges ahead.

“Now, more than ever, we need to work together for the good of our citizens to ensure we are as well prepared as possible ahead of EU exit on March 29.”