THE first minister said he remained "hopeful" a deal could be struck that would allow Wales, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland to pursue a common approach to Christmas.

The UK government met with Mark Drakeford and the other devolved government leaders this week for the latest stage of planning to find a 'four-nation' coronavirus policy for the festive period.

Top of Mr Drakeford's priorities is to secure UK-wide travel arrangements, meaning people can reunite with their families to celebrate Christmas.

He said Wednesday's meeting, chaired by the UK government's cabinet minister Michael Gove, had been productive.

“We agreed some broad parameters on Wednesday and remitted officials of all four administrations to work now on the detail, so I remain hopeful that it will be possible to reach a four-nation approach to Christmas," Mr Drakeford told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning (Friday).

“I certainly think that is the right thing to do – if it is achievable – and certainly Wales will be at the table next week looking to find an agreement.”

Mr Drakeford said an agreement on permitting travel across the UK during the Christmas season was “top of the list of things to agree”, even if a wider agreement was not possible.

“I really do hope we can have a common approach to travel,” he added.

“It is very important for people in Wales, so many families here will have families in England and elsewhere and will be hoping to have visits from family members who live outside Wales.

"On travel, I am more hopeful than I was even on other aspects of our discussion.”

Additional reporting by PA.