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Drakeford: ‘We’ve got it right in Wales, they haven’t got it right over the border’

11 May 2020 2 minutes Read
Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by the Welsh Government

Wales’ First Minister has delivered his strongest rebuke of Prime Minister Boris Johnson yet, saying that the Welsh Government has “got it right in Wales – and I don’t think they’ve got it right over the border”.

Speaking at his daily press conference he said that Wales’ restrictions on people’s ability to travel were there because they didn’t want the virus to travel.

He was responding to Boris Johnson’s address yesterday in which he announced that people in England would be allowed to travel for exercise – while those in Wales will have to stay local to their homes.

“I think we have got it right in Wales, and I don’t think they’ve got it right over the border,” Mark Drakeford said.

“The further people go the bigger the risk is that coronavirus will start to spread again. That’s why we say to people in Wales – stay local. Because that reduces the risk.

“I have huge sympathy with people who have relations over the border and that applies to a huge number of us in Wales. We miss a lot our ability to have that direct face to face contact elsewhere, and it’s part of the sacrifice we are all making.

“But we are making the sacrifice for a very good reason. Because behaving in the way that we are really does protect ourselves and protect those other people. We mustn’t give up on it now.

“We’re doing the right thing in Wales. And by doing the right thing we are actually hastening the day when it will be possible to begin to lift those restrictions and to allow people to get back together again.”

 

‘Responsibility’

Earlier Mark Drakeford said that people are not allowed to drive from England into Wales for exercise as the two countries move to different lockdown rules.

“I want to be clear – in Wales, it is Welsh law which applies”, he said. “We will use whatever means are available to convey this message, including signs on the major roads and motorways and articles in local newspapers along our borders.

“We will go on making decisions that reflect the decision on the ground here in Wales, and the responsibility that are ours to exercise.”

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Ceri
Ceri
1 year ago

Having ‘relations over the border’ was a great pastime of mine. It landed me a beautiful missus, Mike Darkhorse!

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 year ago

I’ve never really been a big fan of Mark Drakeford but on this occasion he is doing the right thing. I feel Johnson, being part of the business orientated and controlled Tory party, is opening up too quickly and also giving a very confused message. The big problem is getting the Welsh message, that Wales is closed, to those wishing to travel across the border. Policing the borders will be hard but if it isn’t done, potentially, the virus will increase again here in Wales. If we are to reduce poverty and make the people of Wales more prosperous –… Read more »

max wallis
max wallis
1 year ago

“we’ve got it right in Wales” invites the rebuke from Boris Johnson – what, your abject failure on testing and criminal neglect of Welsh care-homes!
But it’s no time for political boxing. Boris said: “reverse the awful epidemic in care-homes and the NHS”. Be alert to “local flare-ups in your area”.
The first requires action rather than Vaughan Gething’s shilly-shallying over care-homes, the second requires rapid testing in the community and of staff in individual hospitals where case numbers appear to be high.
Does Drakeford accept these direction for action, apart from the political knock-about?

angie hammons
angie hammons
1 year ago
Reply to  max wallis

There’s been no neglect or lack of testing in Welsh care homes.
We have had residents tested on request throughout

Richard Perkins
Richard Perkins
1 year ago

I hope the Welsh police are ready to stop, fine and send home day trippers travelling to Wales for exercise.

THOMAS DUGGAN
THOMAS DUGGAN
1 year ago

BEST WISHES TO YOU ALL STAY SAVE 🌍🌏🙄⌛🛎

Carolyn Jones
Carolyn Jones
1 year ago

I’ve never thought a lot of Mark Drakeford but I have to say he is looking more like a real political leader than Alexander (Boris) Johnson is. A lot more.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 year ago
Reply to  Carolyn Jones

Amazing, isn’t it? It’s like he’s popped out of the telephone booth! Of course, the Welsh people are watching and
this is about their own loved ones in possible peril, not simply how grass verges are doing.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 year ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Yup. Can’t fault Drakeford over this — a hint of statesmanship there recently. Nice timing for him, too, just when Welsh Labour were heading for political bankruptcy. Still think Gething is out of his depth, though.

John Ellis
John Ellis
1 year ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

I didn’t think Mr D. had it on him, to be frank. But he’s certainly standing his ground for the moment, and for me that’s somehow more striking because it’s obvious that ideally he’d prefer to be able march side by side with England on this.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
1 year ago

Just close the Border to Private Cars entering from England. The only exceptions should be those who commute across the border for work and of course freight traffic.

John Ellis
John Ellis
1 year ago
Reply to  Johnny Gamble

The border can be policed, and will be if we can believe the chief constable of Gwent speaking on the news last night.

But I doubt there’s any legal power as such to actually close the border, and if there is I don’t think it’ll be the WG that has it!

Sibrydionmawr
Sibrydionmawr
1 year ago
Reply to  John Ellis

But there it is sometimes the case where the law is an ass, and when it comes to protecting what’s important, and I don;t think there is much more important to a country than its citizenry, then whilst closing the border might not be legal, it would be the moral thing to do. Whether or not the Welsh Government has the power to close the border or not, it could still happen if Welsh citizens decided such was necessary. We aren’t at that scenario just yet, but I’m sure that the powers that be in Wales are acutely aware that… Read more »

John B Steele
John B Steele
1 year ago

The First Minister has got it spot on and is obviously in tune with the thoughts of the Welsh people. We want to defeat this terrible virus in Wales and the sacrifices we have made should not be thrown away at this stage nor do we want outsiders allowed in spreading the virus into our country from outside.
John B Steele

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