First Minister: ‘England isn’t the template for the rest of the UK to follow’

Naga Munchetty and Mark Drakeford on BBC Breakfast

The First Minister of Wales has said that England is not the template for the rest of the UK to follow and that his government will adopt a ‘Stay local, keep Wales safe’ message today.

He said that the new guidance would be that people do not travel more than five miles to see family and friends in Wales so that the virus wasn’t carried into communities where there was “very little” of it.

Mark Drakeford was speaking on BBC Breakfast at 7.53am this morning.

“Why aren’t you following the same measures as the UK Government is putting forward for England?” presenter Naga Munchetty asked.

The First Minister responded: “Now, I could put it the other way to you: Why aren’t they following what’s being done in other parts of the United Kingdom? England isn’t the template for the rest of the UK to follow.”

Naga Munchetty also asked “why devolution is proving to be four separate strategies?”

“Because while I think we are still moving in the same direction across the United Kingdom, then we’re all moving cautiously, we’re all lifting lockdown, but we’re applying it in our own contexts,” Mark Drakeford said.

 

‘Community’

It will be announced today that people from two different households will be able to meet outdoors in Wales from Monday.

They will need to stay in their local area – within five miles as a “general rule” – and remain two metres apart.

The First Minister told BBC Breakfast that the aim of the five-mile rule was to stop the spread of coronavirus into areas where it is not yet circulating.

“We have parts of Wales where there has been very little coronavirus and we don’t want the virus to be taken into those communities,” he said.

“You can be infectious to other people while feeling perfect;y well yourself. And travelling more than five miles away from your home runs the risk that you could be taking coronavirus from your community into another community where the virus isn’t circulating.

“That’s why our message to people in Wales is very simple: stay local, keep Wales safe.”

‘One step at a time’

Mark Drakeford said that while R was under 1 Wales could slowly relax the lockdown step-by-step, but would not run the risk of R going above 1 again.

“And in Wales, we think the R level is about 0.8, that was the same about 3 weeks ago, that means that we have some headroom, but limited headroom,” he said. “We’re doing things one step at a time.

“And the one step we’re able to offer people in Wales at this point is that two households will be able to get together in the open air at a two-meter distance.

“It hasn’t got worse so we still have that headroom. We had that headroom two or three weeks ago. We’ve still got the same headroom.”

“So if it’s the same in three weeks will there be further relaxation?”

“That’s what we would like to happen of course. We want to allow people further freedoms and get back closer to how life used to be before coronavirus. But we will only do that in the most careful and cautious way.”

“The room for manoeuvre in Wales remains very limited – the R-value is no better in Wales today than it was three weeks ago. So we still wanted to have a very careful and cautious approach in Wales.”

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Huw DaviesIfor H. JonesJosh Fosterdean skatesPaul Oliver Guisbourne-Hilton Recent comment authors
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david fox
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david fox

Bravo Mark Drakeford…..

david fox
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david fox

Bravo Mark Drakeford…

Plain citizen
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Plain citizen

Well done Drakeford. The arrogance of BBC presenters knows no bounds.

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

He could have hit her harder, verbally of course. One gets the feeling that BBC journos always know best and perhaps we should leave it all to them. Then common sense takes over and we realise they mostly just enjoy the sound of their own overpaid voices. Drakeford makes a valid point about “context” and how responses had to be relevant to context, bit like “following the science”. It will get difficult when there are seriously differentiated contexts within Wales, and I’m not convinced that test and trace will overcome that problem. At least he doesn’t look like he’s playing… Read more »

Martin Hughes
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Martin Hughes

Good for Mark Drakeford. There’s a tension between protecting health and the economy, but R=0.8 is far too high. If we get a Second Wave that will hit the economy anyway.

Jayne Mills
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Jayne Mills

Exactly!

K. K
Guest
K. K

I thought he came across pretty well and justified his reasoning too. I do find it incredible that the interviewer not only asked why we should be following England (which is unbelievable given the complete shambles) but asks why devolution is proving to be four separate strategies?!? The answer is in your question!

Well done Mr Drakeford.

Phil M
Guest
Phil M

How is England in a shambles? We’re pushing forward & ploughing through & keeping our country going in the darkest of times,for some reason unbeknownst to me reading through all this comments there’s a hell of a lot of anti-english sentiment from some quarters of the Welsh like the Covid19 pandemic was our fault! Remember 1 thing yes there as been stupid people from England going to Wales but also there’s been people from Wales coming to England too yet that’s not front page news is it when a family from aberdovey travel to Shrewsbury to go shopping or a… Read more »

Andre
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Andre

i was following and slightly agreeing with you, until the cap in hand comment, Cymru is not and does not want a cap in hand strategy, the UK runs one of the biggest deficits in the western world, most of it due to Bank bailouts, stupid projects like HS2, and wars, yet our contribution in tax revenue goes to Westminster and come back less all the payments for defence and contributions to a deficit of mainly English making. So you can have Boris, i am not a Labour supporter but i would take Drakeford before your Boris any time

Tony Beddow
Guest
Tony Beddow

It sure it isn’t anti English sentiment , more likely to be a quiet plea for a Prime Minister who is up to the job. Perhaps the BBC could play clips of both Boris attempting to answer journalists questions, and the First Minister doing likewise. I’m sure who will sound the more informed, caring, trustworthy and erudite.

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

Agree. I’ve not been a particular fan of Mr Drakeford – I recall describing him as ‘plodding and plaintive’ not that many weeks ago! But I watched him give the press briefing yesterday lunchtime (Friday 29th) and I thought he really excelled both in laying out his government’s relaxation of the rules clearly and logically and in responding to the journalists’ questions calmly, carefully and clearly. He performed far better than Johnson routinely does. I think Drakeford’s grown in confidence and competence in the context of this crisis, which is one of the very few positives to have emerged from… Read more »

K. K
Guest
K. K

It’s a shambles because the government at Westminster has prioritised money over people and the level with which they have treated people in England is nothing short of disgraceful. You have a PM who is a coward, a SAGE committee that has representatives from Google (!) and a puppeteer who rubs everyone noses in it by breaking the lockdown because he thinks he can. When are the people of England actually going to realise that their potential is being hampered and curtailed by a class system? When are they going to realise that the posh and the rich run the… Read more »

Steve Duggan
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Steve Duggan

Even if we did go ‘cap in hand’ to Johnson – we’ll get bugger all, as usual. The forthcoming recession/depression will see Cymru disproportionately hit once again – we will get even poorer. If there is an anti-English feel on here – well that is no surprise is it after centuries of neglect and verbal abuse. I’m not anti – English, per-se, but it will be very hard for many people here, once the crap hits the fan and after years of disdain, to distinguish between ordinary English people and the UK Parliament.

Lyn Thomas
Guest

I don’t think its anti English to point out the inadequacies of the UK government’s approach in England. In reality lockdown was 2 and probably 5 weeks too late, the advice in England has been muddled and inept. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have taken a far more measured approach.

Jonesy
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Jonesy

How many dead in England? just remind us. Nothing wrong with the English, just the English cabal running the s***show

Ifor H. Jones
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Ifor H. Jones

Why don`t you insist that Wales becomes independent ?

Susan Keel
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Susan Keel

Da Iawn Prif Gweinidog!

E. Jones
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E. Jones

Didn’t hear the prog. Tone of voice is so important. Mark has the knack of keeping his cool when many of us would have “ lost it “ Diolch Mark from a Gog !

Jayne Mills
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Jayne Mills

Well done Mark Drakeford!

PenywaunPete
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PenywaunPete

But not so well done BBC Wales? For the second week running, coverage of Mark Drakeford’s Q&A session was cut at 1pm to return to London. No option for continuing on BBC2 Wales. Crucial day for new regulations but people in Wales not entitled to hear their FM elaborating/ justifying new rules. Appalling and discriminatory. London lap dogs.

Welsh Sion
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Welsh Sion

They don’t like it up ’em., do them, Mr Drakeford, sah?

Mae angen mwy o hyn gan y Llywodraeth – yn arbennig gyda’phapurau Llundain’. Y rhain sy’n cylchredeg yng Nghymru, ac ychydig iawn o sylw sy’n cael ei roi i’n mam-wlad ynddyn nhw

Johnsmith
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Johnsmith

No offence but mark keeps harping on about lockdown 2 metre rule there are more and more shops opening take aways garden centres so it seems a bit farcical to all this a lockdown

K. K
Guest
K. K

I agree that it is farcical when you go out to some places but it is noticeable that the majority do adhere to it. For sure people bend the rules but if you were to ignore that message then you would have a free for all and as such increase the likelihood of a second wave. What nobody wants is to be in this position by Christmas because it will be really difficult for all sorts of reasons (mental and physical health, economically). In healthcare they say that prevention is better than cure. Let us hope that in the coming… Read more »

Lyn Thomas
Guest

I have no problem with garden centres and DIY super stores opening, if, like supermarkets, they enforce the 2 metre rule and limit the number of people in the store at one time. That will be the template for reopening other stores eventually. Garden centres and diy stores are special cases as they help with lockdown fever, gardening and diy being practical things to do when stuck at home and in the case of garden centres which have perishable stock saving them from massive losses.

Andy Lancelot
Guest
Andy Lancelot

England needs to fall into line with the rest of the UK

Mawkernewek
Guest

I had thought that Naga Munchetty was better than this, having been unfairly criticised in previous episodes, however I assume that BBC reporters have to go through some kind of gruelling training to ensure their first reaction is to defend the Union before they have any time to think, and this just kicks in at times like this.

Keith Evans
Guest
Keith Evans

keithevans838@gmail.comthe EBC really so why expect any difference from them?You don’t have to be a rampant nationalist( guilty😉)to see the corporation’s response to any hint of nationalistic thought.Just count since the rise of the SNP how many shows include the word British in their title!

Steffan ap Breian
Guest
Mawkernewek
Guest

It’s an odd question “why devolution is proving to be four separate strategies?”

it would be a lot of trouble to go to, if devolution were designed in such a way as to produce basically the same result at the end.

Ian Blake
Guest
Ian Blake

2’meters’ social distancing – is that the modern way to spell ‘metres’ ?

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

if you’ve run out of shillings to stick in it !

Jonathan Gammond
Guest
Jonathan Gammond

England is so not the template to follow. All the specialists will agree on that. It is probably in the bottom quartile of responses to the crisis along with such illustrious company as the US, Brazil and Russia. BRIC gives way to BRUE.

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

Rather follow Sierra Leone

Cymro12
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Cymro12

Da iawn Mark Drakeford

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

That question from the woman Munchetty about following the UK Government’s meaures crystalises the whole Establishment mindset, and Drakeford’s answer was exactly what the question deserved. He has previously come across as a fetcher and carrier for Westminster and Whitehall, but he has stood up for Cymru over Covid-19, and also over the M4 extension. I hope he continues to put Wales first. Otherwise, what’s the point of devolution?

Aled.
Guest
Aled.

Well done mark drakeford..who the hell do these bbc presenters think they are.
NM is a newsreader,nothing else.And by the way she could do with learning some manners.

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

I cannot stand the woman, she is arrogant and grandiose. Just watch the body language between her and her co presenters, and the condescending manner in which she speaks to them

Jan Howard
Guest
Jan Howard

What a sensible man – much rather take his advice than Boris’s.

Lyn Thomas
Guest

Not a Drakeford fan, but at least he makes a serious attempt to answer questions in a comprehensible way, while Boris rambles, prevaricates and generally avoids answering the question, unless its on Cumming, in which case he point blank refuses. The Downing Street briefings are a master class in non information and disinformation.

John Young
Guest
John Young

I have also been well impressed with Mr Drakeford in these briefings. He speaks clearly and effectively and actually answers the questions.

People can disagree with the Welsh Governments approach if they want and be critical if they want but at least we understand it because it’s explained sensibly.

And when you hear leaders of Councils in England (Gateshead eg) saying that they wish they were able to make the decision about the lockdown in their area (effectively mirroring Wales from memory of the answer) then it gives you even more confidence in the WG’s decisions.

Lyn Roberts
Guest
Lyn Roberts

Da iawn Mark Drakeford.

Paul Oliver Guisbourne-Hilton
Guest
Paul Oliver Guisbourne-Hilton

I think that Mark Drakeford is a little bit above himself after all he is the first minister of a devolved government and we are citizens first and foremost of the UK and hold UK passports etc.

dean skates
Guest
dean skates

Totally agree mate commrade drakeford thinks he’s the PM of wales and he’s not even elected

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

It’s hilarious how Drakeford is now the darling of the nationalist movement in Wales. A devout unionist, who throughout this process has prioritised the union over Welsh lives, by following in lockstep with UK government until it became impossible. And now one sentence on TV and he’s a national hero. Welsh nationalists seem to find it very difficult to identify the enemy. The truth is, the ‘national movement’ in Wales is a middle class quasi-socialist hobby. Its snobbery, its viciousness and its aversion to alternative ideas mean it cannot succeed. The urban areas of Wales will continue to move towards… Read more »