Boris Johnson has refused to back a Welsh Conservative MP after she called on him to “encourage” cross-border travel between Wales and England.
Brecon and Radnorshire MP Fay Jones called on Boris Johnson to say that he would “encourage” travel and stop the Welsh Government creating “artificial barriers” between Wales and England.
But Boris Johnson apologised and said that people should not travel unless “absolutely necessary” and that they should “stay home and stop transmission of the virus”.
Fay Jones was speaking in the House of Commons where MPs were responding to a statement on the need for a four-week lockdown in England.
“Brecon and Radnorshire has around 50 miles of the border between Wales and England,” she said.
“My constituents who are already in lockdown regularly travel over the border for work, healthcare and education.
“Can my right honourable friend confirm that essential travel across the border is not only permitted, it is encouraged, and the Welsh Government should not be using this pandemic to create artificial barriers between Wales and England?”
However, Boris Johnson refused to back her call.
“Mr Speaker, while I understand the frustrations my honourable friend has and I know how deeply difficult it is for people throughout this country to go through the restrictions on our normal way of life that we have – that we’re asking people to do again,” he said.
“And I apologise to her and to the house for what we’re obliged to do but we must ask people unless it is absolutely necessary to stay home and stop transmission of the virus and that applies throughout the UK.”
The Prime Minister had earlier warned that the UK faced a “medical and moral disaster” unless tough action is taken now to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Boris Johnson told MPs that there was “no alternative” but to introduce a lockdown in England – which is due to come into force on Thursday.