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‘We haven’t yet convinced’ people to change their minds on EU, Drakeford tells ‘Stop Brexit!’ man

28 Sep 2021 2 minutes Read
Steven Bray picture by Garry Knight (CC0 1.0). Right, Mark Drakeford.

Mark Drakeford remains unconvinced that people who voted for Brexit have changed their minds about leaving the EU, he has said.

Speaking with Port Talbot activist Steven Bray – better known as the ‘Stop Brexit!’ man – outside the Labour conference in Brighton, he said that there was still a “job to do” in showing people that the current problems were linked to Brexit.

Asked how Brexit was going to affect Wales, he answered: “In all the ways we have predicted, I’m afraid.”

But challenged on Labour’s silence on the issue as an opposition party at Westminster he said that people needed to realise the impact of Brexit before the UK Government could be effectively challenged on it.

“When you talk to people who voted to leave the European Union in Wales, I couldn’t say that we have yet convinced them that the consequences are such that they will be changing their minds,” he said.

“So I don’t think it is a matter of saying something quickly or doing something immediately.”

Told that the people of Port Talbot will be paying for the Brexit disaster, he asked: “Do you think the people of Port Talbot have come to that decision themselves yet?”

Steven Bray said they were “realising slowly”.

Mark Drakeford said: “It is a matter of having those conversations with people to allow them to see what we see.”

Wales voted to leave by a majority of 52% to 48% in the 2016 referendum, with Port Talbot voting to leave by 56.8% to 43.2%.

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Ric
Ric
25 days ago

Whatever your point of view, undue haste in UK and EU to push through the toxic TTIP trade deal swung the Brexit vote. The unwarranted intervention by Obama sealed its fate. Perhaps the UK politicians should reflect on that?

Erik
Erik
25 days ago
Reply to  Ric

So, in other words, a significant percentage of the British electorate is stupid enough and irresponsible enough to vote for a major constitutional change because a US president says don’t. I’ve always said that referendums are like giving a two-year-old a loaded gun to play with, and I think you’ve nicely confirmed my point.

Ric
Ric
25 days ago
Reply to  Erik

The TTIP should not have influenced the Brexit vote as it was an important issue on its own. The two became conflated. The TTIP negotiations should have been stalled until after the Brexit issue was resolved. Brexit was seen by some, rightly or wrongly, as the only way to scupper the trade deal and give a breathing space to change the terms of the agreement. You could argue the “baby was thrown out with the bath water” but of course, the probable alternative would be Europe now bound by the treaty. I don’t blame the public, rather this is the… Read more »

Alan Murray
Alan Murray
25 days ago
Reply to  Ric

I’m prepared to bet that the majority of voters in the referendum had never heard of TTIP. If they had, they might have done further homework and found that Germany and France were blocking it anyway and we were therefore at greater risk of having to accept it outside the large trading bloc of the EU.

As for Obama’s ‘unwarranted intervention’, I’d call it friendly advice, particularly now we are, as many of us also forecast, at the back of the queue.

j humphrys
j humphrys
25 days ago

Well I kind of supported leaving, though I didn’t actually vote, probably ‘cos there wasn’t an “erm..” -option. Problem may be tempers got a bit out of hand. So we have “Brexiteers” of the type like Farage, then “voters” who were swayed by the likes of Farage and Co, then the “erm’s” who might have gone either way, or not at all. Hard lesson, not to listen to charismatic nit wits! Drakeford is the type of person we should listen to, though I wish he’d get a move on, and push for Independence! I feel Ric is incorrect, the toffs… Read more »

Ric
Ric
25 days ago
Reply to  j humphrys

My assertion is simply that TTIP swayed enough “erms” to swing the result. This is unfortunate as the two issues should not have been mixed.

Ex Plaid member
Ex Plaid member
25 days ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Dirty money from hedge fund managers, etc that funded misleading Facebook adverts that swung it. Mix in the remain campain being lead my muppets.

Hannergylch
Hannergylch
25 days ago
Reply to  j humphrys

The “leave” box on the 2016 ballot paper encompassed a huge range of possibilities, from the Switzerland option to the North Korea option. I voted remain, but I bear no ill will to those of you who had specific criticisms of the EU: you were disenfranchised because you were denied the opportunity to express your opinions on the following:— 1. Should the UK activate its right to manage EU migrant workers more stringently within the EU (as other EU states already do), or stick with the present anarchic free-for-all, or have the same rules for all non-UK citizens? 2. Do… Read more »

Last edited 25 days ago by Hannergylch
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
25 days ago

Plaid could have done a lot more to explain to all the people of Wales which side their bread was buttered and what that blue flag with a circle of stars plastered on nearly everything actually meant. If the cap fit…

Dim problem
Dim problem
25 days ago

I didn’t know Steve was from Port Talbot.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
25 days ago

Pro-EU champion David Bray spent months in all weathers warning all of the perils of Brexit but his cries fell of deaf ears. I find If someone willingly follows others down a pathway that will damage not only themselves, their family, but the wider community & country, have joined a cult. The cult of Brexit with the David Koresh of politics Nigel Farage, a former City of London commodities broker, who along with the English establishment & Murdoch media entranced the poor communities of Wales, the uneducated , and yes, also the bigoted & racist, into voting for Brexit by… Read more »

Last edited 25 days ago by Y Cymro
Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
24 days ago

Drakeford is right. The effects of Brexit are just beginning to hit us and many in the UK will have to learn the hardway just how foolhardy voting leave was. They may well then change their minds but by then it will be too late we’ll be poorer.

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