Friday, 16 October 2020

Sir Keith Starmer support for Welsh First Minister seems heal-hearted,

 The reaction from the Tories who plans by Welsh First Minister for  a ban on travel from Covid hotspots to Wales, from other parts of the UK (Not just England)  was "trying to keep Wales safe". was somewhat expected , though as perhaps even more ridiculous 


During business questions, Jacob Rees-Mogg had responded to a question asking whether the plan was “illegal”.

Tory Alicia Kearns, MP of Rutland and Melton, asked: “Can my right honourable friend confirm that it would be illegal for the Welsh Labour Government to introduce an intensive border within the UK to restrict movement between England and Wales?”

Jacob Rees Mogg replied: “What would you expect of a hard-left Labour Government?

“The approach to putting a border between England and Wales is unconstitutional and will place the police in an invidious position considering that they serve the whole of the United Kingdom.

“We are one single United Kingdom and we should not have… borders between different parts of the United Kingdom.

“And I’m afraid that is what you get when you vote for socialists.”

Mr Rees-Mogg  seems to not to know that Wales enforced a smoking Ban before  England .

Meanwhile Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer call for Boris Johnson and Wales' first minister to reach agreement on travel restrictions seems to be another case of fence sitting typical of  the Westminster party.

Sir Keir initially said he hoped "it doesn't come" to restrictions, but after he was asked several times for his position said he would support them if it controlled coronavirus.

The ban is set for Friday at 18:00 BST.

Mr Drakeford, the Welsh Labour leader, says he would bring it into force if the prime minister does not introduce his own restrictions.

The Welsh Labour leader has written twice in recent weeks to Mr Johnson asking for travel to be restricted in and out of areas with high levels of transmission in England.

"What Mark Drakeford is trying to do is to keep people in Wales safe," Sir Keir told BBC Wales.

"He is frustrated. He's been asking the prime minister to work with him on this.

"Mark's objective is to keep people safe and he's absolutely right about that.

"I think the ball is really in the prime minister's court to do something about it.

"Because I hope it doesn't come to this... travel restrictions. I don't think it needs to if the prime minister enters discussions with Mark in the right spirits."

Sir Keir added: "The prime minister just needs to be clear that people shouldn't travel from high infection rate areas into areas in Wales where there aren't those high infection rates."

After he was asked several times for his position on what should be agreed between the two governments, Sir Keir said:

 "There has to be a way of controlling the virus.

"And if that unfortunately means people can't travel in the way they did before then that's got to be put in place."

The problem with Sir Keith  attitude is that his call for "Boris Johnson and Wales' first minister to reach agreement on travel restrictions"  assumes that hte former  is prepared to treet the First Minister  as his equal.

Throughout this crisis Johnson has refused to meet with the leaders of the devolved legislature having an attitude  that they should merely mirror his haphazard  measures , which only seem to benefit Tory donors who are awarded government contracts 

Nicola Sturgeon has however  backed the Welsh government’s decision to ban visitors from Covid-19 hotspots in the rest of the UK (including Scotland) in a bid to curb the virus spreading.

Scotland's First Minister tweeted her support for Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford after he announced his plans for new restrictions on Wednesday.

Nicola Sturgeon wrote: “Fully support @fmwales on this. These are public health decisions, and nothing to do with constitutional or political debates.

“@scotgov will also take whatever action we consider necessary to control COVID.”

She said she will be writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to "seek urgent talks" on the issue of travel within the UK..

Looking at Sir Keith comments it seems that hope for a robust backi8ng from Labour in Westminster may6 not be coming after all it was Plaid Cymru's Liz Saville Roberts who raised the question of a ban in the Commons .

Sir Keith and his Westminster Party really ned to start looking to challenge  Boris Johnson and  not simply abstain on major issues or make half hearted calls for compromise , from a Prime Minister who has constantly refused to do so.

1 comment:

Alan Morrison said...

We might ask Jacob R-M a similar question when a lorry driver tries to drive from Sussex into Kent in January.