/General election 2019: ‘Full steam ahead to Brexit deal’
General election 2019: ‘Full steam ahead to Brexit deal’

General election 2019: ‘Full steam ahead to Brexit deal’

Fay JonesImage copyright
Fay Jones

Image caption

Conservatives’ Fay Jones took the seat from the Liberal Democrats

It is “full steam ahead” towards a free trade agreement with the EU by the end of 2020, according to one of Wales’ new MPs.

Fay Jones defeated Liberal Democrat Jane Dodds in Brecon and Radnorshire and is one of 14 Welsh Tories heading to Westminster.

The general election gave the party its best result in Wales since 1983.

With an 80-seat majority, Ms Jones believes the prime minister has broken the Brexit deadlock.

“It’s been a hard fought battle over the last few months and the prime minister has broken deadlock in Parliament,” she said.

‘Healing the breach’

Ms Jones believes the EU withdrawal agreement already negotiated contains the “green light” to move on to trade talks.

Asked if this was possible by the end of 2020, she said: “It’s not like Canada (who took a number of years to negotiate a deal).

“They were starting from a different regulatory framework.

“We are a member state, stepping back from some regulations, staying close on others.”

She said farmers in her rural community just wanted certainty – and that is what they could now give them, with free trade and no tariffs continuing.

“It’s about healing the breach, coming back together and ending the period of tribal politics to move forward,” she said.

Image caption

Sarah Atherton, the new MP for Wrexham

Wrexham’s new Conservative MP Sarah Atherton, who took the seat from Labour, said: “Brexit is a process… and we are going to move on.

“And we do need closure because one thing I have noticed on the doorsteps is that people have been quite anxious and very perplexed about how to vote this time.

“A lot of traditional Labour voters have found it very hard to come over to the blue side,” she told BBC Radio Wales’ Breakfast with Oliver Hides.

“So I am very conscious that they have lent the vote to me on this occasion in Wrexham and I need to prove it to them.

“And the way I am going to do that is to be a good local constituency MP.”

Image caption

Plaid Cymru kept all four of their seats – including Ben Lake in Ceredigion

Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said the general election was a “presidential election”, with two candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.

He added that the Welsh assembly elections in 2021 would “also be a presidential election where there are two candidates, Mark Drakeford and myself”.

Labour’s Blaenau Gwent AM Alun Davies said Mr Drakeford needed to “think hard” if Welsh Labour could distance itself from Jeremy Corbyn between now and then.

Mr Drakeford has long been an ally of Mr Corbyn and supported his leadership bid in 2015.

Asked on the This Is Not A Hustings podcast if Welsh Labour can “escape the shadow of Jeremy Corbyn”, Mr Davies said: “Mark has pitched his leadership on Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour has been thoroughly and completely rejected by people across Wales and across the UK.

“And Mark’s got to reflect on that.

“Because we cannot walk into an election in 18 months’ time, and expect to be re-elected if we are going to say ‘do you know what, you rejected us and our manifesto in December 2019, have another go in May 2021’.”