Wales politics

Don't be distracted by Brexit rows, Andrew RT Davies says

Andrew RT Davies
Image caption Andrew RT Davies says Welsh politicians need to focus on issues like health and education

Politicians should concentrate on "day-to-day" issues and not be distracted by Brexit arguments, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has said.

He called for a focus on fixing health and education problems rather than "taking our eye off the ball".

Mr Davies, a leading campaigner for the UK to leave the EU, was speaking on BBC Radio Wales on Thursday.

He also told the Jason Mohammad programme he would be happy to welcome President Trump to the Welsh Assembly.

Mr Davies criticised assembly Presiding Officer Elin Jones for tweeting her support for Commons Speaker John Bercow's view that Mr Trump should not address MPs and peers.

Taking questions from listeners on Brexit, Mr Davies said: "What we need to be starting to do is look at the more day-to-day things that are going on in our lives like, regrettably, fewer teachers in our schools, A&E response times here in Wales and ambulance response times.

"I accept there are challenges across the health service in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and that is why we shouldn't be taking our eye off the ball and just focussing on Brexit, because it's the day-to-day things in people's lives that people want their politicians to sort out on their behalf."

Mr Davies also called on pro-EU campaigners to apologise for claims that the economy would face an "apocalypse" if the UK voted to the leave the European Union.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Some of Donald Trump's policies were "abhorrent" but he should still be welcomed, Mr Davies said

Asked whether he would welcome Donald Trump to the Senedd when he makes a state visit to the UK, Mr Davies said: "I would, because he's the president of the United States."

"I don't subscribe to some of the beliefs he has, to some of the policies - in some instances they are abhorrent.

"But I cannot help the fact that he's been democratically elected and you are welcoming the person in the most senior democratic office of the most powerful country on the planet.

"You have to engage with that individual. We are a democracy."

Mr Davies added: "I do think it's unfortunate that the presiding officer has chosen without consultation to put such a tweet out because she's basically saying that she doesn't want the representative of the American people to come to the National Assembly."

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