Where next for Brexit?

There appears to be real momentum behind the shift in approach to Brexit.

Calls for a re-think from Remain-supporting Tory MPs like Stephen Crabb are maybe not that surprising, but I did raise my eyebrows at how relaxed the Brexit-supporting Monmouth MP David Davies was on Good Morning Wales about the different types of Brexit that could now be on offer.

He said: "As long as we are outside of the European Union, I will be happy."

In the middle of it all, the Welsh Government has weighed in with a letter to Theresa May calling for a change.

When it first set out its proposals in January, there was a cool response from the UK Government, which at the time insisted that it was the one carrying out the wishes of the British, and the Welsh, public.

Line of defence

Theresa May's failure to win a majority last week has weakened that line of defence.

What sort of Brexit we end up with is anyone's guess.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Carwyn Jones chose to highlight the importance of remaining in the customs union.

This is the arrangement which allows British companies to trade with the rest of the EU without any tariffs.

It also means that the UK cannot strike any of its own trade deals with the rest of the world.

Customs union

It has been Theresa May's position that as well as leaving the single market, we will be leaving the customs union as well.

If that were to change and we remain in the customs union in an attempt to keep trading barriers as low as possible, it would remove one of the central Brexit arguments which is to take advantage of the opportunities to be found in new deals with growing economies around the world.

In which case, Brexit really does come down to controlling immigration and the question of sovereignty by removing us from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

A few days have passed but the election result is still being chewed over.

It has become clear that Welsh Conservatives felt they did not have enough red meat to offer voters on the doorstep.

Severn tolls

The abolition of the Severn tolls was welcome but it came early in the campaign and was not followed up by a Welsh-specific commitment like support for the Swansea tidal lagoon.

It has also become increasingly clear what a problem the social care issue was on the doorstep for them in Wales, where the population is proportionately older than the UK average.

In contrast, Welsh Labour figures are still walking around with grins on their faces.

In the final week of the campaign, I am told in parts of Cardiff there were groups of 50 volunteers coming forward for canvassing, with many of them never having done it before.

This, they say, was the Corbyn factor at work, but even then many failed to spot the Labour surge in the final few days.


It appears that Labour canvassers were mainly speaking to people who had already expressed an interest in supporting the party, but many of their voters came from elsewhere.

In other words, the party was not plugged into a significant chunk of new voters who put them in such a strong position in so many constituencies across Wales.

Plaid Cymru added an MP to its ranks but there is a sense of the Ceredigion result papering over some of the cracks in a difficult campaign.

Its vote share dropped nearly 2% to 10%, and it clearly failed to challenge in some of the south Wales valleys seats that it had been talking up, and in Ynys Mon where it came third. In fact, it only came second in two constituencies across Wales.

There have been murmurings of discontent.

Elfyn Llwyd called it a "dull" campaign, another critic questioned whether the focus of attacking the "cruel Tories" played into Labour hands, but there is no sense that the knives are out for Leanne Wood.