Thursday, 1 Jun 2023

‘Brexit in jeopardy’ as Steve Bray ‘in cahoots’ with Labour

EU activist Steve Bray confronts Tories as pressure on PM grows

Conservative MPs have warned that Brexit would be “in jeopardy” under a Labour Government after Wes Streeting told anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray that the public is “paying the price” for the EU referendum. Former cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg told the Daily Express that a Labour Government would “informally” deny the UK the benefits of Brexit by “shadowing the EU”. Marco Longhi, MP for Dudley North, went even further saying that Mr Streeting’s conversation with Mr Bray is “proof” that Labour would “take us back into the EU”.

Lee Anderson, Deputy Chairman of the Tory Party, agreed, accusing the shadow health secretary of being “in cahoots” with the anti-Brexit campaigner, saying it is “quite clear that Labour still won’t accept Brexit”.

Meanwhile, Michael Fabricant warned that Brexit would be “in jeopardy under any Labour Government”.

The clip, shared on Twitter, showed Mr Bray asking Mr Streeting for his view on Brexit, to which the shadow health secretary responded: “Well it’s not worked out very well has it? We’ve got to try and make it work.”

He added: “We tried really hard during the process, including from the referendum onwards, but two general elections and a referendum onwards it does show that voting matters – and there’s a consequence to us losing.

“So we’ve got to try and fix some of the problems.”

Mr Streeting continued: “I think the Labour party is in the same place. I totally understand why people are really frustrated seeing the economy and what’s happened but, as I say, we’ve lost two general elections and a referendum.

“The public is paying the price for it and we’ve got to get our act together and make sure that we can try and build a better, new relationship with the EU.

“We can’t turn back the clock – voting matters – but we can have a different, better relationship with the EU to fixome of the problems the Conservatives have made.”

Asked whether post-Brexit Britain should be concerned about a Labour Government, given Mr Streeting’s comments, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Yes, Labour will shadow the EU informally denying us the benefits of Brexit.

“It is why it opposes the Retained EU law bill so strongly and is desperately trying to get the Lords to keep swathes of EU regulations that the Government want to repeal.”

The Conservative Party’s Deputy Chairman, Mr Anderson, said: “When you see a senior Labour MP who quite clearly has leadership ambitions in cahoots with the leading anti-Brexit campaigner then it is quite clear that Labour still won’t accept Brexit.

“Labour needs to move on and distance themselves from agitators like Bray. They really should be more careful about the company they keep.”

Meanwhile, Mr Longhi said: “This is proof, if ever any was needed, that a Labour Government would take us back into the EU – contrary to the wishes of the British people.

“Now that we have dealt with Covid and we know how the EU wish to work with the U.K. we can focus on delivering Brexit benefits – and joining CPTPP would be huge and impossible if we were still part of the EU, just like investing in the Covid vaccines and it’s rollout was possible because of Brexit.”

Fellow Conservative MP Michael Fabricant added: “If Wes Streeting was talking as an official Labour spokesman, it is clear that Brexit would be in jeopardy under any Labour Government.

“All the gains over the last few years would be reversed.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has previously said there is “no case” for rejoining the EU or single market.

When asked by BBC Radio 4 whether membership of the single market would “boost economic growth”, Sir Keir responded: “No at this stage I don’t think it would and there’s no case for going back to the EU or going back into the single market.”

The Labour party has been contacted for comment.

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