Ann Widdecombe And Lib Dem MP Go Head To Head On 'Clean Break' Brexit

20 October 2019, 12:25

The Brexit Party MEP and Liberal Democrat MP strongly disagreed on the usage of the term 'clean Brexit' - Widdecombe wants one and Brake thinks it is deceiving.

Ann Widdecome, Brexit Party MEP, said: "The Brexit party would, at this stage, prefer a clean break and to negotiate again from a position of complete independence. I think Tom's motivation is that he clearly hasn't said it. The Lib Dems don't like the result of the 2016 referendum. They want to reverse it at all costs.

Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat MP, replied: "I have said it many times. I think Brexit is very bad, very bad news for the United Kingdom and I'm trying to stop it.

"We would do that democratically through the use of a People's Vote. Something that over a million people were out in London supporting yesterday.

"On the subject of a 'clean break', I do wish people wouldn't use that term because it would give the impression to people that on the 31st October we we simply cut our ties and then everything carries on smoothly. No, of course that wouldn't happen.

What would happen is that we cut our ties on the 31st October and then we have chaos on our borders. That is what the government analysis confirms in their Yellowhammer document."

Ann Widdecombe And Lib Dem MP Go Head To Head On 'Clean Break' Brexit
Ann Widdecombe And Lib Dem MP Go Head To Head On 'Clean Break' Brexit. Picture: PA

Widdecombe replied: "That is a complete nonsense. You only have to consider what does the head of the Port of Calais say? Now the French do not give us aid and comfort usually, he has said we hardly notice any difference the next day. They're ready for that.

"The Port of Dover says exactly the same thing. It's ready for that. We've had three years of being able to get ready.

Yellowhammer was a properly perfect, perfectly proper government analysis of a worst case scenario. All governments, and Tom must know this, prepare for all disasters."

Tom Brake said: "I do talk to ports and to suggest that the Port of Dover is ready for the sort of clean break that Ann Widdecombe is suggesting, or the Port of Portsmouth, for instance, is simply not true.

"If we had a chaotic, clean Brexit in the way that Ann is describing, what would happen is that there would be very significant problems on the border.

"And that is what the most recent government assessments have confirmed. So yes, they're preparing for it, but they're also confirming that there'll be very severe disruption.

That is why the government felt obliged to put in place a fast track route into the country for medicines."

Andrew Castle asked: "At this point, a negotiated settlement is what business in the economy need. Will the Lib Dems ever accept leaving in any way, shape or form?"

Tom replied: "Well, if as we've asked for, the Prime Minister puts his deal to a People's Vote, gives people the choice between his deal - which many sectors of business say is very bad news for them incidently - and he's willing to put that up against Remain and people vote to Leave then, of course, we accept that's a decision."

Anne said that sort of referendum said it would only give people the choice of 'leave in name only'.