Lord Heseltine outraged at "patently ill-judged" Brexit Bill

14 September 2020, 17:20

By Fiona Jones

The former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine brands the new Brexit Bill as "patently ill-judged" and explains to LBC the catastrophic effect breaking international law will have on the UK.

Downing Street is facing an escalating revolt over the new Bill, being voted on in the Commons on Monday, which overrides parts of Britain’s Withdrawal Treaty with the EU

This is after the Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis admitted last week to MPs that this Bill will "break international law" if passed.

Lord Michael Heseltine told Eddie Mair that he listened to the minister announce that they were going to break the law "with stupefaction."

"The reaction has been appalling, uniting all wings of the Conservative Party, and I haven't the slightest doubt that not only is it wrong but it is patently ill-judged for this simple reason: we hadn't left the European Union at all.

"We are in a transitional period trying to get an agreement as to what terms we will leave on at the end of this year. The basis of our approach is that we want to do a fair deal, you can trust us, so let's talk the details.

"And yet in the middle of this talk period, we say we're going to break the law, we did a deal with you a few months ago, we don't like the look of it so we'll ignore that."

Lord Heseltine shared his outraged at the "crass misjudgement" the PM has made over new Brexit Bill
Lord Heseltine shared his outraged at the "crass misjudgement" the PM has made over new Brexit Bill. Picture: LBC/PA

Lord Heseltine said that there is no doubt the EU negotiators will no longer trust the UK and this will become the view of "all countries across the world."

"This is the United Kingdom, this is a country which has prided itself on its values and integrity and democracy, suddenly announcing unashamedly that it's going to break the law!" he exclaimed.

Lord Heseltine could not fathom Boris Johnson's reason for this move: "I think there are those people that think that a no deal would clear the air, we're on our own, we can get on with it."

He likened the Government's thinking to President Trump, "There maybe those who know there is a hardcore support of the extreme view and they want to mobilise that.

"In my view it's a crass misjudgement and maybe they underestimated the depth of feeling by people across the political spectrum, but particularly all wings of the Conservative Party."