Tom Swarbrick's Passionate Row With Labour MP Over UK Sovereignty After Brexit

11 September 2019, 08:05 | Updated: 11 September 2019, 14:04

Tom Swarbrick and Dame Margaret Beckett passionately disagreed over whether the UK will have more or less sovereignty after we leave the European Union.

The Labour MP, a senior figure in the People's Vote campaign, insisted that the UK would be giving away our voice with either a no-deal Brexit or Theresa May's deal.

Dame Margaret said: "Theresa May's deal meant that we lose our voice, our vote and our veto and to me that is absolute madness.

"When we joined the European community, I was opposed to it because of the sacrifice of sovereignty. The argument then was that we were sharing sovereignty, which I wasn't too keen on.

"But at least we were sharing it. Under the deal that Theresa May negotiated, we're not sharing that sovereignty, we're giving it up altogether. That is not something I feel inclined to support."

Tom then responded: "But the UK would have the ability to change those laws via Acts of Parliament. So it's losing its voice in Europe, but it's not losing its voice in being able to diverge from those rules in the future."

The Labour MP then insisted: "If you're bound by European regulations and the standards that you have to meet are European standards..."

Tom Swarbrick had a feisty exchange with Dame Margaret Beckett
Tom Swarbrick had a feisty exchange with Dame Margaret Beckett. Picture: PA / LBC

Tom suggested we could diverge from them, but Dame Margaret told him: "You're talking rubbish. You don't know what you're talking about.

"We can change any law we like here. If the standards we have to meet are standards that are set in Europe, then it doesn't matter what our laws are because we won't be trading with anybody.

"Ask the farmers. Why do you think they are getting so upset and so concerned?"

But Tom told her: "If we are able in the future as a sovereign national parliament to vote to diverge from European laws, accepting that there will be trade offs as a result of that, that it's not going to be free trade, that is the ability that parliament has."

Watch the feisty exchange at the top of the page.