Tom Swarbrick Challenges Ann Widdicombe On Her Predictions For Johnson's Deal
15 October 2019, 23:52
Tom Swarbrick challenges Ann Widdicombe on her predictions for Boris Johnson's deal and what the Brexit Party's clean-break Brexit would look like if his deal is unsuccessful.
Tom Swarbrick asked the Brexit Party member how likely she thought it was that a deal between the EU and the UK would be struck within the coming hours.
"I don't think the chances are terribly high," said Widdicombe, "everybody is pretty fed up with this circus, there is chance the EU are also sufficiently fed up so that they will make concessions. But the signs aren't that hopeful at the moment."
Widdicombe continued that if Boris Johnson does have to go for another extension, "what is that going to achieve? We've been three years on this deal, what are we going to do in three months?"
Tom replied: "Well we're going to have a general election and Boris Johnson is going to say vote for me on the basis that he's been really trying but has been thwarted by Parliament."
"Which is true," said Widdicombe, "but he's got to say that he is in favour of a clean break so that we come out quite decisively and then negotiate a position of independence. I think that is now the answer.
"I was one among many at the start who said right at the start if we can get a deal, that's fantastic. But we've spent three years trying to do that, we haven't done it, the time has now come to say OK let's leave without it."
Tom asked: "Are you in the position of thinking that any deal would be a bad deal?"
"Oh no certainly not, I don't think any deal would be a bad deal, but the Theresa May deal was an extremely bad deal and as far as I can make out at any rate, all Boris is proposing is that we have that deal minus the backstop arrangements, or with tweaked backstop arrangements."
She continued that there are plenty of other aspects of that deal: "the political declaration that accompanies it clearly states that we should all aim for a level playing field with the EU."
Tom said this is an aspect they're currently looking at this evening. He asked: "So the Brexit Party will oppose pretty much anything that is possible to get done. So you're basically a party of protest?"
"No, if he comes out with no deal, we would say - and we've made this very clear in public announcements - at that point we support him," said Widdicombe.
"What is clean about coming out with no deal?" asked Tom.
"It'll be a complete break which means you negotiate a trade deal from a position of independence," said Widdicombe.
Tom then asked if this was the case, how would the UK deal with the Irish border issue?
"I think the Irish border issue - and many Irish people say this - has actually been blown up," said Ann Widdicombe and after Tom and Ann interrupt each other, she continues: "we are not unused to coping with a border with the EU, and I see no reason why Ireland should be different because those other borders haven't got hard borders and hard checkpoints.
"There's no reason for Ireland to have either."