BBC clash erupts after Today host accuses Labour of siding with the EU in Brexit talks
Brexit: Lisa Nandy gets grilled on being ‘bound by EU rules’
A furious BBC row on the Today programme saw host Justin Webb slam Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy for “supporting the EU’s position” in the Brexit talks. Mr Webb said that Labour was pushing for the UK “to be bound to EU rules” in the future. Lisa Nandy hit back at these claims, insisting that the EU had already compromised in the Brexit talks before claiming the Government has “lost the plot” over Brexit negotiations.
Ms Nandy urged the Government to “come forward with solutions” to the deadlocked issues in the talks.
This comes as Boris Johnson warned that the UK should prepare for a no deal Brexit amid the “strong possibility” that the Government will fail to broker a trade agreement with the EU.
Mr Webb said: “On the substance of the biggest sticking point, which is that the UK would have to stick to EU regulations as they change, or suffer penalties because of that.
“We wouldn’t have the power to appeal, that is what the EU is currently offering. What is Labour’s position on that?
“Is that acceptable for a deal that we must get done?”
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Ms Nandy said the deadlock over the level-playing field was “absurd”.
She claimed the current state of play in the talks showed the Government would rather accept tariffs and quotas now because they would rather see UK workers’ rights “run down now”.
Mr Webb responded: “So do you support the EU’s position on that?”
The Labour MP said: “The EU needs to move and has moved. The EU needs to accept the UK’s position is that we are leaving the EU.
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“Therefore we have to have more flexibility in the way we work.”
The BBC host interrupted: “But hang on, is it not reasonable for Boris Johnson to say that what they are offering is not that flexibility and we can’t sign up to it.
“You are saying we should be beholden to EU standards.”
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He added: “Just to be clear, if the EU did something on workers’ rights, and told us we have to do the same thing, you’re saying yes we should have to do that – without the ability to appeal.
“The question is should we be bound to EU rules or not, and I think you’re saying we should be.”
The reaction to the interview saw listeners complain that “Lisa Nandy is making it entirely clear that Labour has no credible policy on the Brexit negotiations”.
One listener called the interview a “car crash,” adding: “She would unconditionally surrender to the EU. Embarrassing. We are so lucky Labour Remainers got hammered in the election.”
Boris Johnson has suggested that the current EU proposals would keep the nation “kind of locked in the EU’s orbit” but insisted negotiators would “go the extra mile” in trying to get a treaty in time for December 31.
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