BBC News: Charlie Stayt slams Labour’s ‘weak Brexit position’ in fiery debate

BBC Breakfast was hosted by Charlie Stayt and Louise Minchin today and joining them on a live video link from Brighton was Rebecca Long-Bailey, the Shadow Business Secretary for the Labour party. During their conversation, those watching at home saw Stayt attempt several times to get a decisive answer from the MP about the party’s stance on Brexit and called it ”weak” when she explained they hadn’t decided yet. 

It comes after the Labour party had conference yesterday where the members endorsed Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit stance to stay neutral while negotiating a new deal.

The party voted against a motion which would have seen Labour backing remain in any future referendum. 

Stayt wanted to establish what kind of voter they are appealing to which this stance. 

He asked: “Hard to get away from the logic, if you’re a voter that wants Brexit, you vote for a party that’s guaranteeing they go for Brexit.

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“If you want to remain, you go for the Lib Dems only because they’re guaranteeing. Why would you vote for someone that would go either way?” 

“There’s Brexit with a deal which would protect the economy and living standards, then there’s leaving without a deal,” Long-Bailey replied. 

“Leaving without a deal is something we will not count on in the Labour party and we’ve been very clear on that, it would devastate industry and devastate our economy overall, driving down living standards and impacting on the most vulnerable in society. 

“What we wanted to achieve is a good deal, we’ve said that for the last few years, but we want people to have the final say.”

But Stayt interrupted wanting a more concise answer: ”I’m sure that’s all very true, what you’re saying will have a resonance with a lot of people. So are you in favour of remain or Brexit?”

“It would depend on the final deal, assess whether it will protect our economy,” the guest explained.

“When we first started out I was completely against a public vote, I thought it would polarise society but after the drama and the pantomime antics we’ve seen, I now think we’ve reached a point where we say ’we’ll get the best deal we possibly can then the people will have a final say’. 

“Our party will asses that deal and come to a decision on how we will campaign.” 

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“So if you look at Keir Starmer’s position, if he were involved in the negotiation process, surely he would go to the negotiation saying ‘I think remain is the best thing, but can you offer us anything?’ 

“Just feels like such a weak bargaining position,” the presenter argued. 

“Kier is a pragmatist, he’s done a fantastic job over the last few years, ultimately he wants to remain, our party campaigns to remain, but there was a referendum, and unfortunately that didn’t go the way we wanted it to.

“We respected it, but we will try and get the best deal we can,” Long-Bailey stated. 

Following Labour’s conference party result, the Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson slammed Corbyn. 

“Jeremy Corbyn has again shown a total lack of leadership on Brexit and settled on yet another fudge on the biggest issue facing our country,” The Guardian reported.

“[He] has repeatedly had the opportunity to put the full force of the Labour party behind a remain position, but he has once again shown today that he is a Brexiteer at heart.” 

As for the Conservative party, a recent report has suggested almost two thirds of Tory voters would back an electoral pact with Nigel Farage’s Brexit party in order to deliver Brexit.

It comes after Boris Johnson publicly ruled out a deal with Farage, but a ComeRes poll suggested both Tory and Brexit party voters are overwhelmingly in favour of a deal.

BBC Breakfast airs everyday at 6am on BBC One. 

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