Brexit voters ‘knew they were putting their jobs at risk’, claims Leadsom

Andrea Leadsom speaks to ITV News. Photograph: ITV.

Andrea Leadsom speaks to ITV News. Photograph: ITV. - Credit: Archant

Andrea Leadsom has admitted there will be 'winners and losers' in the event of a no-deal Brexit, and said voters knew they were putting at risk their jobs.

Former Commons leader and Tory leader contestant Andrea Leadsom said although she does not advocate a no-deal Brexit, instead favouring a "managed exit", she stressed that "in any negotiation, you have to be prepared to walk away" even if it means "short-term disruption".

Speaking on ITV's Acting Prime Minister podcast, Leadsom added: "I think in the event of no-deal Brexit there will be winners and losers and there will be some short-term disruption."

Asked whether people who voted for Brexit knew of the risk of losing their jobs in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Leadsom said it was "made very clear".

She added: "Don't forget the government put out a leaflet to all the households saying that the NHS would have cuts, pensioners would have cuts, that we'd have half a million unemployed so you can't tell me that people weren't told.

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"Now, I do not think that all of that 'project fear' stuff then has in any shape or form seen the light of day since we voted to leave and nor would it if there was a no-deal Brexit. But there would be short-term disruption.

"But what we do have to accept that the democratic will of the people is to leave the European Union and we are not, I would not, under any circumstances advocate either trying to make people change their mind, have a second referendum or revoke that decision.

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"It's a fundamental matter of our democracy, so of course, in any circumstances, we need to make sure that we smooth that exit as much as possible but we also have to make sure that we actually leave."

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