Labour MP: We'll be punished for 'helping to facilitate a Tory Brexit'

PUBLISHED: 16:11 14 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:28 14 February 2019

Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn at Open, Norwich. MP for Norwich South Clive Lewis.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn at Open, Norwich. MP for Norwich South Clive Lewis. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

A shadow treasury minister has warned Labour could be punished for supporting Brexit in the same way the Lib Dems suffered huge defeats for supporting the Tories in coalition.

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Speaking at a “Love socialism, hate Brexit” meeting in Westminster, Labour MP Clive Lewis drew comparisons between Labour’s stance on EU withdrawal and how the Liberal Democrats tried to soften the impact of austerity while in coalition with the Conservatives.

Referring to the Lib Dems, Lewis said: “They were utterly and comprehensively destroyed by the British public and not forgiven because they facilitated austerity. They facilitated the Tories doing that.

“And my fear is that what we are now doing is we are helping to facilitate a Tory Brexit.

“And the ramifications for our party I think will be severe.

“And just like the Liberal Democrats, when Theresa May has bogged-off somewhere to go and put her trotters up after she has delivered her Brexit, and a new Tory leader comes in, he will say ‘you know what? She was a disaster for this country. She betrayed this country. But, so too did the leader of the opposition. He was part of this sorry debacle and I am now going to move forward to try and resolve this situation in the best way I can’.

“And I tell you what, the Tory right wing mainstream media will get behind that narrative.

“And it is us, the Labour Party, who will pick up a lot of the flack for what happens.”

Lewis, who has been a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, added: “We are now sending some mixed messages out there and that is truly dangerous.”

The MP has been recently polling his constituents back in Norwich South on Labour’s Brexit position as well as whether the party should officially back a People’s Vote.

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The shadow minister suggested EU withdrawal could lead to military conflict in the future.

He said: “My fear is this, if we walk away from Europe now my children, your children, or possibly our grandchildren, but probably our children could be back in Europe in a few years time - but in uniform. And I don’t want to see that happen.”

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