Soubry: Brexiteers believe ‘loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs will be worth it’

PUBLISHED: 19:42 16 July 2018 | UPDATED: 20:14 16 July 2018

Anna Soubry in the House of Commons (Image: Westminster TV)

Anna Soubry in the House of Commons (Image: Westminster TV)

Archant

Today’s cave-in from the prime minister has led to an extraordinary series of blue-on-blue attacks in the House of Commons as Tories on both sides of the debate traded insults.

The most notable exchange came from Anna Soubry who warned that the PM no longer appeared to be in charge of her party, and said that privately some Tories were now saying the loss of ‘hundreds of thousands of jobs’ would be worth it for Brexit.

Speaking of the news that the government had accepted amendments from the European Research Group she asked: “Who is in charge? Is it the prime minister or is it the honourable member for North East Somerset – I know where my money is sitting at the moment.”

She told the Commons: “Members on the frontbench and across this place should be shaking their heads with shame - this is the stuff of complete madness.

“And the only reason that the government has accepted these amendments is because it is frightened of somewhere in the region of 40 members of parliament - the hard, no deal Brexiteers, who should have been seen off a long time ago and should be seen off.”

She added that Tory MPs in private conversations have said that “the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs will be worth it to regain our country’s sovereignity.”

And in an exchange that tipped some red-faced Brexiteers over the edge she said: “Nobody voted to be poorer and nobody voted leave on the basis that some body with a gold plated pension and inheritied wealth would take their job away from them.”

“Shame on you if you have a manufacturer in your constituency and you have not been to see how they work. You will understand the importance of frictionless trade. It was Margaret Thatcher who championed free trade.”

In an astonishing intervention Sir Edward Leigh responded: “I knew Margaret Thatcher. I worked for Margaret Thatcher. My honourable friend ain’t no Margaret Thatcher”, prompting cries of “pathetic” from backbenchers aimed in his direction.

Soubry later said: “This Government is in grave danger of not just losing the plot but losing a considerable amount of support from the people of this country unless we get Brexit right.”

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