David Lammy stands by comments comparing European Research Group to Nazis
PUBLISHED: 13:24 14 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:31 14 April 2019
Anti-Brexit campaigner David Lammy has doubled down on his statement comparing members of the European Research Group (ERG) to Nazis.
Become a Supporter
Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.
Lammy first made the comments denouncing the appeasement of members of the ERG when speaking at a People’s Vote rally.
When faced with the footage of his speech on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show today, Lammy told the presenter that they weren’t “strong enough”.
“We must not appease,” said Lammy
“I’m an ethnic minority. We have in the ERG – Jacob Rees Mogg – someone who is happy to put onto his webpages the horrible, racist AfD [Alternative für Deutschland] party that is Islamophobic and on the far right of the German system.”
He said that the ERG was “happy to use the phrase ‘Grand Wizard’ – the KKK is what it evokes to me when I think of that phrase and the deep south”.
His comments have angered Conservative MPS with Conor Burns tweeting: “I used to have regard for David Lammy. But this is batshit. Comparing ERG to Hitler is quite something. Fully lost it.”
The prominent backbencher has campaigned endlessly for a People’s Vote.
He told Marr that accepting a customs union Brexit was a type of compromise, but one that many people would not feel that they had voted for.
“It’s clear that there has to be a confirmatory ratification in the form of a referendum at that point,” said the MP.
“Having been to the [Labour] meeting last week, it’s clear that there is a mood in the party to accept the deal that emerges as long as it’s put to referendum.
“That is in a sense the compromise.”
Lammy insisted that a customs union version of Brexit was still a “hard Brexit” and would lead to the UK losing much of its autonomy when it came to making trade deals.
He said: “If we’re staying in a customs union, you can’t go off and strike free trade deals. I’m not sure many people voted for that.
“If we went with Norway – which has its attractions – again we would be a rule taker. I’m not sure many people voted for that.”
The Tottenham MP highlighted the fact that services, which covers 80% of the UK economy, would not be covered under a customs union version of Brexit.
“So clearly, the best thing to do when a deal emerges is to ask the country whether they like the deal,” said Lammy.
“Going forward this is not going to end, we still don’t know where the arrival point is, we don’t know where we’re heading in terms of our future trade deal.
“It’s completely blind. So the rows will continue now for many, many years to come.
“The best way to actually bring this country together is through a democratic process.”
Become a Supporter
Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.Become a supporter