'You don't understand how politics works!' - Esther McVey scraps with news host

PUBLISHED: 11:14 14 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:21 14 January 2019

Esther McVey and Adam Boulton argue about Brexit and Universal Credit on Sky News. Photograph: Sky.

Esther McVey and Adam Boulton argue about Brexit and Universal Credit on Sky News. Photograph: Sky.


Esther McVey has scrapped with a news host after he suggested she was delusional for claiming that no deal concerns were "scare stories".

McVey told Sky News presenter Adam Boulton that if May loses the vote he should go back to the EU and demand a better deal for the £39 billion divorce bill, and said no deal Brexit concerns were “scare stories”.

The former work and pensions minister claimed that “micro-agreements” had already been agreed for a no deal.

“Like some of those side-agreements for things like flying, yes, we can fly into Europe. How about the hauliers? Can they drive with licences? Yes it’s got to be reciprocated. What about the things like medicines that we’ve heard about? Extending the licences? Yes it’s got to be reciprocated.”

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She continued: “Why don’t you and me do a programme from a port to explain that only 1% of goods outside the EU are checked at border because they’re checked by computer system. Why don’t you and I go to a port and explain to people – so they’re getting the correct information?”

Boulton declined the offer, responding: “Not particularly!”

He continued: “Because we’ve already done it... we’ve looked at what traffic is coming through Calais going into Dover are European lorries anyway, so it’s quite irrelevant to talk about the 1% that’s just delusion.”

The pair continued to argue over the withdrawal agreement with McVey arguing that the backstop breaches the Tory party manifesto.

She said the “reassurances we need are in the treaty, not the warm words or warm letters that run in parallel with the treaty”.

“If letters are so great why don’t we send the EU a letter about having a treaty that we will not have a backstop?”

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Boulton snapped back: “A lot of people might say it’s because you don’t understand how politics or negotiation works. For example, you were in charge of work and pensions and now we’re seeing a pretty comprehensive shake-up of universal credit under your successor.”

McVey believed her work was being “followed through” and that they were her own decisions that were announced before she resigned.

She added: “It’s about test and learn.”

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