'It's not the real world!' - Corbyn ally's Brexit position leaves Blunkett with head in hands

PUBLISHED: 13:42 22 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:10 22 January 2019

David Blunkett on the BBC's Politics Live. Photograph: BBC.

David Blunkett on the BBC's Politics Live. Photograph: BBC.


Jeremy Corbyn ally Chris Williamson has left a Labour figurehead feeling frustrated as he appeared to agree with Brexiteers that a no deal Brexit would not be a problem.

Speaking on BBC’s Politics Live, Williamson contradicted Labour Party figurehead David Blunkett on both a People’s Vote and the impact of a no deal Brexit.

He said: “Frankly I don’t think there is an appetite in the House or the parliamentary Labour party. If you look at the opinion polls, if you look at Survation, there isn’t much appetite with the general public either.

“If we ended up with a second referendum I think the outcome would be the same, and probably an even bigger margin in favour of Leave.”

Presenter Jo Coburn tried to interrogate the MP further, asking if the Corbyn ally’s comments reflected the Labour leader.

“You’re leaping ahead too much,” suggested Williamson as the presenter tried to get a clear answer.

“Jeremy is sticking by the terms of the motion that was carried unanimously at the Labour Party conference, which was to seek to vote down the deal that Theresa May brought back unless it met our six tests, then try to secure a general election, and we haven’t exhausted all of the options of a general election yet.”

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Referring back to David Blunkett’s warning on a no deal Brexit, Williamson continued: “David’s point that it would be disastrous if we left the European Union without a deal - in the FT yesterday they published findings that suggested that, yes there would be an impact, that the economy wouldn’t grow without a deal.

“I’m not particularly happy about it but the key for me isn’t about whether we leave with or without a deal the fact is we’re leaving, the issue is the sort of government we have in this country and the redistrbution of wealth and income in this country.”

Blunkett interjected: “This is a wonderful combination - Chris Williamson and the ERG group of Brexiteers. God help us!”

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“Our economy might not grow as quickly but if we are committed to investing in our economy and public services and have a redistribution of income and wealth we can lift the living standards of the 99% in this country even if our economy isn’t growing as quickly.”

By now Blunkett had his head in hands as he told Williamson: “If we crash out without a deal the idea we would be able to borrow at rates that are teneable, or that we would be able to raise money from elsewhere, or that the pound wouldn’t sink even further is risible. That’s just the real world!”

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