Tory peer: A Labour government wouldn't be as bad as Brexit

PUBLISHED: 22:50 26 December 2017 | UPDATED: 22:51 26 December 2017

Lord Heseltine speaks in the House of Lords, London, as they debate the Brexit Bill.

Lord Heseltine speaks in the House of Lords, London, as they debate the Brexit Bill.

PA Wire/PA Images

Tory peer and former deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine has suggested that a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn would be less damaging for the country than Brexit.

In the claims, which will surprise some within the Conservative Party, he said that although he believed a Labour government would be bad for the country, Brexit will have a long-term irreversible impact on Britain.

Speaking to the Limehouse podcast he also said that Labour could soon step up the fight against Brexit leaving the Conservatives “holding the baby” as public opinion turns against Britain leaving the European Union.

He said: “We have survived Labour governments before. Their damage tends to be short-term and capable of rectification. Brexit is not short-term and is not easily capable of rectification. There will be those who question whether the short-term pain justifies the avoidance of the long-term disaster.

“If you look at the polls there is probably a bigger majority against Brexit than the referendum secured but that, I think, will continue to happen and it will become more and more unpopular as people realise what it’s all about.”

He continued: “When that happens, the Labour party will move, and the present government will be left holding the baby. But then you have got to realise the present government is supported by large numbers of people as opposed to Brexit as I am. How long will they remain within the tribe and loyal to the party?”

Lord Heseltine added that he believed the vehicle for stopping Brexit could be through a second referendum or a vote within parliament.

“Personally I would rather parliament to do it either if this present parliament became hostile or because in an election the issue was rethought and a subsequent parliament did it.”

MORE: George Osborne - I didn’t want the referendum in the first place

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