‘So you think you know better than car manufacturers?’ – Villiers schooled on Brexit

PUBLISHED: 10:26 18 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:37 18 October 2018

Theresa Villiers on Sky News' All Out Politics (Photograph: Sky News)

Theresa Villiers on Sky News' All Out Politics (Photograph: Sky News)

Archant

Outspoken Brexiteer Theresa Villiers has been schooled by Adam Boulton for thinking she knows better than car manufacturers on trade.

While most presenters would normally allow an European Research Group members to whiter on about plans for a “Canada-style free-trade agreement” Sky News’ Adam Boulton was taking no prisoners.

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He said that it would “damage the economic relationship with the European Union” and consequently could mean delays on motorways and the end of “just-in-time manufacturing”.

Villiers, however, persevered with trotting out the tired lines about the Brexiteers’ plan.

“In the car industry substantial numbers of their components already come from outside the EU and they manage customs forms. So it is possible to have just-in-time manufacturing.”

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Boulton hit back at Villiers by referencing the stark warnings that were issued the same day by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

“That’s not what they’re saying! You know better than all of the car manufacturers? Because they are saying this is a very big problem for us, we’re already seeing car manufacturers move production out of the country. That is what ‘Canada’ means.”

Realising she was on a losing argument, Villiers quickly returned to parroting that “we need to implement the result of the referendum”.

The All Out Politics presenter however challenged her on this too.

“The referendum did not dictate the trade relationship between the EU and the UK. It simply wasn’t about that. Do you admit that?”

He added: “You’re saying the 17.4 million people who voted agreed with you and that’s just not the case. They might agree with you, but you can’t guarantee they did.”

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Boulton says that he has been talking to a cabinet minister “off the record” who supports the Brexiteers, but knows as soon as the UK leaves the European Union that there would be a recession.

Villiers did not necessarily disagree – but claimed this would not be the fault of Brexit.

“The realities of the economic cycle mean that at some point of course there will be a downturn,” she said but would not concede it would be because of crashing out of the EU.

• Watch the full interview on The New European website.

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