'These are absolute lies' - Anna Soubry in heated row over Brexit plan
PUBLISHED: 10:48 13 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:13 13 December 2018
The divisions within the Conservative party appeared fully exposed in a television debate between Tory Remain MP Anna Soubry and pro-Brexit MP Robert Buckland.
At one stage Soubry appears to tell the solicitor general that he is talking “absolute b*llocks” under her breath as he tells her to stop putting “self-pride first and think about the country”.
The disagreement came on Sky News after Theresa May survived a vote of no confidence tabled by their fellow MPs.
Buckland, who originally backed Remain, said that it was time for “colleagues to come together” now that there has been a vote on the prime minister. He said MPs must “move on” and that they had a duty to support Brexit.
He explained: “We have been elected, Anna, to represent this country. You and I were elected on a platform to deliver Brexit.”
Soubry, however, was adamant she would still not be able to vote for Theresa May’s Brexit plan despite backing Theresa May in the vote of no confidence.
As Buckland argued that a general election would be better than a second referendum, an unconvinced Soubry hit back by saying that “all of this is rhetoric” and “lies”.
Speaking about Theresa May, she said: “She’s not changing. It’s more of the trotting out of the lines, the empty rhetoric. It’s not going to win, Robert. You have to convince people like me to change the way I am going to vote. These lines will not change it.”
Buckland suggested Soubry was instead the fantasist and was looking for a “nirvana”.
“This is time for compromise. Not for people taking artificial positions and looking for nirvana. Anna, it doesn’t exist. This is the real work. Let’s get on with it.”
Remainer Soubry pointed out the Brexiteers do not have Commons support and that they have no Plan B.
Buckland said that their Plan B was the prime minister’s plan after it had been renegotiated, before launching an attack on her and pro-EU Conservatives in the party.
He said: “Let’s put ourselves in the position of the British public, they expect politicians who are paid to represent them and work out their differences and stop putting their self-pride first and thinking about the country.
“Let’s come together and sort this out. We’ve done it before we have to do it again on this issue.”
Soubry then mutters something under her breath which sounds like “absolute b*llocks” before the pair both exchange a look before smiling.
As host Dermot Murnaghan tries to defuse the situation he asks her about the renegotiation, but she repeatedly tells the presenter it is “for the fairies”