In­dian-ori­gin MP un­der fire over Brexit re­marks

The Free Press Journal - - WORLD -

A prom­i­nent In­dian-ori­gin Brex­i­teer MP has come un­der pres­sure over her sug­ges­tion that po­ten­tial food short­ages be­tween bor­ders could be used as lever­age to se­cure a bet­ter deal from the EU, ahead of a cru­cial vote in the UK Par­lia­ment next week over Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

Priti Pa­tel, one of the most vo­cal Con­ser­va­tive Party MPs op­posed to May’s deal, was re­act­ing to a leaked UK gov­ern­ment re­port in­di­cat­ing that there could be food short­ages in Ire­land in the event of a no-deal Brexit. It said the eco­nomic im­pact on Ire­land would be worse than in the UK.

“This pa­per ap­pears to show the gov­ern­ment were well aware Ire­land will face sig­nif­i­cant is­sues in a nodeal sce­nario. Why hasn’t this point been pressed home dur­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions,” she told The Times in ref­er­ence to the re­port.

“There is still time to go back to Brus­sels and get a bet­ter deal,” she said.

How­ever, some Op­po­si­tion party MPs re­acted to it as a veiled threat to the UK’s neigh­bour­ing coun­try of Ire­land. “Threat­en­ing Ire­land in this way is as morally rep­re­hen­si­ble as it is fu­tile. Bri­tain should be show­ing it­self to be a de­pend­able neigh­bour and friend in the fu­ture,” said In­dian-ori­gin Labour

Po­ten­tial food short­ages in Ire­land could be used as lever­age to se­cure a bet­ter deal from the EU.

—Priti Pa­tel

Party MP Lisa Nandy.

Ire­land’s deputy prime min­is­ter Si­mon Coveney added Pa­tel’s com­ments were “ridicu­lous” and some oth­ers branded it as in­sen­si­tive given Ire­land’s his­tory in­volv­ing the Great Famine be­tween 1845 and 1849.

How­ever, Pa­tel took to Twit­ter to high­light that her com­ments had been taken out of con­text, say­ing, “It is clear my com­ments on ‘No Deal’ have been taken out of con­text by some. We should go back to Brus­sels & get a bet­ter deal. There is still time. Let’s take back con­trol of bor­ders, laws & money”.

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