Indian-origin MP under fire over Brexit remarks
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.
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”.