Ursula von der Leyen ‘needs to shut up’ about Brexit says Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson after she urged the younger generation to make Britain rejoin the EU
Tory deputy leader Lee Anderson has said Ursula von der Leyen should “shut up” on Brexit, after making comments earlier this week suggesting the younger generation could “fix” Brexit.
The MP for Ashfield told GB News: ‘The generation that solved Europe’s problems was my grandfather’s generation.
‘He put on a British army uniform… he went to fight the Nazis, he went all over North Africa, through Sicily, through Italy, and saw terrible things.
‘That was the generation that solved the problems in Europe. She needs to keep her mouth shut.”
Asked whether he thought Britain would rejoin the EU within his lifetime, he said: “I hope not because if we do I’ll be moving to the Orkneys (sic).”
The European Commission president suggested Britain should try to rejoin the bloc, admitting ‘we fooled it’ during a interview Tuesday in Brussels.
Conservative MP Lee Anderson pictured in London in March 2023. The MP for Ashfield said the European Commission president should ‘shut his mouth’ on Brexit
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks at the first international conference on a global alliance to combat migrant smuggling in Brussels, November 28
Von der Leyen, who is coming to the end of her first term as Commission president, suggested at a Politico event on Tuesday that Britain could be on its way to rejoining the trading bloc.
Asked whether she foresaw a reunification of Britain, she said: ‘I have to say I keep saying to my children: ‘You have to sort it out. We messed up, you have to fix it.”
‘So I think that here too the direction of travel – my personal opinion – is clear.’
In response to her comments, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said the government was determined to ‘reap the benefits of Brexit’.
‘We are making Brexit happen. We focus on the benefits that Brexit can bring.
“It is through our Brexit freedoms that we are strengthening our migration system,” he said.
While there are no plans for Britain to rejoin the European Union, Labor leader Keir Starmer has promised a review of the post-Brexit trade deal if his party wins the general election, expected to take place next year .
A spokesman for Starmer said: ‘We have made our position on this very clear, we are not rejoining the single market or the customs union. We are not returning to freedom of movement.
“Of course we want a good working relationship with the European Union, we want to improve some of the problems that exist on issues like trade, but no, we are not rejoining in any form.”
Research shows that the British are still divided on the Brexit issue.
Polling this month it emerged that 57 per cent of people in Britain now think leaving the EU was a mistake, compared to 33 per cent who still believe it was the right decision.
The share of people who do not know whether this was the right decision or not has remained relatively constant since 2020, between 11 and 14 percent.
Research from Changing Europe (UKICE), a British think tank, has also found that only nine percent of British voters believe Brexit went well.
But 61 percent of Leave voters believe this will ultimately work out for the best.
The EU’s approval ratings reached a record high in 2021, with 60 percent of respondents expressing a positive opinion of the bloc – higher than the approval rating for the British government among voters at the time.
But support for Brexit remains strong. A survey of MailOnline readers found that 78 percent still believed Britain was right to leave the EU.
At the time of writing, more than 2,100 readers have voted on the survey.
Assessing the relative merits and shortcomings of Brexit is complicated. In September, the Office for National Statistics revised its assessment of how well the UK economy did between 2020 and 2021, during the pandemic.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, GDP increased by 0.6 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, instead of a decline of 1.2 percent as originally reported.
Le Monde noted that if the new calculation is correct and the 2022 and 2023 statistics are not fully corrected, the UK economy was 1.5 percent stronger than pre-pandemic levels – comparable to France and better than Germany (0 percent), but worse than Italy (2.1 percent), Japan (3.5 percent), Canada (3.5 percent) and the United States (6.1 percent).
The BBC reported Earlier this year it emerged that after ‘start-up problems’ were resolved, exports to Britain recovered to pre-pandemic levels, according to official figures.
But “you could argue that trade would have grown more if there had been no Brexit,” the broadcaster suggested.
The Telegraph reported On Wednesday it emerged that 94 percent of the companies surveyed had experienced negative consequences from Brexit.
The article noted that Dave Ramsden, deputy governor of the Bank of England, said last week that Brexit had “chilled” business investment in Britain.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (R) welcomes Luxembourg Prime Minister Luc Frieden ahead of a meeting in Brussels, Belgium, November 29, 2023
A spokesperson for Starmer (pictured at PMQs on Wednesday) said: ‘We have made our position on this very clear, we are not rejoining the single market or the customs union. We are not returning to freedom of movement.”
Think tanks estimated earlier this year that Brexit contributed to a shortage of 330,000 workers in Britain, mainly in the low-skilled economy, ultimately driving up prices.
And research from the London School of Economics estimated that Brexit was responsible for around a third of UK food price inflation since 2019, adding almost £7 billion to the UK’s grocery bill.