Priti Patel: Labour's role on Brexit is to support the Government
A top Conservative minister has said Labour should not challenge Theresa May’s goals for Brexit, and argued the job of the Opposition is to support the Government throughout the negotiations.
Since losing their majority in the general election, the Tories have faced calls to set up a formal commission to bring together different views on Brexit – with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and former Tory leader William Hague among those to back the idea.
But Priti Patel, the International Development Secretary and leading Brexit advocate in last year’s referendum, said that such a body would get in the way of the Government delivering on the will of the people.
“This isn’t about commissions; the public voted last year to leave the European Union,” she told Radio 5Live’s Pienaar’s Politics show.
When asked what the Labour leadership should do to make its voice heard, Ms Patel said:
“Their role should be in supporting the Government, supporting the Government through these negotiations and also supporting our 12 negotiating objectives as well…
“We have set out our negotiating objectives. These are not objectives that should be fought across in the United Kingdom, as if we were having a rerun of the referendum last year.”
She also stressed that the Government was committed to representing “every person in the United Kingdom through these negotiations”.
Meanwhile, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell urged Conservative MPs trying to secure changes to the Government’s priorities on Brexit to get in contact with Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer to discuss working with Labour.
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