Angela Rayner grilled on Labour's Brexit stance by radio caller
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The deputy Labour Party leader guest hosted LBC when caller James from Wales called in to explain his upset following the Brexit referendum. He said: “When we voted to leave and Brexit and this is the main reason I can never forgive the Labour Party, why you went against what we voted for. The majority of us wanted to leave and from 2017 to 2019 the Labour party, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP when you took control of standing orders, you tried to stop it.
“If you had just let this go and said you were going to stand by what the people of Britain had voted for. I could bring myself to vote for you.”
Ms Rayner replied: “Can I be really honest with you on this.
“My constituency was a Leave constituency and I did feel a lot of pain from people who were angry with us.
“I spent years going through the legislation, the links that we have with Europe, and deal that was being offered was a really rubbish deal.
“I get that people say, Brexit means Brexit but it was so rubbish that it was going to harm our country.
“We didn’t even get into the debate around that. To be honest, I didn’t have a particularly strong view either way at the start of it.”
James continued: “Why didn’t you let the vote stand? At the end of the day, you went against what we voted for.
“You then said to the British public with Thornberry you were going to go ahead with it and then campaign against it.
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“Do you know how ludicrous that sounded to us Labour party members? We just couldn’t stomach it.”
Ms Rayner added: “The debate was binary. You were either for Brexit or you’re a Remainer.
“The point was we said we respect the result of the referendum and I was on telly at the time saying that this is ridiculous, we can’t keep having referendums.”
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It comes after Sir Keir Starmer has discussed Brexit and Ukraine with the Chancellor of Germany.
The Labour leader met Olaf Scholz for private talks at the headquarters of his left-wing Social Democrat Party (SPD) in Berlin on Friday.
The meeting was said by Labour to have been about building relationships with Germany after Brexit and Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The party also said Sir Keir wanted to talk about Labour’s hopes of winning the next general election, plans for Britain and Germany to work more closely together economically, and taking advantage of a move towards environmental sustainability.
The meeting came ahead of an expected confidence vote in the House of Commons on Monday which could see a general election triggered.
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