SIR ROBBIE GIBB: So where’s the outrage when Brexiteers are demonised?

So where’s the outrage when Brexiteers are demonised? asks Theresa May’s former PR chief SIR ROBBIE GIBB

Even by the fractious standards of this debate, the ill-tempered scenes on Wednesday in the Commons probably marked a new low in the Brexit-weary minds of the public.

Not, however, as Labour MPs or many broadcast bulletins would have you believe, because Prime Minister Boris Johnson crossed some line when he dismissed as ‘humbug’ allegations that his language — words such as ‘traitor’ and ‘betrayal’ — were dangerous in a heightened political climate.

But because it demonstrated just how low the Labour Party will sink to stop Brexit and deny the democratic will of the people.

For Labour MPs to reach for the smelling salts over the phrase ‘Surrender Act’ is not so much an outpouring of concern as a cynical attempt to exploit the situation.

Even by the fractious standards of this debate, the ill-tempered scenes on Wednesday in the Commons probably marked a new low

For three years, Leave supporters have been characterised in the most offensive terms by the Left — branded ‘racists’ and ‘thickos’ for having the temerity to want to break free from the Brussels’ orbit. Where was Labour’s condemnation of this provocative and patronising language?

Who on the Opposition benches urged moderation as Labour MPs branded the PM a ‘dictator’ for trying everything possible to deliver on the referendum result?

When did supposedly impartial broadcasters ever present Labour’s attacks on the Government as inflammatory — even when they used words such as ‘wicked’ and ‘coup’?

You could have been forgiven for thinking Remain activists had taken over the Today studio if you listened to the BBC’s flagship Radio 4 programme yesterday. Guest after guest lined up to take swipes at Mr Johnson and the Government with barely a critical question to break their flow.

The reality is that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn states he wants to deliver on the referendum result while simultaneously doing everything possible to derail it.

The public wish to leave the EU has been thwarted and frustrated at every turn by a ‘we know better’ Remain-dominated Parliament, and an opportunistic Opposition that refuses to deliver for the people it professes to serve.

Now stand by as Labour seeks to capitalise on the hypocritical expressions of horror from the Left over Mr Johnson’s ‘inflammatory’ language.

No doubt Corbyn, whose weekly ranting at Prime Minister’s Questions is deliberately designed to be clipped for social media and fuel the division and hatred that drives his devotees, will feign outrage.

Some on the Left are already wailing that they could not possibly sign up to any Brexit deal brought back from the European Council by this Prime Minister because they do not like his morals. The reality is Labour could be presented with a Brexit deal delivered by Gandhi and they still wouldn’t sign up to it.

In my time as an editor at the BBC and then as Director of Communications at No 10, I met all sorts of politicians, from the lazy to the overrated and to the deeply impressive and talented.

But never have I seen politicians more brazen and cynical in their attempts to mislead the public than shadow ministers and members of the current Labour Party.

Now stand by as Labour seeks to capitalise on the hypocritical expressions of horror from the Left over Mr Johnson’s ‘inflammatory’ language

Every time I hear Labour politicians claim to respect the result of the referendum, I am reminded of a meeting in Whitehall this year.

In a final roll of the dice to deliver Brexit, Theresa May had opened talks with Labour in a bid to break the Parliamentary impasse.

Senior Cabinet colleagues and advisers sat across the table from a Labour delegation, led by their Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer.

Progress was painfully slow as Labour, so fond of accusing the Government of running down the clock on Brexit, repeatedly tried to thwart attempts to find common ground and move forward. This reached an almost farcical level one April afternoon when Starmer opened his remarks by dismissing proposals, outlined in a discussion document, as ‘totally inadequate’.

Gavin Barwell, then the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, sighed. ‘These are Labour’s own proposals,’ he said. ‘They have been literally cut and pasted from a document you submitted to us.’ There was a knowing and embarrassed laugh from the Labour side.

While voters remain divided on Brexit, I’ve never met a single person who does not believe politicians should keep their word.

In the 2017 General Election, both the Conservatives and Labour promised to respect the 2016 referendum result.

That means 80 per cent of MPs who currently serve in Parliament promised voters they would respect the will of the people and deliver Brexit. Labour MPs also voted to trigger Article 50, the mechanism that set the clock running on leaving the EU.

Since then, Labour has done all in its power to brazenly blame the Government while seeking to thwart the public’s will.

The party will now fight any General Election promising a second referendum, having failed to deliver on the first.

What utter disregard for the people they profess to serve. Strip away the rhetoric that now swirls around this ill-fated Commons debate and what do we have?

A Prime Minister who is abiding by a Supreme Court judgment even though he profoundly disagrees with it.

A Prime Minister prepared to call out the Benn Act (which rules out a No Deal Brexit) for what it is — Parliament’s latest attempt to block Brexit and torpedo the talks.

A Prime Minister giving voice to the 17.4 million who backed Leave, even as Labour turns a deaf ear to their frustrations.

Labour, which claims to want to deliver Brexit, has voted 34 times to block Britain leaving the EU.

That is the real outrage here.


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