'NO ONE expected to trigger Article 50' Labour MP bashes Brexiteers over transition deal

Dame Beckett blasted Tory MP John Redwood for dismissing the need for a transition deal and for calling on the Government to “be more ambitious”.

The heated exchange on BBC Two’s Daily Politics comes after Chancellor Philip Hammond backed an interim agreement at the end of Article 50 talks in 2019. 

“One of the most damaging things that’s happening at the moment is that people like John that campaigned for us to leave the are all now going about pretending that this will be easy, straightforward and speedy, which it won’t,” said Dame Beckett.

“One of the things that nobody ever says is that nobody thought through how the Article 50 process would work because nobody ever expected anyone to trigger it, [and] so it isn’t just on the British side.”

The politician insisted there “isn’t any proper preparation” with regards to Article 50 before claiming the idea the UK could be out of the EU in the next year to 18 months was “plainly nonsense”.

She said the picture being painted by Brexit backers was far from her own experiences making trade deals around the world.

“I’ve had a lot of involvement in a whole series of international negotiations and it ain’t like that,” insisted Dame Beckett.

“If we can get certainty where we can get certainty, let’s get it as fast as possible – but let’s not kid ourselves or pretend.”

Mr Redwood hit back and criticised “so-called experts” for “mugging this up” for months without “reading the treaties”.

He said: “We don’t need to negotiate most things – we’re leaving.

“We send them a letter and we put through our domestic legislation because we want to take back control of our borders and our money and our laws and those are not negotiable with Mrs Merkel.

Speaking about future trade deals the former Welsh Secretary maintained that no member states had said it wanted to impose tariffs on its exports.

He added: “The other option, if they do want to damage their trade with us, is to go over to WTO [Word Trade Organisation rules], which is actually very favourable to Britain, [and] trade very successfully on those terms with the whole of the rest of the world.

“And we could trade quite successfully with the EU on the same terms.”

Viewers swiftly berated Dame Beckett on social media after the heated clash.

“Margaret Beckett MP on Daily Politics – showing how clueless she really is,” said one user, while another added: “Love the way Margaret Beckett shows such disdain for simplicity and sadly wants problems, not answers.”

Another viewer said her appearance on the show was a “waste of time” while another disagreed and said: “Margaret Beckett – a politician worthy of the epithet ‘stateswoman’. So difficult to identify many such in today’s politics.”

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