Andrew Neil challenged Sir Keir Starmer on whether he supported freedom of movement and what he would do if he won the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the opposition. The BBC host questioned Mr Starmer as to whether he had been listening to Labour’s so-called “red-wall” in the North of England which abandoned the party and helped inflict the worst election defeat since 1935.
Mr Neil said: “It may be on the red wall or what is left of the red wall, which isn’t much.
“That the conversation wasn’t gritty enough, because you now want free movement with the European Union to continue”
Mr Starmer then insisted he had spoke to constituents in the north of England and claimed many thought it was a “good idea” to allow EU nationals to work in the UK.
Sir Keir said: “Well we talked a lot of free movement in those areas.”
Mr Neil interrupted by saying: “And you want it to continue.”
Sir Keir said: “Actually when we had the discussion , again got past the gritty bit, there is a lot of respect people have when you have a conservation with them.
“There is a lot said by people about what people think, but actually I would say go and spend some time, have those conversations.
“When we got to the nitty-gritty bit of it, which is should people in this country be able to go and work in Europe, should those in Europe be able to come to work here most people thought that was a good idea .
“When we got to should families be able to live together broadly speaking most people agreed with that, and when we got to should people in this country be able to study in Europe.”
Mr Neil then stated Sir Keir’s plans all add up to freedom of movement and nothing would change under his leadership.
The BBC host said: “All that adds up to is free movement.”
Sir Keir then responded by saying: “But Andrew you’re missing my point in those communities, where I had those discussions, actually we were, I am not saying everybody.”
Mr Neil said: “So people up there who voted Tory used to vote Labour voted Tory, immigration being a big issue there’re now all in favour of free movement, have you been listening to the red wall?”
This is a developing news story, more follow.
Published at Wed, 04 Mar 2020 19:58:00 +0000