Tom Watson: Tory Brexit team 'incompetent'
Tom Watson blasted the Government’s Brexit team as ‘incompetent’ as he launched a scathing attack on Theresa May’s haphazard approach to Britain leaving the EU.
Labour’s deputy leader said there was a lack of clarity to the Government’s Brexit negotiations, accusing ministers of ‘talking a hard Brexit’ one day and trying to be ‘Mr Nice Guy’ the next.
The West Bromwich East MP also branded the Prime Minister’s offer to work together with other parties as ‘a gimmick’ and said she had not yet learned from the mistakes she made during the General Election.
In a shot across the bows to Mrs May and Brexit Secretary David Davis, Mr Watson told the Express & Star: “The Government’s position on Brexit seems to change from day to day.
“Their approach to the negotiations is all over the place. One day they are talking about a hard Brexit and the next its all ‘Mr Nice Guy’.
“It leaves their entire Brexit team coming across as incompetent – a state of affairs that surely can not be allowed to continue.
“That is something that everyone should be concerned about, whether people voted Remain or Leave in the referendum.”
Mrs May has offered to work with her rivals on issues including Brexit and elderly social care in the wake of her party’s disastrous General Election campaign.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn rejected the bid out of hand, and Mr Watson also says he is less than impressed with the Prime Minister’s ‘hollow words’. He added: “It is little more than a gimmick,” he said. “If the Government was serious about working with us on issues then we would consider it seriously.
“But I think it is clear that Theresa May has not learned from the mistakes she made during the election. She is trying very hard to persuade people that she has changed her tune and that she is willing to listen to other people’s opinions. Sadly she has not changed in the slightest.”
Last week it emerged that a number of Tory MPs are said to be in talks with Labour to throw out the Government’s Great Repeal Bill, which will transfer EU law into the British statute books once the country leaves the bloc. According to Mr Watson, the bill is an attempt to enforce new legislation on the British people without giving Parliament a say.
“The Government say they want to take power back for Britain, yet they have come up with a bill that will have the same powers but without Parliament having a say,” he said. “It is extremely concerning that Theresa May thinks she can put new laws in place without MPs first having their voice.”