Sunday shows: Watson, Ashworth, Blair on Brexit and antisemitism

Sienna Rodgers

The Andrew Marr Show

Tom Watson, deputy Labour leader:

  • On Brexit: “We think there’s only three options available for the country. Either crash out, hard Brexit; find consensus across the chamber… or have a public vote.”
  • On Labour’s Brexit plan: “There’s always room for maneouvre.”
  • On the local motions of no confidence in Luciana Berger (now withdrawn): “She is being bullied. That motion should never have been moved in her local party. That meeting to hear it should never have been heard.”
  • “Those people who think they’re helping Jeremy Corbyn when they do this kind of stuff are not helping him. They’re harming the reputation of the Labour Party, they’re creating division, and ultimately the person who will lose out the most is Jeremy Corbyn. Because they’ll make it harder for him to be Prime Minister.”
  • On a breakaway party: “We are all worried about a breakaway because we need unity in order to win the next general election.”
  • On “hate-fuelled debate” and abuse of MPs: “I know of one MP who changed their vote on a particular key vote because they felt frightened for their own safety.”
  • On a fresh EU referendum: “We’re now at the point where we can have meaningful talks to get a deal between the main political party leaders, or the only way to break the impasse is a public vote.”

Ridge on Sunday

Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Health Secretary:

  • On free movement post-Brexit: “We said in the general election, our manifesto, that by leaving the European Union, free movement ends… That is the position.”
  • On free movement of workers post-Brexit: “I think it is a very interesting proposal… We could certainly explore that.”
  • On a fresh EU referendum: “I think it’s looking unlikely.”
  • On Labour and antisemitism: “It’s clear that we need to go further and faster in dealing with antisemitism in the Labour Party… It’s not impossible to eradicate it from the Labour Party.”

Tony Blair, former Labour Prime Minister:

  • On ‘no deal’: “A no deal Brexit means a really hard border between north and south in Ireland. It is contrary to the Good Friday Agreement and it will cause an enormous fissure within the United Kingdom.”
  • On the Labour leadership’s handling of antisemitism: “It’s not been robust enough on it and the fact that someone like Luciana Berger who is a smart, capable, active member of parliament, doing her best for her constituents, the fact that she should even be subject to a no-confidence motion with this type of allegation swirling around is shameful from the Labour Party.”


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