Revelation over impact of EU vote
Secret May Brexit tape ‘shows contempt for public’
Opposition parties have seized on a secret tape revealing Theresa May’s concerns about the economic damage that leaving the European Union would have on the UK.
Recordings of talks with City bankers, leaked to a London newspaper, indicate that before the EU referendum the Prime Minister warned that businesses would leave the UK if membership of the single market was lost. She also expressed concern for national security.
Opposition was led by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, accusing her of ignoring her own concerns about the risks of leaving the single market.
“The prime minister has given her private views on Brexit to Goldman Sachs bankers, but refuses to give the British people a clear plan for negotiations,” said Mr Corbyn.
Tim Farron, the Lib Dem leader, said it was disappointing that Mrs May “lacked the political courage to warn the public as she did a bunch of bankers in private.”
Politicians from Europe added their criticism. German spokesmen from both governing parties accused Mrs May of failing to show leadership.
The SNP said the revelations are in “stark contrast to her wrong-headed and baseless assertions since the vote that Brexit will be full of opportunity for the UK”.
The revelation came as the Scottish Tories moved an amendment to a Holyrood debate to remove all mention of the impact of Brexit on Scotland.
SNP MSP and convener of Holyrood’s Europe Committee, Joan McAlpine, said: “Theresa May’s real views on Brexit have now been exposed.
“The secret recordings which have now come to light show that the warnings the then-Home Secretary made before the referendum are actually very accurate, talking of the damage that leaving Europe would inflict on our economy and the problems it would cause for our security.
“Expert research shows that quitting Europe threatens up to 80,000 jobs in Scotland and could cost the Scottish economy more than £11 billion a year by 2030.
“We now know that Theresa May privately agrees with forecasts like this. But the revelations show the utter contempt that the Tories have for the public.”
She said the Scottish Tories were in “complete denial” about Brexit over the impact leaving Europe would have on Scotland’s economy.”