Marr grills Anneliese Dodds on EU UK trade deal
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Mr Marr challenged Anneliese Dodds over why the Labour Party was so reluctant to raise the prospect of a trade deal with Europe. The veteran broadcaster put the shadow cabinet’s hesitancy down to Labour being “scared of the word Brexit.”
The LBC presenter asked Ms Dodds: “If we don’t want to shut ourselves off from the rest of the world and we want growth and we want to improve the balance of trade, why is it the Labour party can never say the word ‘Europe’?
“It’s our biggest market, right beside us.
“I’m not suggesting that you say you want to get back into the EU, but is the time not coming where you need to have a new approach, a new opening to Europe, some kind of new, more generous trade deal?”
Ms Dodds replied that Labour was “focussed on is practical steps to improve the health of our economy”.
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“Is it not time to think about a trade deal with this huge market on our doorstep?” Mr Marr pressed.
“It seems that the Labour party’s too scared to actually say the word Europe.”
“No, I completely disagree,” said the Shadow Equalities Secretary.
Ms Dodds went on to argue that Labour was focussed on “measures that we can put in quickly, that will make a difference”.
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“It’s because you’re scared of the word Brexit, aren’t you?” hit back Mr Marr.
“Really, that’s what it’s about?”
“No, not at all, and with respect I’ve spoken with dozens of businesses including in Northern Ireland,” said Ms Dodds.
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“They have not said to us they want to have an academic discussion about the future of all of the UK’s trading relationship with the EU.
“They have said they want a veterinary agreement, they want a data agreement, and that’s what we have been arguing for.
“Labour is in partnership with business, in contrast with the Conservatives.”
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