Ed Vaizey, a culture minister under the ex-prime minister and part of Mr Cameron’s ‘Notting Hill set’ of Tory MPs, this afternoon expressed his exasperation at Theresa May’s EU exit strategy.
As MPs continued a final day of debate on the Government’s proposed Article 50 Bill, which would hand Mrs May the power to formally notify the EU of Britain’s exit, Mr Vaizey used his own speech to conduct a “remoan”.
He told the House of Commons: “This is obviously a remoan. I know it is a remoan. I am a Remainer just getting things off my chest. It is probably not very constructive.”
Referring to Mrs May’s plan to take Britain out of the EU’s Single Market after Brexit is completed, the Wantage MP added: “It strikes me as bizarre that we have given up extraordinary influence over a market of 500 million people to sail off to negotiate free trade deals that will not be without controversy.”
Mr Vaizey had outlined worries about a watering-down of animal welfare standards should Britain sign a free trade deal with the United States once out of the EU.
Ed Vaizey admitted he was conducting a 'remoan'
It is more therapy on my part
Fellow Tory MP Peter Lilley, a leading Brexit supporter, suggested Mr Vaizey was only concerned about the impact of free trade agreements when they “feeds his remaining remoan tendencies”.
Mr Vaizey told MPs: “My argument is simply that it will be very difficult to negotiate the free trade agreements that people talk about.”
He confessed his argument is “very unconstructive and unhelpful” and “will not take us very far”, adding: “It is more therapy on my part because I feel so frustrated that the tone of the debate since the referendum has been so awful and unpleasant; that we forget that 48 per cent of the country voted to stay in the European Union; and that we are unable to build a consensus on the way forward.”
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Continued cooperation with the EU to tackle terrorism and international crime.
MPs will tonight hold a final vote on the Article 50 Bill which, if passed, will then move to the House of Lords.