- Ann Widdecombe, a European Parliament Member, has been criticized for making comments likening Brexit to a slave uprising
- Widdecombe has stuck by her comments
The Brexit process has been a very controversial one as it has seen resignations, debates and lawsuits galore. It has also seen many politicians from both sides of the divide speak out against one another, Brexit itself and also consistently airing their views. However, not all statements that have been made throughout the Brexit process have been well received as evidenced by former Prime Minister Theresa May being vocally criticized about a football-related joke she made earlier this year. Now the latest politician to receive public criticism for statement is Ann Widdecombe, who is a Brexit proponent and member of the European Parliament who likened EU membership to slavery.
The slavery comment
Widdecombe is famously critical of the EU and during her maiden speech at the European Parliament on July 4, she stated that the UK leaving the EU is comparable to slaves rising up against their owners.
The statement has received widespread criticism from those who have branded it disgusting and offensive with labor MP David Lammy stating that her statement is ahistorical. She has, however, stuck by her statement and stated on BBC Newsnight that people had interpreted her slavery comments in a melodramatic fashion.
Widdecombe is a former conservative member of parliament and was also the shadow Home Secretary and recently won a seat in the European parliamentary elections concluded in May. In her first speech, she told her fellow members of the European Parliament that she disapproved of the way the EU appointed its leaders and stated that in light of this it was in the best interest of Britain to leave the EU as soon as possible. She said:
“There is a pattern consistent throughout history of oppressed people turning on the oppressors – slaves against their owners, the peasantry against the feudal barons, colonies… against their empires, and that is why Britain is leaving.”
Brexit ‘can’t come soon enough’
She followed this up by saying that it doesn’t matter what language is used and that the UK is leaving and will be glad to leave. She has been criticized by many both within the European Union and UK political system with Labour MP Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan stating that it is disgusting that she would make reference to colonization to describe the UK’s relationship with the EU. Since then, there have been calls for both her apology and her resignation but she appears to be sticking by her previous statements.