Doncaster MP blasted by BBC listeners over 'vacuous' Brexit radio interview

Doncaster MP Caroline Flint has come under fire from BBC radio listeners over a ‘vacuous’ and ‘floundering’ performance in an interview on Brexit.

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 1:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 1:54 pm

The Labour MP for Don Valley was discussing her decision to sign a letter urging the European Union to work hard for a Brexit deal – despite leader Jeremy Corbyn saying none of his MPs should support Boris Johnson's new proposals.

But the interview on Radio 4 came under fire from listeners.

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Doncaster Don Valley MP Caroline Flint.

One user said: "Some fine mansplaining from Caroline Flint, offering nothing new or even worth exploring."

Another tweeted: "Caroline Flint wants a deal but when asked how she would solve Irish border issues gives no answer and says we knew it would be a problem and everyone needs to come together and get it done. Might as well say everyone needs to come together and build a bridge to the moon."

One social media user mocked Ms Flint's response while also voicing doubts on the Prime Minister's plans: "Caroline Flint is offering little more than Johnson on Brexit and/or the border with Ireland. Vacuous."

Ms Flint and 18 Labour colleagues have addressed a letter to European Union chiefs to demand they strike a Brexit deal with the British Government.

Fears of a no deal rocketed after reports of a tense phone call between Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel over the Prime Minister's proposal for an alternative to the controversial Irish backstop.

The Labour MP urged the EU and the UK to come together for an agreement but when asked for her solution to put an end to the backstop impasse, she failed to give an answer – sparking social media users' mocking response.

In her response, Ms Flint reiterated the important role both sides have played in the negotiations as she insisted the border issue is "not impossible" to resolve.

She said: "All sides have a responsibility to work for an agreement because that’s the way we can stop a no deal Brexit.

"We believe the British people want this matter settled and as Labour MPs, we believe until we do we cannot bring the country together.

The letter to EU president Jean Claude Juncker comes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "No Labour MP could support such a reckless deal that would be used as springboard to attack rights and standards in this country.”

But in the letter the MPs said they "wish to see the British EU referendum result honoured without further delay".

IT said: "We hope the Commission and the EU27 will engage with all earnest to reach an accommodation with the UK and we urge flexibility on both sides to reach the common goal of an orderly exit and continued co-operation as neighbours".

The MPs said they did not "stand in judgement on the merits of the UK proposals" and there was "more agreement across parties than many would suggest".

They said if a deal was brought before Parliament "our votes will be decisive in determining the approval of that deal".

She added: "There’s plenty of people working on this and I listen, as you do and your listeners do, to the various voices.

"I don’t believe this is a problem that cannot be resolved – it is difficult, there are unusual circumstances here."

Ms Flint continued: "That was always going to be the case when we went into this referendum if the result of the referendum was going to be leave as it was.

"It’s always been there but we don’t think it’s impossible. And everybody that I speak to across party are against no deal therefore the onus is on everybody to work together on that deal.