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Ann Widdecombe stands by remarks likening Brexit to 'slaves' rising up 'against their owners'

Widdecombe made the remarks during her first speech in the European Parliament.

Updated Jul 4th 2019, 10:58 PM

BREXIT PARTY MEP Ann Widdecombe has stood by her remarks that compared the UK leaving the European Union to “slaves” rising up “against their owners”.

Widdecombe made the comparison, which has since been described as “disgusting”, during her first speech in the European Parliament. 

The former Conservative party MP said the need for Britain to leave the union was confirmed after the recent negations among heads of state over who should get the EU’s top jobs. 

“It is not democratic at all and that is just one of many reasons why Britain is right to be leaving this place, hopefully on Halloween,” she said. 

EU leaders had been haggling since Sunday evening over who should fill the union’s four most important roles over the next five years, reaching an agreement on Tuesday. 

“If that is this place’s idea of democracy than that it is a serious betrayal of every country that is represented here, Widdecombe said, going on to compare Brexit to liberation. 

“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 – Mr Verhofstaft – against their empires, and that is why Britain is leaving.

“And it doesn’t matter which language you use, we are going and we are glad to be going,” she said. 

Speaking to BBC’S Newsnight, the former Tory MP said she stood by her comments.

“If people want to interpret what I’ve said in a particular way, that is not my responsibility.

“I said we’d been oppressed, I stand by that. I used three examples, not just slavery. I could have used four, five or six but I only had 90 seconds,” Widdecombe said.

‘Disgusting’

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen was nominated for the role of President of the European Commission by EU leaders, but will only be able to take it up if a majority of MEPs vote in favour of her.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel will replace Donald Tusk as Council President – his role does not need to be ratified by the European Parliament.

Widdecombe’s comments today followed a speech by Tusk asking parliament to back the nomination of von der Leyen. 

“Nigel Farage is facing some stiff competition as chief clown of the Brexit Party in the [European Parliament],”Guy Verhofstadt, the Brexit coordinator for the parliament, tweeted. 

“By the way, when Widdecombe talks about ‘colonies liberating themselves from their empires’, is she really referring to the American Revolution of 1776?” Verhofstadt said. 

Labour MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan tweeted: “It is disgusting that Ann Widdecombe would reference slavery and colonisation to describe our relationship with the EU.

“Her and Farage are bankrolled by elites – she’s part of the establishment which has created such a divide in this country.”

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Adam Daly

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