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A furious row erupted on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine Show between ardent Remainer Femi Oluwole and former Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe. Mr Oluwole attempted to challenge the Brexiteer over the likelihood Brexit would be successful for the UK. Ms Widdecombe hit back at the comments, assuring that trade deals with other non-EU countries would be reached.
Mr Oluwole demanded the former MEP name a country she considered to be economically successful that doesn’t have a trade deal with any other nation within 2000 miles.
But, in response, Ms Widdecombe simply pointed to the recent announcement of the UK’s agreement with Japan.
Mr Oluwole again repeated his demand for the Brexiteer to answer his question.
However, the former Tory MP told her co-panellist that the UK “will make trade deals”.
She said: “But we have been restricted by the terms of the withdrawal agreement from doing that, to which we have stuck.
“It really is the case that when you say we’re breaking international law, that withdrawal agreement as we all know was predicated on there being a deal.”
Mr Oluwole shot back: “You haven’t answered my question though. It’s a simple yes or no.
“Are you aware of a country you would consider to be economically successful that doesn’t have a single trade deal with any country within 2000 miles?”
Ms Widdecombe responded: “The reason that you’re asking me that is because you want me to say that Britain hasn’t.
“I’ve just said, and I’m not going to be deflected from saying it, Femi, because it is a fact that we were restricted.
“But we’ve got a lot in the pipeline and we will have it, we will trade on WTO terms.”
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Mr Oluwole insisted Brexiteers were asking the UK to do something that every nation considered to be successful has chosen specifically not to do.
Again, the ex-Brexit Party MEP said the withdrawal agreement would not allow Britain to negotiate certain sectors before the transition period was over.
Mr Oluwole told her: “The EU are the countries within 2000 miles.”
Ms Widdecombe sharply hit back: “You lost the referendum and we have left the EU and we will be a sovereign state, independent.”
The Remainer sarcastically congratulated her, giving a thumbs-up gesture at the end of the tense debate.
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