BBCQT sparks outrage after audience members openly ridicule Brexiteer claims

Brexit is 'crippling industry' in UK says Question Time viewer

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The BBC Question Time audience last night loudly ridiculed the Tory cabinet minister panellist after he defended the decision to leave the EU. The debate programme took place in Newport, which voted 56 percent to 44 percent to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum. The row over Brexit follows Jacob Rees-Mogg’s new cabinet role as the minister for Brexit opportunities.

Responding to Mr Rees-Mogg’s new role, one audience member said: “Brexit is simply crippling industry in the UK. I live it every day of my job.

“I work in wine manufacturing in Bristol. And every single day, whether it is paperwork, fees, you name it, there are issues and we get no help.

“Small companies are going bust because of this.”

Mr Eustice responded: “The crucial thing we have gained from leaving the EU is just that regulatory freedom – to be able to make laws that work for us.”

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This prompted audible laughter from across the crowd, leading host Fiona Bruce to say: “Why is everyone laughing at that George? What do you think that response means?”

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs went on to defend Brexit, saying: “Well, look, I have worked in DEFRA for eight years when we were in the EU and since we have left.

“I can say that 80 percent of the laws that we were responsible for were handed down from Brussels and it was all about avoiding this or that piece of litigation.

“It was utterly stifling.

“Brexit does mean that companies that are heavily reliant on exports will have to fill out a customs declaration but the evidence is that they are getting used to that.”

He pointed to the Scottish salmon industry, whose “exports have actually increased despite the added administration”.

Mr Eustice added: “Wales will have more power than it has ever had because many of the powers we have taken back from Brussels will go straight to the devolved administration.

“They will have far greater freedom than they ever had as an EU member.”

One audience member hit back at Mr Eustice, saying: “I think poor old George is doing his best to convince us that it was a good idea to leave the European Union but I can’t think of a single benefit that has come out of it yet.”

Welsh Assembly Member Delyth Jewell echoed this, saying: “The Brexit opportunities Minister is the only job created by Brexit.”


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After the programme, viewers questioned the audience, with @Rob_Kilsby tweeting: “After watching #bbcqt and giving it one more chance to provide a balanced panel and audience, I finally give up.”

@tweets_marks echoed this, tweeting: “Wales voted leave. #BBCQT find an entire audience that agree with 80% of the EU quislings on their panel that #Brexit was a ‘terrible error’ and there are ‘no benefits’.”

However, prominent anti-Brexit campaigners jumped on the BBC Brexit row.

Femi Oluwole captioned the exchange: “Listen to the utterly PATHETIC response from George Eustice to the woman whose business has been crippled by Brexit.”

Mr Rees-Mogg, a prominent Leave campaigner during the 2016 EU referendum, will now be a full member of the cabinet, with his full title being minister for Brexit opportunities and government efficiency.

A source close to the prime minister said he had wanted Mr Rees-Mogg to have a “proper economic role” in the cabinet.

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