Question Time audience member applauded after explaining why Brexit Party stunt was 'childish'

Greg Evans
Friday 05 July 2019 10:00
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Brexit is often one of the biggest talking points on every episode of Question Time and it was even more pertinent this week following the goings on in the European Parliament.

The Brexit Party's stunt on Tuesday morning, where their MEPs all stood with their backs turned to the room whilst the European anthem was played was one of the least dignifying moments for Britain in this entire saga.

When the topic of the stunt came up an audience member was applauded for not only criticising the Brexit Party but also pointing out how unhelpful the entire situation in regards with the UK's ongoing relationship with the EU.

I think it is childish for them to have all stood up and turned around. If I did that to my national anthem, I'd be a traitor to my country.

Although people say that the European Union is bad for the time being were are in it, for the time being, we need to respect everyone other member state and by alienating those, just like what happened in Brexit between the leave and remain sides.

Then what do we have? People who are against each other. Friendships and families being torn apart. I remember my own family, on the day we got the results, me and my brother found out that our parents voted leave and we were like 'what the hell have you done? you've absolutely screwed us.'

In all honesty, that's our family. We shouldn't be there to be at war with our family, we shouldn't be there to be at war with our allies because at the end of the day, when all the doors are shut, if we do go into another world war and we've alienated all these neighbour states it's gonna be us versus the world.

The short speech did earn a round of applause from the audience but the final point about a world war was rightly corrected by host Fiona Bruce who pointed out that the UK is still part of NATO and that nobody is suggesting that we leave that institution.

Despite the warm reception for the speech, journalist Tom Harwood saw it very differently.

Since when did pro-Europeanism become about flag-waving jingoism? That sounded like a Trump rant. That sounded like the US where people shout down African-American athletes for taking a knee during the national anthem.

Protesting national anthems is fine when you don't recognise the legitimacy of that nation and it [the EU] is trying to become a nation. That's the point.

Financial journalist Martin Lewis responded to Harwood's point by defending the audience member.

You're just a little bit rude. It didn't sound like a Trump rant. It sounded like someone who didn't want our political classes to alienate anyone. 

Whether you are a Brexiteer or a Remainer, I don't see the other European countries as an enemy and I hope we won't see that. 

My view is; whatever you think, these are our neighbouring countries, who we want to get on with and I understand the frustration of the Brexit MEPs as they have been elected to represent a constituency who are deeply frustrated but I thought it was childish as was the Lib Dem's 'b*****s' to Brexit t-shirts.

I want better from all of our politicians.

Labour MP, Louis Haigh added:

[Gesturing at the audience member] I think you are absolutely right, it was an incredibly childish act and the speech that Ann Widdecombe gave today that have pushed people away and hollowed out any room for consensus and forced people to take very extreme views.

This is why Brexit has taken so long to resolve. It's why we've been unable to reach a deal that unites parliament and this woman is right.

Politicians should be working together to reach out and form a consensus and reach compromise. It feels like everything is being pulled apart and everything is getting harder to do. 

More: Nigel Farage called the EU the 'ancient states of Europe' and everyone made the same point

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