Author: Ben Kentish
Brexit will make Britain a “socialist” country, a veteran Labour MP has claimed.
Kelvin Hopkins, MP for Luton North, made the comments during a parliamentary debate on the day Theresa May formally invoked Article 50 in a letter sent to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council.
“I welcome the triggering of Article 50 as it will make possible the democratic socialist future which I and many others have struggled for all our lives”, the Labour MP said.
He did not elaborate on his comment but some left-wing critics of the European Union believe it wrongly promotes capitalist ideals such as free trade and liberal market economics. Mr Hopkins has previously called the EU “anti-working class, anti-socialist and anti-democratic”.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s statement on Article 50, Mr Hopkins asked her about the UK’s £60 billion trade deficit with the EU, saying this “does not put Britain in a very strong position” when it comes to negotiating with EU leaders.
Theresa May replied: “I think we are in a good position in relation to negotiations in relation to trade. I think that’s because of the benefits of trade that the companies in the other European Union member states see – their ability to trade into the United Kingdom.
“I believe there is real benefit on both sides in this negotiation to get a good trade deal for both of us.”
Mr Hopkins was one of only a handful of Labour MPs who backed the Leave side during the EU referendum campaign.