Brexit: Emily Thornberry slams Liz Truss for 'empty' gesture
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Emily Thornberry clashed with James Sunderland after a caller rang in to LBC to discuss the UK’s role on the world stage. The Tory MP defended Britain and said the Government was doing all it could to spread British interests across the globe but Ms Thornberry ranted against the point adding the Government was not doing enough to tackle issues in Myanmar or Australia – despite having the remit to do so. Ms Thornberry concluded and said “flag-waving” was not enough when the country needs trade deals to survive.
Speaking on LBC, James Sunderland challenged the idea of international Britain being an illusion.
He said: “Here we are as a new sovereign nation having broken free from the shackles of the European Union.
“We’re doing the complete opposite, we’re reaching out to countries all over the world and we have fantastic new trade deals in the pipeline.
“We are leading the way in the green agenda, we’ve got a new defence agreement and forming better relationships with NATO and the EU.
“We’ve got trans-Atlantic agreements going on, it’s the complete opposite.
“We’ve got a fantastic foreign office and we have diplomats working all over the world working really hard to forge and spread British interests across the world.
“I think now is a great time to be British.”
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Ms Thornberry said in response: “When it comes to trade deals we have not had a trade deal that has earned us one extra single penny more than we had when we were in the European Union.
“As things stand at the moment, we have various fantasies and we think that we might get a deal with the United States – this is not going to happen in the near future.
“I heard the Business Secretary actually saying that he thought that we were going to get one in a few months, that is simply not true.
“It is right that we have always been a great internationalist nation and we must maintain our position as that.
“We have a position on the Security Council, we are given various jobs to do as being part of the Security Council.
“So for example, we’re supposed to be there helping to sort out Myanmar, how’s that going?
“You’re supposed to be helping to sort out what’s happening in Yemen well what are we doing there when we’re selling arms to Saudi Arabia?
“The fact of the matter is that, of course, we are an internationalist country and it is based on trade and is based on our international outlook.
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“But we also need to act multilaterally and to act with our friends who have similar values to ourselves and that means that we stand up for our friends.
“But for example, if you look at what’s happening in Australia at the moment they are simply getting a public punishment beating by the Chinese in what the Chinese are doing in relation to trade there.”
China and Australia are currently engaged in a trade war with China imposing bans and tariffs on over $20billion worth of Australian goods.
The feud appeared to start after Australia urged world leaders to put more pressure on China over the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response, China has imposed many tariffs most noticeably on Australian wine which has wrecked the industry.
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Continuing on, Ms Thornberry added: “Have we said anything in support, have we done anything to support the Australians? No, are the Australians finding any other friends, they’re not.
“When it came to Canada when they said Saudi Arabia it’s all very well you letting women drive but would you like to let all the women who were in demonstrations out of the prisons.
“And what happened, the Saudi Arabians came down heavy on them, did we stand with Canada? No, we didn’t.
“So simply waving a flag and saying great international Britain, great global Britain is actually somewhat empty.”
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