May 13, 2019 4.37 pm This story is over 60 months old

Labour candidate warns of “wedge dividing country” if Brexit party elected

There is no easy way forward, she said

A Labour MEP candidate has warned that if Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party was elected, it would further ‘drive a wedge’ into divisions across the country.

East Midlands candidate Leonie Mathers said the country was already divided over the issue, but warned against promoting an “easy solution”.

“It is really worrying, Nigel Farage, of all the politicians is somebody we should be wary of.

“His rhetoric is that of division and of negativity and I don’t think that if he is voted in we’ll see the country healing and coming back together any time soon.

“In fact, it will drive in a wedge and drive the country further apart.”

She called Brexit “a complicated nuanced issue where people are genuinely divided.”

“He’s saying there’s an easy way out, we can crash out on WTO deals but he’s ignoring the fact there could be chaos on our borders and in our NHS. I just think he’s telling people this is an easy way forward and it really isn’t.”

“There is a real threat of Nigel Farage’s party being elected and we should not underestimate the damage they could do in areas like ours where there are strong views on all sides.”

Ms Mathers said Labour was promoting a positive message, which took account of all views, especially because of the small gap of the Brexit vote in 2016.

“It’s not about picking one side and having a really simplistic, ‘we can ignore everybody who voted to remain or leave’, its about listening to all parts of our country and trying to bring it back together.

“We’ve spent three years trying to find a deal that will be good for our economy and will be positive for peoples’ lives in the East Midlands.”

She accused the Prime Minister of bringing “nothing but chaos and confusion” over Brexit and backed Labour in calling for a better deal, a General Election or a second referendum.

In the EU Parliament, Mrs Mathers said she wanted “strong Labour voices”, adding that she felt the East Midlands was often overlooked.

She wanted to focus on workers’ pay and rights, climate change, tax avoidance and evasion.

She said she was optimistic, despite the mixed results both nationwide and across the Greater Lincolnshire area.

“I do think our message is really getting through. People are positive and really enthusiastic about voting Labour and really pleased with what we’re standing and fighting for,” she said.

The European Parliament elections will take place on May 23.

Other parties including Change UK, Labour, Conservatives, The Brexit Party, UKIP, The Green Party, Liberal Democrat and independent candidates will also stand for election on polling day in the East Midlands. You can find a full list of them here.

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