Cross-party group of MEPs call on government to end hostile language on Brexit

A cross-party group of 19 UK MEPs have written to the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to complain about the use of ‘utterly inappropriate language’ by government and the press in relation to Brexit negotiations. The MEPs accuse government and UK press of using terms associated with war and conflict at a time, they say, when the UK should be engaged in the language of cooperation and respect, as the UK undertakes “its most important and sensitive negotiations in forty years.”

Molly, who initiated the cross-party letter, said:

“The EU has always been as much about maintaining the peace as it has been about economic integration. Resorting to language more familiar with the Second World War threatens the cordial relations we have with our EU partners as well as being damaging to the spirit of trust we need as we try and find a way through the Brexit shambles that is of our government’s own making.

“The countries of the EU are the UK’s closest friends and allies. Together we are tackling critical global issues such as climate change, the refugee crisis, tax avoidance and terrorism. Whether we stay or leave the EU, we must continue to work collaboratively on these issues.”

“We are already diminished in the eyes of the world because we have embarked on a path of reckless self-harm. Using utterly inappropriate language in our negotiations will further dent our reputation.”

The MEPs who have signed the letter are demanding that Boris Johnson condemn the language being used to describe the Brexit negotiations. Molly concluded:

“We call on Boris Johnson to unreservedly condemn this dangerous and harmful use of hostile language, and to ensure that the UK government leads by example in de-escalating such rhetoric at every opportunity and in all of its communications.”