Theresa May under pressure to SACK five Remoaner trade envoys who opposed Article 50
PRESSURE is mounting on Theresa May to sack five Remoaner trade envoys who opposed the bill to allow her to start the process of Leaving the EU.
The trade envoys represent almost a quarter of a group of 21 parliamentarians from across political parties who are directly appointed by the Prime Minister to represent Britain in different parts of the world.
Their importance in helping Britain build future free trade agreements is underlined on the Government website which states: “They support the drive for economic growth by building on the UK’s existing relations with these markets and maximising bilateral trade, thereby generating real and long term benefits for the UK.”
After the Article 50 vote in the Lords Mrs May sacked Remoaner Tory peer Lord Heseltine for refusing to back the government on Brexit and supporting an amendment for a “meaningful” final vote to allow parliament to veto Leaving the EU at the end of the negotiations.
However, Labour MP Rushanara Ali voted against Article 50 in the Commons but remains a trade envoy for Bangladesh.
Labour peers Lord Hollick, envoy to Tanzania and Kenya, and Lord Richard Faulkner, envoy to Taiwan, backed the wrecking “meaningful vote” amendment in the Lords but remain in post.
The same is true for Lib Dem peers Baroness Northover, who is the envoy to Angola, and Baroness Bonham Carter, the envoy to Mexico.
The revelation that unrepentant Remoaners are representing Britain on trade as the UK tries has been branded “a disgrace”.
Ukip leader Paul Nuttall said: “It is clear that the Government was right to fire the faded Heseltine from his job as advisor but the heads of these five trade envoys should roll as well.
“Their positions are in the gift of the Government and people who do not believe in this country’s potential free of the EU should not be representing Britain when we try to forge those all important new trade deals around the world.
“What is even more disgraceful is that by allowing them to stay in place they effectively have a platform to take their Remoaner views to other countries and undermine the UK abroad.
“It’s about time that the Prime Minister makes it clear that she is serious in respecting the democratic will of the people and that the people officially representing this country are serious about it too.”
Richard Tice, co-chairman of Leave Means Leave said: “Britain’s trade envoys should be flying the flag for Brexit and the opportunities brings Britain and the rest of the world.
“Politicians who have been openly obstructing the process of withdrawing from the EU have no place in representing Britain’s interests abroad.
“The Prime Minister was right to sack Heseltine and she should now fire these five unpatriotic trade envoys and replace them with representatives who will serve Britain and embrace Brexit.”
However, Downing Street was last night resisting sacking the Remoaner envoys.
A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said: “We’re pleased it [the Article 50 bill] passed both houses without amendment and we are now focused on the negotiations, and getting the best deal for the whole UK.”
It is understood that Mrs May, who did not originally appoint the envoys but inherited them from David Cameron, is reluctant to sack people from what is supposed to be a cross party group.
The envoy position does not carry a salary.
April 10th, 2017: Express