Labour MP Says 2 Policies Really Triggered The UK's Decline Long Before Covid

"Every single little bit of the jigsaw that made it possible to build a life has been fragmented."
Labour MP Stella Creasy speaking on BBC Question Time
Labour MP Stella Creasy speaking on BBC Question Time
BBC Question Time

Labour MP Stella Creasy unpacked exactly when she believes the UK started to go downhill on BBC Question Time last night.

The backbencher said the government’s austerity measures from 2010, followed by Brexit, had created an “unrelenting grinding misery of just trying to make it through” for Brits.

Creasy was challenging the government’s ongoing claim that the current state of the UK is down to elements outside of its control like the Covid pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine.

She told the audience: “This goes back to austerity, where they stripped the basic infrastructure of this country.”

“It’s not by accident that one in seven of us are now on an NHS waiting list,” she said, adding: “Every single little bit of the jigsaw that made it possible to build a life has been fragmented.”

Pressed by fellow panellist and The Telegraph’s associate editor Camilla Tominey over what Brexit has to do with it, Creasy replied: “Let’s be really, really clear – our trade is down.

“People here will have lost jobs because companies will say, well, actually we are going to take someone with a European passport.

You can look at the figures, you can look at the impact it’s had on our economy, and this government, in eight weeks’ time, is planning to increase the cost of importing food.

“Now the government itself has admitted that its policy, its Brexit border tax, is going to increase inflation.

“So again, just like with Kwasi Kwarteng’s budget, just when you think you’ve caught a break, this government is going to make a decision that is going to make it harder to put food on your table at a cost you can’t afford.”

Noting that the UK is going through a “tunnel” of difficulties, Creasy added: “We shouldn’t have food banks as a normal thing in a modern society.”

This particular phrase gained some traction on social media, as it came days after health secretary Victoria Atkins said it was a “privilege” to have food banks in her own constituency.

Creasy’s remarks followed a claim from fellow panellist, junior home office minister Laura Farris, that the UK is “turning a corner”.

She said: “We’ve been through some pretty hard times,” and pointed to the Covid pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine, the energy crisis and the conflict in the Middle East.

“However, I think we are turning a corner,” Farris said.

BBC Question Time host Fiona Bruce then cut in: “Well, we’re in recession.”

Farris pointed out that Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey recently said the recession is meant to be lifting already – and then said between 2024 and 2028, predictions for our economy look optimistic.

Bruce said: “A lot can happen between 2024 and 2028 – but certainly for next year, [the IMF are] saying the second weakest level of growth in the G7.”


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