26/10/2018 13:44 BST

Brexit No Threat To Strictly Come Dancing, Says Downing Street

For those that were worried...

PA Wire/PA Images
Strictly Come Dancing is not at risk from Brexit, says No 10.

Brexit does not pose a risk to Strictly Come Dancing, Downing Street has declared.

It comes after Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable claimed fresh immigration restrictions could starve the show of talented foreign professional dancers.

But a No.10 spokeswoman said on Friday: “I think Strictly will be fine.”

During a visit to Brussels on Thursday for talks with EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, Sir Vince had said: “As British society falls apart it could pose a risk to Strictly.”

The Twickenham MP, a keen ballroom dancer and supporter of a so-called people’s vote on Brexit, said: “If we have a cack-handed immigration policy like what we have for non-EU citizens, all kinds of perverse decisions could be made.”

He added: “We may have to ringfence the citizenship arrangements to protect them.”

The former business secretary was also widely mocked for the claims by a string of Brexiteers on Friday. 

Vince Cable on Strictly Come Dancing
Vince Cable on Strictly Come Dancing

Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the hard Brexit Tory faction the European Research Group, said it was “simply silly” to suggest the much-loved show would be affected.

“I wouldn’t hold myself up as an expert on Strictly,” he said. “I watched it when Ed Balls was on it but never since.

“But it is hard to see that immigration rules are key to the success of Strictly or otherwise.”

He added: “There are already effective immigration provisions for artists such as opera singers and ballet dancers.”

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said: “This is more desperate Project Fear with tassels on it from Vince Cable. It is surely time he waltzes off into retirement.”

Sir Vince met Barnier in Brussels alongside SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, Westminster leader of Plaid Cymru Liz Saville Roberts and Green MEP Molly Scott Cato. 

They told Barnier Brexit “must not be assumed” and recommended “serious contingency planning” for a second EU referendum, or so-called ‘People’s Vote’.